Since Michael Akira West first stepped on a skateboard in the early eighties, he always had ideas. Mike was engulfed in the progressive street skateboarding scene in Hermosa and Venice Beach, until 1985, when a friend introduced him to snowboarding. The concept of actually skating on the snow was something entirely new. Throughout the following years, Mike worked and rode at the local mountain in Big Bear; using punk, rap and jazz music as well as his collection of sneakers and vintage clothing as forms of inspiration. In addition to finishing business school at the University of Southern California, Mike realized that if he was going to do something on his own, it should start when he had nothing to lose. And that's exactly how things got started.
On November 13, 1992, the 686 clothing company was formed. The 686 name comes from a crucial date in the life of Mike's grandmother (June 6th, 1986) and adds up to his age when he started the company. Since the beginning, 686 has been all about providing the riding community innovative and fashionable outerwear and technical clothing inspired directly from the same Los Angeles urban and artistic principals it was founded upon. The company's "more than you expected" philosophy of providing progressive and fashion forward designs is well known.
Products like the trademarked SMARTY® line of removable 3-in-1 liners, the trademarked TIMES® line of limited edition co-branded products, the trademarked ACC® line of collaborative artist projects, the trademarked PLEXUS® line of minimalist shell technology, the patented Toolbelt line of functional belts, and technical fabric and waterproof innovations all make up the 686 name. Being independently rider-owned and operated as well as an obsession to make products progressively unique is what 686 is all about.