AKIRA first opened in 2002 as one Women's boutique in the trendy Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago and is owned by Eric Hsueh, Erikka Wang, Sarah Hughes, and Gordon Liao. AKIRA offers a full-line of Women's clothing, footwear, and accessories, carrying brands such as adidas, Champion, I.AM.GIA and even our own private labels. Over the years, AKIRA has expanded to 32 stores (with more stores on the way!), and a website serving customers around the world.
Known for statement-making, uber-trendy pieces and expert service, AKIRA is the shopping destination for anyone who loves to turn heads at the party.
AKIRA is "Erikka" spelled backwards, with the letters switched around a little. Like Oprah and Harpo. The name was thought of within maybe ten minutes. Even with three months of afterthought, trying to think of something better, we ultimately ended up sticking with AKIRA.
It's all about people. And when it comes down to it, business is simply “People selling things to other people”. So, we want to make sure that our people are the right ones. And so far, they are. With a very rigorous selection process, AKIRA is fanatical about ensuring that customers are styled by experts who eat, sleep, and breathe fashion. We live to make AKIRA customers look good and feel good. Let us do the heavy lifting while you reap the rewards.
If you're out in an AKIRA outfit, and you're not getting compliments on the way you look, then we're not doing our job.
Typical AKIRA employees are magnetic, outgoing, very creative, and have off the charts personalities. We're never afraid to be ourselves, and AKIRA encourages us to do so every chance they get. We are comfortable in our own skin and don't take ourselves too seriously. After all, fashion is fun and we're okay with being a little different! Weird, even.
AKIRA will always represent Chi-town (ahem, Chicago) in the fashion world. Up until now, fashion in America has primarily focused on the East and West Coast. AKIRA is determined to change this mindset with original thinking and an emphasis on strong designers and curated styles. We are working hard to heighten awareness across the country and put Chicago on the Fashion Map.
True Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. We love the passion and creativity that AKIRA brings out in all of us, and we couldn't be having more fun!
Absolutely delight the few people that walk into your store or website. Hope that they come back and bring their friends. That's been our recipe from
Day 1 (July 7, 2002), and over the years it has resulted in millions of satisfied customers. The greatest feeling in the world is having a customer find
something they like and make a purchase. It's an amazing feeling and all I ever wanted to do was make my customers and employees as happy as possible.
- Eric Hsueh, owner.
I was 24 years old when we first started AKIRA, and I just had this energy. I thought, if I'm not going to do this now, then when am I going to do it? I didn't want to live life with regrets. I didn't want to look back when I'm 65 and regret never trying.
I see people all the time facing uncertainty. I say- Just go for it. What do you have to lose? If you agonize and "play it safe" you'll end up doing nothing.
Don't over-think or over-plan. If you fail, you fail. Just get up and keep going. It's ok to dream and think big. There's no stopping point- that's my
- Erikka Wang, owner.
At AKIRA, it's my job to cut through the red tape. There are tons of growth opportunities, the talent is off the charts, and it's all about unleashing and maximizing the human spirit.
If you're filled with passion and have a strong desire to get things done, if you want to achieve something amazing in Fashion, Leadership, Management, Product,
Sales, or anything else, then AKIRA just might be the place for you.
- Sarah Hughes, owner.
When we first started in 2002, we had one small store and zero employees for the first six months. Now, we have a growing E-Commerce website, 32 stores, and over 500 employees. We all feel extremely fortunate and grateful, and there's much to be said about just putting one foot in front of the other every day. Without a doubt, our best days lie ahead.