Chris and Alexis Ramirez have created a digital-only experience with Superbloom.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY NATE ABBOTT
Why did you give up your careers in the fashion and tech industries to start Superbloom?
Alexis: I was burnt out on every level. I love fashion. It’s my life, but the fashion industry is actually very materialistic and full of bullshit. I thought, what if we could just go back to basics? What if we could bring meaning to color? I know it sounds so simple and silly, but no one has really done it.
Chris: After we left the corporate world, we needed a detox. We worked on this every single day for a year in New York. We didn’t even have a product. We were just coming up with the concept — traveling around, taking pictures, designing the elements. Everyone thought we were crazy. But it felt right.
Why leave New York?
Chris: New York started to feel basic to us. We love New York, but all these big brands are coming in and pushing artists out. I never thought we’d leave New York, but we needed to leave New York.
Alexis: We first decided to move to Mexico City. We still didn’t have a product. It was fun to be there and absorb the culture. The first thing we created were these hats. The problem with being in Mexico City was shipping. It’s really expensive, and liability is an issue. We didn’t want to put all our time in these hats and have them get lost in the mail.
How did you choose Palm Springs?
Alexis: Honestly, Palm Springs came to us in a dream. Chris’ parents retired in Temecula, and mine are in Corona.
We knew we wanted to be close to family — but not too close. We wanted to live in a place that was very open, progressive, colorful, and respected the arts. I hate shivering and driving, so weather and traffic were factors, too.
Chris: Also, the history of Palm Springs is important. It’s very spiritual. We’re surrounded by beautiful nature. We can continue to detox but still work at the same time. It’s a private but welcoming community. We needed to live somewhere we felt good and where we didn’t wake up feeling stressed all the time. It’s been amazing.
Why the name Superbloom?
Chris: One of my mentors described our relationship as a superbloom: an intense, hyper, gorgeous period of growth and development. Once we decided the name, we came up with a color and meaning for every letter in the word.
S = SELF LOVING
U = UNIQUE
P = PASSIONATE
E = EQUALITY
R = REFLECTING
B = BOLD
L = LOYAL
O = OFFLINE
O = OPTIMISTIC
M = MYSTERIOUS
How did you decide to work together as a couple?
Alexis: If you can work with your best friend or partner and combine your energies, why wouldn’t you? We never had a serious conversation about it. We love what we’re doing, so it hasn’t been that complicated. We’re just riding the wave and finding the balance as we go. Chris came from start-up culture where he’ll just go, go, go until he crashes, but I don’t work like that. I need a proper eight hours of sleep.
Why haven’t you opened a physical store in town?
Alexis: Originally, we were looking for retail space downtown, but it didn’t really seem right for the brand. Superbloom isn’t about randomly walking into a store and buying a fanny pack or hat. We created this whole experience online.
Chris: We found this great studio space [in North Palm Springs] that feels a little urban that we could totally make our own. It gives us that separation from work and home, and we’re able to have members of our community come and visit. We love the history of it as well. This is the warehouse where they stored the materials when they were building the Wexler houses.
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Why do you ask customers to answer a question before they can buy your products?
Alexis: We’re trying to slow people down. We have one simple prompt asking people to choose a color and explain why they feel connected to it. There are no right or wrong answers. The responses have run the gamut from insanely intelligent to deeply personal. One huge mistake that fashion brands make is trying to figure out who their customer is after they’ve purchased. We want to do it before.
What are your most popular colors?
Chris: Right now, it’s between passionate, which is the red color, and optimistic, our sort of blush color. For men, mysterious — the kind of off-white fog — is by far the most popular. It’s our most neutral color, but maybe guys just feel more mysterious.
How do you think the pandemic has affected the fashion world?
Alexis: The biggest trend we’ve experienced is that people want to buy timeless pieces from companies that actually mean something. If you look at fast fashion, I think everyone has realized during this time that it’s pointless and bad for the environment. People want something sustainable that they can keep forever and pass down.
What do you see in Superbloom’s future?
Chris: We’re probably only at 6 percent of where we want to be. We definitely want to create cool, pop-up experiences for our community. We had this idea of throwing a party for everyone who identifies as mysterious or unique. How cool would that be? Of course, we can’t do that now. Once we come out of COVID, I think people will want to feel more connected and have more meaning beyond digital-only experiences.
Going on a bike is such a beautiful way to see Palm Springs. You can really see how distinct the old neighborhoods are and more of the San Jacinto Mountains if you cycle through them instead of walk or drive.