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. 

  • don

    I cant imagine this guy looking at these pictures 5 years from now and feeling good about them….kinda douchy to me.

  • Scott

    Dan, this is my first time posting….Long time reader of the site, and also from your neck of the woods. I believe the site, the content/copy and aesthetic are spot on. The approach is not only refreshing, but genuine, and relatable. Keep grindin Dan….when the work becomes stagnant people wont have anything to talk about. “Trying to please everybody is impossible. If you did that, you’d end up in the middle with nobody liking you.” – John Lennon.
    Scott M

  • Miguel

    Even though is not my style I can appreciate the site point of view, bringing different articles with different people and their style.

  • John B

    Not a fan of snakeskin, but I must admit the jackets he designs are really good, especially the biker ones.

    Since a lot of people are arguing about the new features, I’d like to add my two cents. In the past, most of the posts featuring Dan were either how to get the most out of a garment or how to wear a specific type of garments (using recent posts as examples, “1piece/3ways-spring white suit, or the post with the suede jackets). Of course, there are also guides, like the post with the 25 essentials, etc. Most of these posts where about things most guys would have or at least appreciate. The “problem” with many of the features is their completely different aesthetic. I believe most guys here prefer tailored clothes (which also explains why many liked Angel’s and Khaled’s feature), so the streetwear posts can be strange. (By the way, that’s my point of view, I may be completely wrong).
    Also, sometimes it’s almost impossible to understand a guy’s personal style from just three looks.

  • AFH

    That first look is money i.e, ‘have you got any spare change?’.

    But joshing aside, do these clothes flatter him particularly?

  • ERIC


    • AFH

      Nothing sexier than Dan in a suit right? infact, I got a semi just writing that. Damn.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Haha c’mon man.

    • Dan Trepanier

      Really? Just me in suits, is that what the menswear community is lacking?

      We have some of that coming up, but we have to broaden our conversations a little, I think.

      • Alex Crawford


        • Dan Trepanier


      • Daniel

        Pretty sure Eric is being sarcastic

  • Jeanscuffed

    Grungy/edgy posts like these are my favorite, especially ones that make me think outside the box. Like the snakeskin boots for instance, I wouldn’t wear them but they look awesome the way he wears his and he has been wearin them a while. He truely conveys that clothes are meant to be lived in all while maintaining a sense of self and confidence. Good luck to him and his brand. Good post.

    • TT

      I don’t mean to be disagreeable, but there’s nothing “edgy” about high-fashion $1500 leather jackets. Dan and Co. have done some great “edgy”, that dude in L.A. with the beat-up leather jacket springs to mind, but this isn’t one of them.

      • Jeanscuffed

        I was referring to his tattered garments such as the denim shirt and “hole-ly” snakeskin boots. Might I confidently add that “edgy” isn’t about price points, it’s about a look and exuding therefore vibe. The same style jacket (worth $1500 or $150) can still exude the same edginess if paired correctly to achieve an edgy look. Also, like I said “Grungy/edgy posts LIKE THESE” meaning I’m also including the posts that Dan and the team have done as well as the editorials like Moar Cohen, Nick Grant, or the guy with the lightbulb on the back of his leather jacket (I forgot his name).

        • TT

          Good point, good point. BUT, don’t you think things get a little discombobulated then? What always springs to mind for me is when Calvin Klein, et al started doing “grunge” clothes post-Nirvana. Like, don’t you find it problematic when people who are just costume-ing up in “edgy” clothes when they’re really I-Bankers, etc. etc.

          • TT

            #edit, and read above what Dan says about enjoying a homeless persons denim. SMDH.

            • Dan Trepanier


      • Dan Trepanier

        Does edgy mean broke now? In my opinion the “edgiest” clothes come from high-end designers, like Rick Owens for example, who are much more influential than we give them credit for – and their clothes certainly aren’t cheap.

        It’s funny how sensitive our readers have become to budgeting… As we’ve writing a hundred times, “It’s not about what you’re wearing, but about how you’re wearing it”. You can wear the same look, just buy it at a vintage store (or on eBay) and have it tailored…the average person won’t tell the difference anyway.

        Don’t hate the player, hate the game, player.

