Introducing Designer, Ruben Barraza
Designer, Ruben Barraza, is making moves in the fashion industry with his new designs! His love and passion for designing shoes brought him here to the city of stars where he has encountered downfalls and successes as he continues to grow his empire. Not letting anything stop him, he is on the track to great success! Truly passionate about what he does, Barraza has big plans for the future so stay tuned!
Hello Ruben, Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today. You can include as little or as much detail as you’d like.
I am from San Diego California. I moved to San Francisco for college and worked retail at Guess and at Urban Outfitters. I always loved Shoes and I always enjoyed fast trends and fashion. When I started working at Urban Outfitters I started to paint on my shoes and I realized that I was getting a lot of attention or people asking more or less if they could purchase some shoes from me.I started making customs and one day I had someone reach out to me by the name of Salehe bembury which was at the time the main designer for Kanye West boots and he told me he had a project for me. It was a project that was supposed to be started on Sunday and this was Saturday when I was notified I had work the following day but I decided to take the time off Call in sick and drive to LA that night. I was then greeted by Ian Connor and was given three pairs of shoes to paint for A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, and Ian Connor.
The shoe was a Reebok shoe for midnight rave studios and was showcased with the artist wearing them as well with publicity that helped me start my brand. This was a start to everything I then started working with different rappers such as Kodak Black and Tyga To famous icons such as Kyle Jenner and the ace family later leading up to collaborations and projects with companies such as puma, Cat Footwear, and Nesquik.
When did you discover your passion for drawing and arts in general?
I took art classes in college and I’ve always been better at describing or putting things together than drawing. I guess that is why I started sewing and making fabrics more generally. I’ve always been creative but I would say my go to is mocking things up on computers and cutting and sewing.
Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way? How did this passion lead you to Los Angeles?
It has not always been a smooth transition I would say everyone that I’ve met along the road has made a significant impact on my business for instance I believe I was in retail first and became a store manager so that I can know how much work or what the expectation would be of running my own retail store online as far as the business side I did go to school for business management but running your own business is a lot different and harder I would say juggling the operational piece of the business and the creative Could be challenging. But as long as you have the right team and the right schedule it could all get done.
Tell us about your business/company. What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc?
My company is called majorwavez I design and customize shoes anything from graphic design for shirts to cutting and sewing shoes I would say that my specialty is cutting and sewing I really enjoy doing that and I feel like that is more creative and I would say I am known for staying on trend and making things that are usually not in a typical realm of shoe customization such as adding reflective accents Or cutting up shoes and adding my own creative spin on them.
What are you most proud of as a company?
I would be most proud of my Nesquik colab that is something I will always appreciate it is my first big colab with a huge company I am so grateful for that and I would say for all of the opportunities I’ve had in the past and all of the people that I’ve met it’s really curve me into the brand that I am today and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for those opportunities.
What sets you apart from others? Where do you get your inspiration from?
What I think sets me apart from others is my creativity and me being bold enough to make designs with either my brand logo or no logo I am not afraid to combine different trends as well overall I would say I get my inspiration from anything of course to stay on trend I do look at look books for trend forecasting but as far as starting new ideas that are not On trend I get Inspiration from old movies and different styles of shoes.
What kind of material do you like to use when you start customizing shoes?
The materials that I like to use is going to be of course paint and fabric I mainly use leathers because it is durable and thick enough to sew on a shoe I do you like to make some customs that Involve more complicated supplies such as industrial sewing machines and leather hole punch shoes but overall in general I would say these would be my top for tools that I enjoy using.
You chose to customize Air Force 1, this is how your notoriety grew bigger, why these shoes in particular?
Originally I was known for my vans but I did receive a letter from them asking to stop selling after trying to get a hold of them I never received a response on why I was not allowed to customize on them but they did threaten to pursue and try to shut my Instagram down and then slowly started transitioning into Air Force One and now use any shoe that is on trend to use as my blank canvas. Overall I am just trying to show my art through companies that I admire and I would say Air Force One is on trend and a very stylish shoe so this is why I have chosen this silhouette.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan on opening a school where I will offer free classes to those who would like to learn and I will also have my merchandise in there for sale as well with promoting and sponsoring local artists so that they can get brand awareness and really just trying to open up doors for people and artists that have the same drive that I did when I started. I am very excited for this journey and plan on opening my store within the next 6 to 8 months.
What are you looking forward to or planning for – any big changes, collaboration in mind?
I will start making more shoes from scratch and I am making my own shoe as well it is something that I have been working on for a couple years and believe that it is ready now I should come up with my shoe within the next 2 to 3 months and I’m excited to see what you guys think of it.
By Alex Marie
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