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Posted on June 14 2015


By Courtney Moody

What does apparel in a mobile bring you? Fashion on the go!

After perfecting his talents designing sunglasses and swimwear, Rhode Island-based designer Artiss Akarra and his brand Eight Optics and Swim are now revolutionizing the entire consumer experience.

Artiss Akarra was born and raised in South Florida, and received a full scholarship to Rhode Island School of Design. Initially planning to specialize in painting and graphic design, a 3D design course sparked his interest in industrial design and manufacturing. This eventually evolved into a specialized interest in apparel and accessory design. 

While working as a freelance designer for corporations, he took the leap at the age of 24 to launch Eight Optics and Swim. Its purpose is to create luxury items that are accessible, easily incorporated into everyday life, and that allow women to embrace and accentuate their bodies while expressing themselves through fashion. The brand builds its collections based on eight characteristics of “the every-woman”: Angelic, Legendary, Lover, Fighter, Rebel, Thinker, Philosopher, and Pioneer. 

Artiss Akarra’s current focus of the brand is on eyewear and swimwear, with plans to branch into other lifestyle categories in the future. Their mobile showroom is a truck that has been kitted out with dressing rooms and storage racks. Akarra aims to create a new intimacy in the shopping experience by providing the consumer with a “trunk show vibe,” encouraging them to browse an entire collection in all sizes and colors. Shoppers will be able to try on and purchase items right from the truck.  Sold-out items can be ordered at an  on-board kiosk for next-day delivery.

Eight Optics and Swim Mobile Showroom will take part in the Rhode Island Creative Magazine’s “Annual Makers Event” on June 26th. Artiss will be one of the three inspiring speakers that evening. As a new Maker to RI, he will share his entrepreneurial story and allow attendees the opportunity to explore the mobile showroom. 

Eight Optics and Swim will also be hitting the road, making the rounds Monday through Thursday to provide storeowners with the opportunity to browse the collection for retail in their own stores. 

On Fridays, Akarra is expecting to park the truck in downtown Providence, and on Saturdays and Sundays, he plans to anchor it by the beaches. In addition to this schedule, the truck will also be available to attend private functions, or public events such as fund-raisers or fairs.

Catch the truck gracing the streets of Providence and RI beaches this summer.! 


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