When did you know you wanted to become a designer?
I knew I wanted to design clothes from my early teen years. I was always into what was cool among my peers in high school and wanted to always bring something to the market that was not being used in my environment.
What was your first job out of college, and how did you land that position?
My first job was at an international shipping company where I learned a lot about international trade and logistics.
How did the DSPLACE brand name come to be? Is there a significant meaning behind it?
I was having lunch with a friend when somebody said in Spanish the word “DESPLAZADO” which means “displaced” or moved to another position. Right away I felt something in my gut that told me to use that name. I eventually changed it to DISPLACE and then took the “I” off to create a trademark name that we can register.
The name itself and the meaning refers to our position in the market, we felt like there was nothing in the market that had the correct aesthetics and great design without compromising the quality. We are using the same factories high-end brands use to charge two to three times more than our price. We want to be able to find the balance between an accessible price point and a high-quality product made in an ethical factory. This is why our logo represents balance which is ultimately our end goal.
We are not a fast fashion company, but also not a clothing company that charges you 8x the cost to make the garment. We call it sustainable luxury.
What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out? How were you able to overcome it?
Trying to make every product including jeans, cargo pants, jackets, shoes and t-shirts.
It is really hard, especially when the money is short, to develop so many products. You end up wasting a lot of time. I would tell myself five years ago to be more focused on creating the best possible product in one category before trying to make everything at the same time. We were able to overcome it after we started taking a step back and focusing on our best products.
How do you define fashion?
Fashion for me is the way a person carries themselves. It is defined by the person’s personality. Fashion tells a lot about someone and I feel that it needs to be functional.
"The DSPLACE customer like their garments to be made in ethical factories and are looking for something better than just being cool."
How would you describe your personal style? Does it impact how you design your collections?
I think we always try to develop new products for us before anybody else. If we like it, then we will launch the product. It has to be comfortable and stylish. Casual but not informal. That is a balance by itself.
How do you want your customer to feel when they wear an item from DSPLACE?
I want my customer to feel comfortable, confident and also sophisticated in DSPLACE.
For me, the DSPLACE persona is not someone who is showing off. He travels a lot and likes the idea of being comfortable while also looking stylish.
The DSPLACE customer like their garments to be made in ethical factories and are looking for something better than just being cool. They like the mission behind the brand. To be able to develop sustainable luxury without seeking the attention of everybody.
What is your favorite part about designing and owning a fashion brand?
That I am having fun creating things for my surroundings. I have been able to develop new things that I want to wear and, I have received amazing feedback from customers.
Moving forward, I would like to be the voice of the Latin American designer who made it in the United States. I feel like we are lacking that in South and Central America and would love to bring that culture to our generations to come.
"Our end goal is to leave customers thinking that we are a brand made by the people and for the people."
Where do you draw inspiration from for your collections? Are they always the same elements or do they vary each season?
They usually comprise the same elements. We focus on being comfortable and using the right fabrics for different purposes. Our idea of our customer is a millennial wearing sneakers every day, working overseas with people from all around the world and changing locations often. For me, their freedom is the ability to be where they want, whenever they want. We focus on building the perfect timeless wardrobe that can be packed in one single piece of luggage.
What can consumers expect to see next for DSPLACE?
I see DSPLACE getting involved with the city of Miami. We want to make it in this city. We want to be relevant in our message more than our clothing.
Our end goal is to leave customers thinking that we are a brand made by the people and for the people. Our best interests rely on the person that is done buying fast fashion and doesn’t need a high-end brand logo in order to feel confident.