The Heritage Mash-Up feat. Alejandro Rodriguez
April 23rd, 2014
Alejandro Rodriguez is a menswear designer born and raised in Los Angeles of Mexican and Native American decent. And when you look closely at his laidback cool personal style – that is exactly what he’s putting down. That, in my opinion, is the definition of good personal style.
“I’m born and raised in Los Angeles. That’s usually the first thing I tell people when they ask me about myself. Not because I think it makes me cool, but just because it has a lot to do with my design aesthetic, style, and how I carry myself.
My dad came from Mexico when he was three and my Mom is from Fresno… The way my mom dressed influenced me a lot. She grew up farming and picking grapes. Her dad was a full-on cowboy, but of Native American descent. That may be where the cowboy boots and turquoise jewelry comes from. I grew up in the 90s hip-hop era as well so that has had some influence on me too. In a way, I’ve held onto the best of everything that I grew up with and mixed it all together.”
His contemporary collection Beautiful Fül revolves around street-inspired takes on classic menswear. Alejandro’s inspirations often come back to the rebellious subcultures of the past, all interpreted through the lens of his personal heritage. And, of course, all made in Los Angeles.
Here Alejandro gives us a taste of his day-to-day personal style; a thoughtful blend of his past, present, and maybe a little hint to his future.
1. Classics with Character
“I’ve always been into fashion and style… I remember I always thought my mom was super cool when she would throw on her cowboy boots and Levis that she had since high-school.
My teens to early twenties were experimental. Growing up around different cultures in LA gave me the ability to pick and choose what I liked and didn’t like. I finally got a hold on my personal style in my mid twenties, and it’s been evolving since.
I don’t think you have to overdo it… Some of the most stylish and iconic men have dressed very simply.”
“The denim shirt is one of my favorite items of clothing that I own. I’ve had it for about 6 years and it’s completely shredded. I have safety pins holding pieces of it together! There’s something about the color that I love so much…I just can’t get rid of it.”
What I love about Alejandro’s design aesthetic is the focus on wearable classics with street edge. This side-vented mac is a perfect example. I also love his linen blend varsity, this badass bowling shirt, and this crazy shrunken leather trimmed moto jacket.
The brand has been growing quickly thanks in part to some stylish celebrity clients and ambassadors like Usher, Cash Warren, and Jeremy Piven.
2. My Line, My Lineage
“The felt hat is another staple of my style. I bought my first fedora in Mexico city in 2006 and I thought I was super cool. I got it from an old hat-maker that had been there since the 40s.
After that I met fellow LA designer and hat maker Gunner Foxx and I’ve been wearing his hats even since.”
“The leather vest also came from Mexico. I found it in 2008 at a swap-meet in Guadalajara. It cost me around 25 bucks. I used to be scared to wear it; I would put it on and then take it off right before I left the house. I finally got comfortable enough to wear it out and now it starts so many conversations.”
Alejandro’s footwear is very LA throughout this article: first Chuck Ts, then beat-up riding boots, then snakeskin cowboy boots.
3. Snakes on Snakes
It’s always the hustlers who start their own company, because running your own brand is a daily hustle. Similarly to myself (I started by hawking sneakers on eBay) Alejandro also got an early start in the sneaker arena.
“Before I started Beautiful Fül I was running a sneaker company. I was 16 and doing everything I could to sell my sneakers to top hip hop artists. Busta Rhymes, Nelly, Damon Dash, Usher, and Method Man were a few of my clients. As I started getting older I was more and more into fashion beyond sneakers, so I decided to try my hand at menswear. That was 3 years ago and to think it all started in a small garage in LA still amazes me.”
“The slightly longer t-shirts are my go-to. I wear them almost every day either by themselves or under other clothing items. I’m wearing a version in each of the three looks here.”
“I bought these vintage snakeskin cowboy boots for 5 dollars, and I’ve worn them so much that my socks show through in places and the snakeskin completely flaps around when I walk. I’m on the hunt for another pair because I feel these are going to just crumble pretty soon. They’re not easy to find…especially with python being illegal in California.”
Thanks for reading and special thanks to Alejandro for participating!
Yours in style,
Articles of Style
Photography by Alex Crawford.