About Us

“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

“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 philosophy.” -Erikka Wang

“I always knew I was going to be in fashion. Always. As a kid growing up in St. Louis, MO, I was obsessed with it. While my friends were going to Mizzou and other state colleges, I knew my path would be different and that’s why I chose Columbia College in Chicago, and I double majored in Fashion Design and Management. I finished high school in 3 years and college in 3 years. I guess you could say I was in a hurry.

Although I knew I would be in the fashion industry, I never thought it would be with AKIRA. Even after interviewing, it took me a year to decide to join the company, which I eventually did in 2009.

The wait was worth it. After joining, I quickly knew this was no ordinary company. AKIRA was different. The Culture is far different than any other company I had ever worked for. At other companies I felt stifled- whether through bureaucracy or an adherence to the status quo or lack of innovation or human connection, there was always something missing at other places.

At AKIRA it’s different- I’m able to unleash my full creative energy and create things that the world has never seen. Something different, something unique, something new. Ideas explode out of my mind constantly, and we’re only limited by our imagination. We live, eat, and breathe fashion here.

P.S., If you’re filled with that same burning passion, if you just know in the back of your mind you’re meant for something bigger in this world, if you want to achieve something amazing in Fashion, Management, Leadership, Product, or anything else, then AKIRA just might be the place for you.”

-Sarah Hughes


AKIRA first opened in 2002 as a single Women’s Clothing boutique in the trendy Bucktown/ Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago and is owned by Eric Hsueh, Erikka Wang, Sarah Hughes, and Gordon Liao. Over the years, AKIRA has expanded to over 30 stores, its E-Commerce Website, and Wholesale. AKIRA now has stores in over 12 states with more on the way and offers a full line of Women’s Clothing, Footwear, and Accessories.

Why the name AKIRA?

AKIRA is “Erikka” spelled backwards, with the letters switched around a little. Like Oprah and Harpo. We thought of the name fairly quickly, we liked it, and we haven’t looked back.


AKIRA is based in Chicago and will always represent Chicago in the fashion world. Historically, 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 design and innovation. We work hard to heighten awareness across the country and are proud to put Chicago on the Fashion Map.


It’s all about people. And when it comes down to it, business is simply “People selling things to other people”. 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 our AKIRA Clients 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.

A typical AKIRA employee has studied or is studying at a collegiate Art School or undergraduate fashion program.

To book a complimentary styling session with an AKIRA stylist, please call 773.726.3871 or email [email protected] or visit any AKIRA store and ask for a Stylist or Manager. We’re at your service.


When we first started in 2002, we had one small store with zero employees for the first six months.  21 years later, we now have a website, 30+ stores, a growing wholesale division, and over 1,000 employees.  We’re still 100% private and independent, and we feel extremely grateful, fortunate, and lucky to be able to continue on our journey.  There’s much to be said about putting one foot in front of the other each and every day.  Without a doubt, our best days lie ahead.

Why We Work

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.


The AKIRA Team