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 a local mountain in Big Bear; using punk, rap, jazz music and his collection of sneakers and vintage clothing as forms of inspiration. In addition to finishing school at the University of Southern California, Mike realized that if he was going to do something on his own, it should begin when he had nothing to lose. And that's exactly how things got started.

On November 13, 1992, the 686 technical apparel 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 the age of when he started the company (6+8+6). Since the beginning, 686 has been about providing innovative,  fashionable outerwear and technical apparel inspired from the same Los Angeles street culture and mountain lifestyle it was founded upon.

Products like the trademarked Smarty® line of removable liners, the trademarked Times® line of limited edition co-branded products, the trademarked Plexus® line of minimalist shell technology, the patented Toolbelt® line of functional belts, technical fabrications, exclusive Infidry® waterproof innovations and support of the DIY ethos all make up the 686 name.

Being INDEPENDENTLY rider owned and operated and an obsession to make products progressively unique is what 686 is all about. Enjoy.

Love and Peace

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