        • TT

          Dan Trepanier Can’t I hate both!? ;)

          “In my opinion the “edgiest” clothes come from high-end designers…” Spoken like a true ivy-league BIG LEAGUER. No, the “edgiest” clothes came from punks, rockers, and hip-hop luminaries and then were appropriated by “high-end designers” I think is what you mean to say.

          • khordkutta


          • Dan Trepanier

            I see what you’re saying. But what brands would you say your influential punks, rockers and hip-hop artists are wearing?

            • Changingman

              The Met had an exhibit last summer about how punk influenced the runway and high fashion. But yeah, in my teens in early 90’s i was into the whole UK punk and skinhead scene. Doc Martens, Fred Perry, Ben Sherman were brands that were worn only by the early Mods and then the skinheads. The only store in NY at the time that I knew of that sold those brands was 99x on E6th st. Im really surprised how they have become part of mainstream fashion now.
              Whether its grunge, hip hop, punk,its definetly these music cultures that have a lot of influence on mainstream fashion.

        • WhenToWear

          1960 Kenneth Cole and Helmut Lang when Helmut was there produced some of the edgiest clothes too.

    • Dan Trepanier

      Agreed. Thanks my man!

  • d4nimal

    I still love most of the editorials here, but this is my least favorite since Tyga.

    • Dan Trepanier

      Thx for sharing.

  • khordkutta

    Dig dudes style, that Black vest is way too funky, I was worried for a minute, @ first glance i thought this was a feature on French Montana…LOL.

    • Jeanscuffed

      I thought it was Jonah Hill lol, im kidding…I actually dig the vest

    • Dan Trepanier

      Hah French and I have a mutual friend (who’s coming up in the editorial calendar) and we’ve discussed a possible feature… Although based on the reaction to TYGA…I don’t think our audience appreciates the rapstar lifestyle… We’ll get it poppin’ nonetheless.

      • Kyle Leon Norville

        Which raises the question…

        Where is a Mos Def/Yasiin Bey feature?

        • Alex Crawford

          Yasiin Bey feature is definitely on my bucket list.

        • Paul Kim

          Damn people, let Dan and team do their thing! I personally would not wear what this man is wearing, but I appreciate the different perspectives that this blog brings to the table. Cheers!

          • khordkutta


  • JoeFromTexas

    Snakeskin is a great looking leather on boots, but I avoid it at all costs because it’s so flimsy and falls apart pretty quick (it doesn’t even last long on an actual snake). That said, it actually looks pretty good in look 3. Felicidades Alejandro on the success. Also, keep your eyes open for some ring tail lizard skin boots, looks better than snake and is a little bit more durable (the scales aren’t flakey).

    • Dan Trepanier

      JoeFromTexas always brings the real Texas point of view! I love it. Thanks Joe.

  • David

    With so many people in menswear dressing very similarly (slim suits, the “Saint Laurent” look and street wear) it’s refreshing to see people who do their own thing when it comes to dressing. Props to Dan and crew for opening my eyes to the many many different facets that compose menswear.

    • Dan Trepanier

      THANK YOU. David gets it.

  • Gavin

    I love the cowboy boots!

    • Dan Trepanier

      Me too. I’m now actually looking for a pair – at flea markets mostly.

  • Shawn

    Gotta admit, I sometimes find it hard to define the line between ‘character and patina’ and ‘throw it away and buy something new’. I’m not saying his clothes are garbage per se, but where do you cross the line between ‘I like wearing my clothes and age them’ and just wearing ripped and teared clothes like a homeless person would do? I know I’ll probably get flamed for my comment (putting on flame suit as we speak) because this blog represents various different kind of styles, including Street Wear and Denim and Urban Wear etc., and I respect that, but I (personally) think some people just go way too hard in their quest for ‘uniqueness’ and ‘personal style’. No offense to this guy, he’s clearly made some good choices in his life to be where he is, though, but there are quite a few features in the last couple of months that got me wondering.

    Disclaimer: I know this blog serves a large base of users from different background and styles, and it has to evolve and not stick to the suit/shirt/tie game, but I guess it’s still my opinion! I’ll still wait impatiently for your next feature!

    • Dan Trepanier

      Re: character vs garbage. I don’t think there is a line to be drawn. I sometimes see real homeless people in tattered up clothing, and say to myself – damn those ripped stained jeans are SICK! If only I could dry clean them and tailor them, nobody would be rocking that sh-t (literally, lol).

