686 is the brainchild of Michael Akira West who first stepped on a skateboard in the early eighties. As part of the early Venice Beach skate scene, Mike introduced to snowboarding in 1985. In those days the idea of skating on snow was new, but over the years Mike began to work and ride at Californian resort Big Bear.
As he finished university Mike relaised now was the time to start a brand he could call his own and on November 13, 1992, 686 was formed. Taking insirtation from punk, rap, jazz music and his collection of sneakers and vintage clothing as forms of inspiration, 686 now makes solid, technical outerwear that is used by pro riders and the cast of Deadliest Catch. If you’re looking for technical outerwear for the mountain or if you’re a deep sea crab fisherman, 686 makes gear for you.
The name 686 comes from a central date in the life of Mike’s grandma (June 6th, 1986) and in total adds up to the age of when Mike started 686 (6+8+6 duh). From the outset 686 has focused on making innovative, technical and fashionable outerwear inspired by the LA youth culture and mountain lifestyle it was founded upon.
Now over twenty years old 686 has always been independently owned and stands for unique progression. Rider ran and rider owned, 686 sponsors a solid team of up and coming riders like Forest Bailey, Cam Pierce and Phil Jacques. 686 regularly works with artists to produce some truly unique pieces and for the past years has ran a RECLAIM design project which aims to give aspiring designers the chance to make their own gear and get an internship with the company.