An American DreamAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Brothers Arin Der and Dion Der are leading PINKYS into the future while creating a lasting legacy
“As children of immigrants, we learned about hard work by example. Having watched our parents re-create their lives and thrive in a new country has been the greatest motivation,” says Arin Der, co-owner of PINKYS, an architectural elements studio founded by his father, Vic, that he and his brother Dion Der now helm. Once a jazz drummer in Isfahan, Iran—a historic city and the country’s artistic hub—Vic pursued a path for preserving his culture’s values and traditions after the revolution. “When he arrived in L.A. in the late ’70s, he leaned on the trade of ironwork, which was an inherited family skill he’d learned,” Dion recalls. “As a musician in his heart, he poured the same passion and improvisational spirit of jazz into his expressionistic ironworks.”
Founded in 1978, PINKYS was known for their exquisite ironwork pieces, but under the direction of Arin and Dion it would become one of the most sought-after manufacturers of iron doors and steel windows. This prolific vision put PINKYS on the map with many of the country’s most celebrated architects and interior design firms, all while building their empire in the heart of L.A.’s industrial capital and burgeoning arts district of Vernon. “Our high-quality iron doors and steel windows are inspired by the beauty of Southern California’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle. Each door and window crafted by PINKYS is a view. A frame. A connection to the natural world outside,” Arin boasts.
As stewards of their father’s legacy, Arin and Dion are now ushering PINKYS into a modern era with the same pioneering California spirit that resonated with their father. “The freedom and openness of the city that first attracted our father to L.A. is echoed in every door and window. It is the same lifestyle that we continue to celebrate today,” says Dion.
Manufacturing vertically has handed the brothers many advantages, including the instantaneous ability to rethink design and functionality. “As we own and operate the production process of our business, we use client feedback to constantly adjust, edit and improve,” says Arin. “Over the years, our ability to improve our doors quickly has led us to have a standout iron doors line in our industry. Lately we are seeing more demand for contemporary takes on nostalgic pieces, such as Dutch doors.”
Quite possibly one of their most clever and strategic initiatives that has also provided maximum flexibility during pandemic-driven supply-chain issues is the impressive inventory they have amassed over the past five years. “From the start, our vision for PINKYS was to modernize our industry. So, when the pandemic hit, we were already in a strong position in terms of our business model,” says Arin. “We are proud to share that we are a vertical company, not just dealers, so we have the benefit of being able to adjust quickly to changing demands.”
During the pandemic, the brothers utilized their time to plot the next phase of PINKYS by partnering with The Culture Creative to develop a brand strategy that embodied their own revolutionary, artistic ideas. “With the support of our team, which included visual branding by Brian Roettinger for Perron-Roettinger and brand strategy by Sean Yashar of The Culture Creative, we were ready to have PINKYS reflect what it is today,” says Arin. “Our new visual identity brings PINKYS closer to our company’s original intentions of creating doors and windows that celebrate the beauty of Southern California sunsets: blush, breathtaking, ethereal and expansive.”
On the horizon is a welcoming new showroom in Vernon that is slated to be designed by friend and longtime PINKYS client Jeremiah Brent. “We love Vernon,” says Dion. “It is already known as L.A.’s industrial capital just south of downtown, but it’s also fast becoming an arts district with art galleries and indie shops popping up all the time.” Additionally, they are expanding the collection by offering more playful products and collaborations that will continue to honor their family’s legacy for generations
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