      Case and point, Alex bought a felt hat off a homeless man in San Francisco, and now he wears it all the time. Even I borrow it from time to time.

      That said, we have some GREAT tailored content coming up. It’s all about balance and perspective.

      • TT

        Who would’ve thought Zoolander would’ve been so prescient.

        • Dan Trepanier

          Haha. Did you not think that was a reference (and a cheap shot) to what’s currently happening in the mens fashion/style industry?

      • Alex Crawford

        Just for the record, I didn’t see a homeless man wearing a hat and just throw money at him until he gave it to me. He was selling the hat along with some sunglasses and jewelry. It was a legit transaction!

        • Dan Trepanier

          #Legit. Like a homeless man’s vintage shop.

        • Changingman

          Oh, since I first heard about that, I thought you literally offered a homeless guy money for his hat. And I also wondered how you cleaned it after. So that clears that up lol.

        • Unseen Flirtations

          Yeah yeah… I can’t believe you stole a homeless man’s only hat… on his birthday… and filmed it…

    • Gazman

      There’s no way that shirt was ripped as a matter of course unless he wore it playing football or has a demented washing machine. Looks like it was done deliberately and he now passes it off as being naturally worn.

  • TT

    So, just to clarify because I’m getting progressively more confused: is this blog, as distinct from what it was several years ago, now just a cross-marketing opportunity for athletes, designers and “designers” to promote their brand and for you to promote yours?

    I feel like this blog used to be about “us” and now it’s basically about “you.” Or should I say, “You™”.

    • cam

      Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning – Benjamin Franklin

      • TT

        Cool idiom, thanks. “A quotation is not a point.” —Jacques Lacan

        • Dan Trepanier

          Why’s that?

      • Dan Trepanier

        Nailed It. “First they call you stupid, then they call you crazy, then they call you genius.”

    • AdamE

      I disagree, There has certainly been an evolution, and we’re seeing more features from people with very different looks and ideas, and yes some of them are designers that are both showcasing their personal style and promoting their stuff a bit, but I don’t see that as a bad thing.
      I’ve always read this blog to see what’s out there, what other people are wearing (both in terms of brands and in terms of styling), and looking for inspiration that I can incorporate into my own style. I personally wouldn’t wear most of what’s in this one (although i love the idea of integrating one’s cultural history into one’s wardrobe), but that doesn’t bother me, I still enjoy seeing these pieces.

      • TT

        I appreciate what you’re saying, definitely. You can’t really “disagree” because your stating because the opposite opinion of mine. I never really came to this blog to culture-jam. I just liked the intelligent discussion of men’s clothing. But like I said, I think you bring up the latter point, that it has become more about “what’s out there,” which, frankly, I couldn’t be less interested in. Oh, well.

        • Dan Trepanier

          Maybe you can clarify for us TT? What are you looking for out of a menswear website? Please be as specific as possible, this feedback is always helpful, especially from a regular commenter who understands our brand.

          I’m struggling a little with “I want intelligent discussion on men’s clothing… but I don’t care what’s ‘out there’…”

          • TT

            No, that’s a totally fair point. I meant, out there in terms of disposable trends vs classic or traditional ways of dress. Your “controversial” trends post is a good example of the contradiction inherent in your, or what I perceive to be, your content position. Like clearly you see that by gesturing the above designer, who seems like an excellent human being, to be clear, literally a year from now you’ll be slagging off his outfit as a trend you’re happy to see “die”. You guys are having your cake and eating it too a bit. Whereas, my previous position on the blog was that it contained a level of humility and egolessness that’s noticeably absent ins that you’ve considered yourselves “professional” fashionistas/designers et al.

            • Dan Trepanier

              If Alejandro turns out to be a trendsetter who we first brought to the limelight, and a year from now so many guys are wearing vintage snakeskin cowboy boots that I have to write about stopping the over-used trend…I would consider that a huge win for our publication.

              The notion of everybody wearing, or caring about, “traditional tailoring” is not only unrealistic, it’s also very boring and restricted… This coming from a guy who has a closet full of suits for casual occasions. Style is so much more than suits, ties, and “timelessness”.

              As far as us being professionals in fashion – that’s exactly what we are, egos aside.


        • Cdon

          Maybe it’s just an east cost bias. A lot more haters have come out of the wood work since you moved to L.A.

      • Dan Trepanier

        THANK YOU Adam. The take away message here was exactly that, too.

