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Entrepreneurial Spirit Leads to the Perfect Pair of Shorts During Unprecedented Times

In 2020, Garrett James was knee-deep in his day-to-day routine, running the Ironmen Basketball and managing commercial real estate across southern and central California. Just like most people, he was living his best life when the pandemic hit and screeched the brakes on everything. He had to face the unknown with no playbook on how to maneuver the unprecedented world of COVID. But James didn’t sit still as a spectator. He pivoted when an “aha” moment spurred him to create his company, Ryoko Rain, and set out to make the perfect pair of shorts.


James had never worked in the fashion industry before but held a lifetime of experience on a basketball court wearing an assortment of brand-name shorts. However, he loved fashion and clothing, and people were still buying athletic apparel during the COVID shutdown, so he took a leap into the garment industry with Ryoko Rain. His daughters’ middle names—Ryoko and Rain—served as James’s springboard of inspiration and motivation. James placed two R’s back-to-back representing each daughter, and the company logo emerged—a butterfly representing deep, personal symbolism for James and his family. With a business plan in place, the idea transformed into reality, launching an apparel movement that embodied bold, unapologetic self-expression with gentle assertion.

In 2021, Brett Hirata joined James as a partner, bringing with him a depth of knowledge in the clothing space. Hirata offered James a crucial assist by connecting Ryoko Rain with providers in the trade, from suppliers of high-quality materials to distribution channel options.

Ryoko Rain stands proud in an elite group of sports apparel brands that achieved great things in a short amount of time during unprecedented circumstances. Its motto for the product to speak for itself became more like a shout. Ryoko Rain roared onto the scene and turned heads, including those of athletes at all levels. Professional soccer defender for the Orlando Pride Toni Deion Presley, NBA Brooklyn Nets forward Royce O’Neale, and WNBA’s Kelsey Plum, point guard for the Las Vegas Aces, have all donned the stylish shorts and garnered social media attention. Additionally, Ryoko Rain has dressed the likes of Jayson Tatum, Deebo Samuel, Jake Paul, and Jarred Mccain. Even the US Women’s Soccer team supports the small Orange County business that makes a perfect pair of shorts here in the States.


James and Hirata are building a solid and loyal community around fashionable fashions beyond athletes. With features like high-quality 100% polyester mesh, deep pockets, elongated draw cords, and the ideal above-the-knee length, both men and women find the shorts both functional and stylish. With rich colors ranging from classic black to gorgeous purple and gold paisley, there’s a look for everyone.

Ryoko Rain is focused on its steady, solid growth while investing its expertise in expanding. It currently offers hoodies—their horror film design hoodie is hugely popular—and socks, with sights set on high-style work jackets next in the lineup. The goal to develop a luxury fashion brand that features sweat outfits, cotton gear, and even shoes keeps the two entrepreneurs with their eyes solely fixed on the ball. They don’t want to be just another athletic apparel brand.

Ryoko Rain’s approach to producing fresh, fun designs perfect for any occasion and desire to appeal to a broad audience has worked. The company enjoys sharing its designs with over 75.2 thousand Instagram followers, and its SMS Club gives members exclusive insider info and potential early access to new merch drop dates.

Many silver linings arose from the darkness of the pandemic, including “aha” moments morphing into remarkable stories of entrepreneurial spirit. Ryoko Rain is the result of a clarifying moment in Garrett James’s life to be on the offense during the unknown. His daughters offered their dad a spark of light and inspiration to take action and create the perfect pair of shorts for all walks of life.


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