Behind the Brand: CEO
The boys from Creative Elite Operation play out a story of modern-day hustlers. Their first collection sold out in a matter of days, dishing out cut-and-sews that blew people’s minds. It was a pleasure meeting one of the brains of this brand, Pau Martinez. They’ll be unveiling their holiday collection soon, so stay tuned to You Are What You Wear for more updates on that. Meanwhile, let’s take a step back and learn all about how this enterprise started.
So, how did CEO come about? Why’d you name it Creative Elite Operation?
I decided to study fashion design after college coz I really wanted to start a brand that’d represent my lifestyle and culture; a brand that would energize and expand the street wear scene here in the P.I. in a Creative way. I wanted a brand that could represent the Elite and spread the lifestyle. I wanted to gather people who believe in this, not just to spread the word but also to collaborate and make it even bigger. That was the Operation I wanted people to recognize and join into. I don’t want CEO to be just a brand name but a way of life. I want it to be a proof of a strong imagination that can create from original and innovative ideas.
What’s your favorite local street wear brand/s?
I’m digging Groupe de Ville’s style especially now that they’ve grown from sneaker-themed graphic tees to a whole new level of cut-and-sew. I’m also a fan of UNSCHLD. I really admire how they work as a team. Their collections are dope; simple but edgy. And I like how they throw a release party when they’re launching a collection. (I wish we could do that soon) Lol.
I have a long list of brands that capture me. But LRG will always be on top of that list. “Underground Inventive, Overground Effective”. That’s the brand’s message and it just hit me right when I heard it. It made a lot of sense to me since I was just starting out, studying design and looking up anything I can learn from back then. It saved me. That’s why I’m a huge fan of the founder Jonas Bevacqua. How he built his brand brick by brick. Even though he’s in a different place now, I’m honored to keep his spirit alive just by always being inspired by him.
What makes your brand stand out?
Our focus is on our concept. We really don’t pay attention to trends and what everyone else is doing. We find things that we’re into and mix it in with some interesting details to give it a fresh spin. Plus, we put quality first. The design wouldn’t make sense to us if the construction was crude.
We definitely cater to the street wear market but the intention is to reach out to more people who would get the brand and what we’re after.
Advice to up-and-coming brands and kids who wanna start their own line?
Don’t start anything you’re not a 100% sure you’re gonna soldier through. You gotta have the heart, the mind and the spirit for it. One thing I hate is when people start brands that they half-cock just for the sake of having a “brand”. It takes up a lot of money, time, effort and support from other people. That’s hard to waste. The best feeling in the world to me is working your ass off for your dream. It will eat every bit of you up but it’s worth every penny, every drop of sweat coz it really is your dream.
Any final words?
For all the support we got, we are just extremely grateful. And yes! We gonna keep it coming. Shout out to Nicole of Defacto Industry, my brother Jolo, JM, Bryce and my Greyone Social family. CEO all day!