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Rising Stars: Meet Sam Ojile of St. Louis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sam Ojile.

Hi Sam, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My journey into clothing started when I was young. I grew up the middle child of 5 with many boy cousins. This being the case, I always receive hand-me-downs regardless if they fit me. My mother would pin, hem, tuck, whatever she had to to make it ‘fit.’ This is something I would come to appreciate later in life greatly. She would take me to the mall once or twice a year to shop at the Gap. During those 30 minutes in the store, I enjoyed that time. Throughout my middle school days, I was always concerned with my outward appearance. That may have been the adolescence more than anything, though. As a middle child, I was extremely observant, which made me focus on how I and others presented themselves to the world. Thus, began my journey into the clothing world.

During college, I worked for the Gap, J.Crew, and Sperry all at the same time while saving to study in Europe. This brought me to Webster University Vienna, which would drastically shape my style over the years. I spent 2 years in Europe, traveling, studying, and living in a completely unknown environment. After graduating, I moved to Chicago to work as a Visual Manager at Macy’s. I was part of an executive development program that few people would have the opportunity to experience. Within the first two weeks, my mentor left, and I was stuck in a position I had no business in leading just yet. Over the next year, I realized how much I hated having a corporation tell me what to do. The chain of command and lack of individuality bothered me until I finally quit. I then moved into a newer, smaller company called Bonobos. I quickly became the number one salesman in the region and loved my time there. However, the company was soon purchased by Wal-Mart and became a corporate environment that I had fled from before. Naturally, I decided to quit and sell my things to travel and attempt to move back to Europe. I emailed companies I had followed, hoping my resume would pick some interest.

After about 3 months of traveling Europe, I received an offer from a Danish startup, Son of a Tailor. I accepted without hesitation, lived in an Airbnb shared with 8 other people for the first few months, and finally moved into an apartment. I lived out of my travel bag: two pairs of jeans, Old Skool Vans, and a bunch of t-shirts. This experience greatly affected me as I realized just how little I needed. I loved my job at Son of a Tailor and learned an incredible amount. I became close with the Product Developer as we were the first two in the office by 7 AM. After many firings, reorganizing, etc. I decided my time at Son of a Tailor had ended. I left that job and traveled for the summer.

After returning to St. Louis in August 2019, I was at a loss at what I wanted to do. I received a job at Ralph Lauren as a manager in Washington DC and moved there for a short 4 months before Covid shut everything down. After sitting at home for a few months, I decided now was my time to start my own thing. It took a lot of self-reflection to decide what I wanted to do, but I landed on knitwear, trousers, and everything made in the USA. I was tired of cheap, over-priced, unwearable items. The Danish influence finally came to fruition in my designs as everything is simple but easy to wear. All are made with natural fibers in regular fits and neutral colors. That said, my Southern Italian roots will begin to show when my trousers become available in the fall.

The fashion industry has taken me around the world, and I ended up back in St. Louis, making my knitwear in a world-renowned 3D knitwear facility in St. Louis. Did I anticipate I would find myself back in St. Louis? Maybe. Did I think I would be able to produce my clothing line in St. Louis? Never. I am so glad I have found awesome companies to work with in the US, and I can’t wait to continue developing more products.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a smooth road?
No. It never is. My first dive into product development led me to a terrible company in New York that did not live up to its contractual obligations, and I lost quite a bit of my money to them. As with all setbacks, they are lessons. I decided to only work with a company I could visit and have direct contact with. Not to mention the psychological toll it takes venturing out on your own to see if you have what it takes.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
As the founder and creative director. I was inspired by the fashion and culture of the many cities he traveled to and lived in worldwide. I found that the craftsmanship and ornateness represented in their architecture and design showed themselves in their daily lives. This inspiration led me to replicate the craftsmanship and beauty of Rudimentary. Rudimentary was founded to provide simple, quality items that do not swing with the trends. I strive to create garments you can wear for a long time made with natural fibers.

Additionally, I focus on making everything in the United States with local manufacturers and artisans, and I do not stray from these principles. Everything – the cotton on the labels – is made in the US. I want to offer a distinguished laid-back appearance that will provide the perfect aesthetic for any occasion. My mission is to show that purchasing with a purpose leaves you with a long-lasting, fashionable wardrobe that will make dressing well a simple task.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
I am an avid reader of history and research and have found spiritual awakening through learning more and more.


  • Short Sleeve Premium Knitted Tee is $130
  • Long Sleeve Premium Knitted Tee is $160

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