A millennial car customizer who counts Lebron James and Kendall Jenner among his clients explains why he’s expanding his business with a luxury shoe line



a person standing on top of a grass covered field: Vik Tchalikian. Vik Tchalikian


© Vik Tchalikian
Vik Tchalikian. Vik Tchalikian

  • Car customizer Vik Tchalikian has a client list that includes Lebron James, Kendall Jenner, and even singer Billie Eilish.
  • In early July, Tchalikian expanded his car business, RDB LA, into the luxury fashion sector by launching a shoe line: RDB Shoes.
  • In an interview with Business Insider, Tchalikian talks about the transition from cars to luxury fashion, and what he’s learned about making high-end shoes.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

To car customizer Vik Tchalikian, it doesn’t matter if you drive a Mercedes Benz G-Wagon or a Honda Accord — if you want a snowplow attached to the front of your car, he’ll do it. 

“Logan Paul had us put a snowplow on the front of his big G-Wagon Mercedes Benz,” Tchalikian told Business Insider. “That job cost almost 30,000.”

Apparently, according to Tchalikian, the snowplow was used just once for

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‘A Woman Waiting to Get On Told Me That My Shoe Was Untied’

Dear Diary:

I was on the M104 going south on Broadway. As I got off at my stop, a woman waiting to get on told me that my shoe was untied.

I thanked her and said that I would tie it when I got onto the sidewalk.

Before I had a chance, the driver got up from his seat, climbed down the steps, knelt on the pavement and tied the lace for me.

— Ardell Borodach


Dear Diary:

It was my first Halloween in my first Manhattan apartment.

Having grown up on Long Island, I assumed that trick-or-treating was strictly a suburban phenomenon so I had not kept track of the date.

But shortly after I returned home from work on Oct. 31, my bell rang. When I opened the door, I was surprised to find a small boy wearing a costume and holding a shopping

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Van Rysel RR900 Road Shoe review


Van Rysel RR900 Road Shoe
Van rysel

br_shoes
BR1694
f/7/5/8/f758448f7482d843c1d916460728e853a4be6559_Van_Rysel_RR900_01.jpg
592g


Our review

All-carbon sole and twin ATOP dials are top features at this price


Pros:
Great-looking full-carbon sole and fine adjustability


Cons:
A few grams of excess weight and no toe vents in the uppers

Skip to view product specifications

The top shoe in Decathlon’s road shoe range, the Van Rysel RR900, is a feature-filled, bargain-priced offering, as we’ve come to expect from the giant French superstore.

The RR900 model boasts a full-carbon sole for starters – no nylon or fibreglass here – and with extra thickness in the centre these proved impressively stiff.

The Van Rysel also has a reinforced heel cup and raised rubber heel sections to make walking easier, though the bumper at the front is minimalist compared to similar shoes such as Boardman’s Carbon road shoes. Unusually, the markings to position the cleats are engraved

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Mavic Cosmic Boa Road Shoe review


Mavic Cosmic Boa Road Shoe
Mavic

br_shoes
BR1696
2/d/d/9/2dd9b6b10404bd59f27ec01a91100b36df7ce589_Mavic_Cosmic_Boa_01.jpg
514g


Our review

Trickle-down technology has resulted in a stiff, stylish, lightweight shoe


Pros:
Great looks and comfort balanced by excellent performance


Cons:
Mavic’s sizing is close-fitting so try before buying

Skip to view product specifications

Mavic’s new Cosmic Boas are a neat looking pair of performance road shoes, with super-clean lines. As well as the black pair pictured here, the white versions look a million dollars. Red/orange and a dark blue ‘total eclipse’ are also available.

Their elegant looks are partly down to their single Boa design with no secondary dial, strap or buckle – despite this I had no trouble achieving a snug and secure fit. Mavic also offers a less expensive Velcro-only Cosmic and pricier pro-level Cosmic Ultimate SL.

The nylon and fibreglass Energy Comp sole measures 50 on Mavic’s ‘index of energy transfer’ that maxes out at

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Pearl Izumi Tour Road Shoe review


Pearl Izumi Tour Road Shoe
Pearl izumi

br_shoes
BR1695
8/b/a/b/8bab9237044b74ecffee90d6429c60c077898b65_Pearl_Izumi_Tour_01.jpg
504g


Our review

Retro-looking, lightweight and comfortable sportive and training shoes


Pros:
Low weight, good stiffness, comfort and venting


Cons:
White may not stay white for long, and keep those laces safely tucked in

Skip to view product specifications

Pearl Izumi’s Tour Road Shoe are compatible with two-bolt as well as three-bolt cleats – as are Bontrager’s Circuits and Northwave’s Core Plus – but unlike many other road cycling shoes they come with laces

Why laces? Well, these may have been largely superseded by Velcro or Boa and ATOP dials, or a mix of the above, but laces offer all the adjustability you need to get a tight, secure fit and they help to keep weight down too.

The Tours come with a spare set of black laces and there’s an elasticated tab on the tongue to tuck them into.

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Northwave Core Plus Road Shoe review


Northwave Core Plus Road Shoe
Northwave

br_shoes
BR1697
7/4/7/5/74750e1666d46068788b35c9dd10f17120923037_Northwave_Core_Plus_01.jpg
548g


Our review

Good-quality all-round shoes that are also compatible with SPD cleats


Pros:
Good venting and comfort; two- and three-point fixings


Cons:
The SWL2 dial isn’t as elegant as Boa or ATOP systems

Skip to view product specifications

Northwave’s Core Plus Road Shoe is compatible with the two-point SPD cleat fixing as well as the ubiquitous three-point, making these handy for a wide range of both leisure and performance riding.

As with many of the shoes around this price, the sole has a carbon fibre-reinforced fibreglass sole plus it is one of the most vented soles around, with three front vents, one central vent and one at the rear.

The Core Plus features a single-piece upper with only the heel section separate. This means there’s very little that can cause rubbing.

The upper has neatly perforated vents on both sides

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