“What is the dress code?” I’ve always had an interest in the way people can express themselves through the articles of clothing they wear. The idea that fashion can serve as a canvas for expression and inspiration is something that I’ve valued since I was young.
So, I asked Cindy Melton that question before I made the decision to join the Amusement Park team. Not because I don’t enjoy putting on a suit and tie, or because I have an issue wearing a freshly shined pair of dress shoes every day, but because I love sneakers. See every morning I wake up, get dressed and face the same decision, which pair should I wear today?
In 2014 my brother Rik, my friend Aaron and I had an idea. We all shared similar passions in clothing, sneakers, hip hop culture, and the need to inspire people. We grew up listening to hip hop because we found inspiration in the ability artists had to tell their stories and influence pop culture. We took lyrics like, “born to lose, built to win,” from Wale to parallel our own struggles and triumphs to motivate each other. We sought to be able to connect with people in the same way through printed t-shirts and hats. With no experience, we named our brand Lxgndxry (pronounced legendary), as an effort to brand a powerful word with a unique personalized spelling. With the mission to inspire individuals in their own walks of life, we had a cool project on our hands.
In 2012, 2 weeks before his 21st birthday, my brother Rik was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He underwent surgery and became a cancer survivor. 3 years went by with his story internalized within our family. In 2015 we decided to share his story through Lxgndxry, because we knew it would serve as inspiration to people going through the same thing and to everyone facing battles of their own. We designed a collection called “Brxveheart,” with the idea that everyone goes through battles in their lives and it’s these battles that help define us as humans and make us stronger. We created a video, posted below, to connect with people intimately by letting them here our story. The feedback and support we received truly spoke to the goal we had for the collection and the brand altogether: to be liaisons of inspiration through something we loved, clothing.
But where did my interest in fashion start? When I was younger my oldest brother, Luis, worked for Gap for many years. The memory of him bringing home sample marked products from work gave me the feeling of exclusivity when I would wear pieces nobody had, but it wasn’t until later that I truly realized the impact fashion was capable of. When Gap partnered with (RED) to create articles of clothing that not only looked cool, but helped raise money and awareness to fight AIDS, I developed a deeper connection with fashion. I began to see the power clothing holds to transcend fashion and have purpose. The fact that such a big brand could have values that served a greater good gave me a different perspective and influenced me to do the same. So, with every collection created through Lxgndxry, a non-profit or movement is designated to receive a donation because I realized to make change you have to take action. From donating to the Livestrong Foundation, to the Black Lives Matter organization, to putting together Thanksgiving drives and clothing 100 homeless people with brand new hoodies in the community, purpose continues to drive me and projects I take on.
When I graduated from Cal State University, Fullerton in 2016, with a degree in Marketing, I sought to begin a career in the fashion industry aside from my brand Lxgndxry. I jumped on LinkedIn and landed an internship at REVOLVE. Learning from some of the most knowledgeable digital marketers, I was knee deep creating paid search ad campaigns, learning about affiliate marketing and much more. It was one thing having my own brand selling one hundred t-shirts but being a part of something as big and successful as REVOLVE motivated me to continue working towards my goals.
Then the opportunity at Amusement Park came; knowing close to nothing about the advertising industry I knew it was a move that would benefit my long-term goals. Working for an agency that believes in the greater good of its clients and its community, Amusement Park connected with me in the same way Gap did with their (RED) campaign. I took the opportunity knowing it would allow me to work with individuals that share the same purpose of inspiring others through their work.
Working with clients such as Wienerschnitzel that are also heavily involved in the communities they serve brings me joy and fulfillment. As part of the account management team here at Amusement Park, I continue to be a part of the bigger picture. From designing t-shirts for Lxgndxry with a purpose to joining clients at the Purple Stride Walk to end pancreatic cancer, Amusement Park has allowed me to connect everything that I’ve learned and enjoyed through my experiences to help leave an amazing social footprint through different avenues and industries.
Every day I walk through our office and see my agency’s value of ‘Belief’ on the wall and it reminds me of my purpose. Because believing in ourselves, in each other and in a power beyond human limitations has been a foundation instilled in me by my family. So, regardless of what sneakers I decide to wear tomorrow, I know that I will be taking steps toward leaving a positive impact in the community around us through the work I am proud to be a part of here.