    • AFH

      There will be a shift in emphasis as we enter the monthly popularity contest phase ;-), but clearly has been a shift in business model towards a more traditional fashion magazine model of promoting high-end brands. Selling tailored vintage gear is hard to scale, premium content is hard to sell, and ‘The Style Guide’ is potentially many things, but one of them is a financial black hole. This is the best way they can make present and future rent right now.

      • TT

        Yes, well said. Money is the ruination of anything good, I can’t be persuaded otherwise. I think it’s also the natural capitalistic journey from “Hey, I love this stuff!” to “How will I best monetize my brand with synergy and cross-platform-interfaces, blah, blah, blah.”

        • AFH

          Yeah some days you can deal with it, other times you feel like going on a killing spree. ‘It is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism’ – Slavoj Žižek

        • Dan Trepanier

          Again, we would make significantly more money if we simply collaged affordable e-commerce products every day and said “buy these new products – we can all look cool in them”. Or if I pulled some clothes from JCrew, styled them, and sold them.

          But I can’t live with that as my life’s work.
          There are enough wacky publications doing that already, strictly for sales $.

          These stories are more about people, current times, culture, and an insider’s look to the real world of menswear and the players trying to make it in the game.

      • Dan Trepanier

        I don’t know where you get you “information” from AFH… maybe you have your own blog that you’re struggling to monetize? Either way, please don’t speak on behalf of TSBmen.

        The irony is, we make the least amount of $ from these types of editorials. There’s no sponsorship whatsoever, and we don’t even have an affiliate partner with niche brands like Beautiful Ful.

        We don’t promote brands, we promote people and build relationships. This is a long-term branding play, and the monetization strategy is significantly broader than you might expect… This is chess, not checkers my guy.

        As far as The Style Guide, it’s still unfortunately in its infancy. We’re working daily to iron our several major kinks. I think when you finally see the finished product, it will have you thinking a whole new kind of way.


        • AFH

          I’m not speaking for TSBMen, but commentary and interpretation is common enough in the blogosphere and I think perfectly acceptable (and frankly, these are pulled punches at worst dude), but I am happy to take the hint in a gentlemanly way and desist on your site.

          I have no blog, nor have I done so. Since you ask so nicely :-), I and some friends are working on something but I don’t think it will be a full-term gig and I am tending towards shop with blog a la Mr Porter, so people will be clear on what the business model, such that it is, might be.

          I haven’t denied that The Style Guide has potential, but I’m a project professional and I think my read is pretty valid. This game ain’t Chess, it’s not even Chess 2. I wish you well with it.

          • Dan Trepanier

            Cool man. No disrespect. We appreciate all of your comments, and all of our commenters. Ya’ll bring more value here than anything else. I just don’t want our readers to get the wrong idea of our ‘business model’. We are working very hard behind the scenes to change the gastly-sponsorship-heavy publishing industry and have developed some innovative methods of creating value – whether that means financial gain now, or later.

            In time everything will become more clear as our moving parts begin to come together in a more natural user experience.

            Cheers Alan. Thanks as always for your sharp commentary.

    • Dan Trepanier

      There is no marketing here, and absolutely zero dollars exchanged. These types of posts are simply about story-telling and opening peoples eyes to the breadth of menswear and the pespectives or guys who we (I) think are doing it in a cool and unique way.

      TSBmen has always been about Personal Style (look how this guy uses fashion to better his life) versus Fashion (buy this new tie to go with this shirt).


      • TT

        Well said, thanks for your reply. I would caution you (haha, for whatever that’s worth) of being a little myopic about how your blog comes across to some lay/non-industry types. When we get neck deep in something it can be hard to see it for what it really is. I think I’m actually mourning like, the loss of innocence on this blog more than anything else. Or trading success for something simply and good. I’ll talk to my shrink about it either way. Thanks again.

        • Dan Trepanier

          Hahahaha. What do you mean by the loss of innocence? What are your favorite types of articles we’ve done in the past?

          This feedback is always helpful for our growth!

  • Alex

    “I don’t think you have to overdo it… Some of the most stylish and iconic men have dressed very simply.”

    This is so true and a part of growth of personal style. There is some days where I don’t want to go all out yet still want to feel comfortable and presentable. Simple, well made basics that inter-change have revealed that above quote for me.