How long has SLKRS been around for?
We started three years ago with three members, but it wasn’t until last year when we went to a trade show in LA with my boy Edgar Fresco that everything changed. Three years ago it was just a fun hobby but within the last year I took it seriously and we grew to 10 official members.
Who came up with SLKRS name and What’s the Inspiration behind it?
I was working with another brand and people constantly told me that I should branch off on my own. One day I was on the phone with Sauce (SLKRS co-founder) brainstorming potential brand names, and I said slackers jokingly because people would always say I was a slacker. I would sit on designs until I felt the time was right to put them out. I inconsistently worked on them – I’ll start one, get another idea and start working on a new concept, then weeks later go back and finish the first design. People often think slackers avoid work. To us, SLKRS means “creating on your own time.” Our art has no deadline.
How long does it take to create a collection?
It depends, I’ve had a collection that I put together in a week, but my most recent “Los SLKRS” collection took five months to complete. This was the collections that meant the most to me; I wanted to make clothes I could relate to. I feel like there aren’t many Latino inspired clothing brands so I added “Los” in front of SLKRS to give it more of a latino vibe. This collection reflects why I wanted to start making clothes.
How far in advance do you plan a collection?
I’ll be out and get inspired by something then build from there. I write down all the ideas, and list all the things I want to get done, then start checking off each item as we put the collection together. Once most of the list is complete I start promoting. I don’t release clothes for the season, I drop the clothes when I’m done creating, so we really don’t have a structure or deadline for when pieces are released.
What’s the biggest challenge of running a brand?
Funding, collections cost thousands of dollars for quality items, and I try to avoid Gilden and use good quality fabrics. I needed to find a way to fund my collections so I started throwing parties; our first successful event was a yacht party we threw three years ago, and this last summer was the third annual event. We also had a 6 month run of having “Wings with Los SLKRS” each week for extra income for the brand. We would do giveaways to encourage people to come and eat 35 cent wings at Vintage Lounge. We also saw it as a chance to network with our customers.
Are you guys still looking to get a shop soon?
My goal is to have a workshop where creatives have a place to vibe – kind of like a studio. Inspiring other people has always been big for us as we often get inspired by others. I would use this place to build relationships like I did with VicVeggies (SLKRS member), who was a crucial part of the creative process for the Los SLKRS Collection. Since then, he has been one of my go-to guys whenever I need creative input. I would also like to mentor young and upcoming brands like I’ve done with Astro (SLKRS member), a creative from my neighborhood. I try and help him develop his brand, but more importantly, avoid mistakes that I’ve made in the process.
What’s next for SLKRS?
I’m partnering with my friend Aldrin, owner of Kasa Silkscreening Inc., and we’re working on a print workshop, kind of like a paint and sip but with screen printing. We plan on hosting these pop-ups all around the city soon. I also started working on a collection that I hope to release in the beginning of the year with a video lookbook that will be directed by Miguel Cisneros (Unsung Media). This is the first collection where ill be expressing myself in regards to how I’ve been feeling about recent trends. I’m tired of clothes looking the same, and I felt like I was stuck in that space where I wasn’t thinking outside the box. I feel like a lot of people don’t understand what it’s like to follow your dreams, and this collection reflects how I’m doing it with a latino twist.