Fashion Designer Mass Luciano - MASSBRANDED FOR ELIAD COHEN

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

From military kid to Mr. Gay World to fashion designer, this out and proud Latinx artist has literally seen the world. Currently living and designing in Hong Kong, he has been in the fashion industry for over 15 years, learning his craft at Los Angeles’ Fashion and Design Institute. His work with major, international brands includes Guess, Rock & Republic by Victoria Beckham and Lee Jeans, but it was his win as Mr. Gay Hong Kong and, ultimately, Mr. Gay World, that gave him the spark and confidence to launch his namesake brand, MASSBRANDED. We chat with him from his home in Hong Kong about this new line, MASSBRANDED for ELIAD COHEN...with host Alexander Rodriguez.  

This is metro source minis, theofficial podcast to Metro source magazine and home of short form interviews with your favoritepersonalities from the lgbtq world and beyond. Quick, Fun and informative. It'smetro source on the go out in pround since one thousand nine hundred and ninety. Well, hello, hello, hello, this is metro source minis. I'myour host, Alexander Rodriguez, and today we are so celebrating hot fashionfrom day tonight with one of fashions leaders in men'swear. With over fifteen yearsof experience in the fashion industry. Puerto Rican born Matt Lucciano studying at theFashion Institute I've design in Los Angeles and has worked with International Brands Including Gats, rock and republic by Victoria Beckham and Lee Jeans. His rise to famebegan in two thousand and fifteen, when he competed for and won the titlesof initially Mr Gay Hong Kong and ultimately Mr Gay World, and this accomplishmentinspired him to launch his energetic namesake street where label, mass branded. Massbranded just launched its new collaboration with the world renowned Israeli party producer, actor, a model who Alien Cohen, on a brand new at leisure capsule collectionfor the urban man on the go. Mass branded for Iliad launched seven newstyles that can be worn to and from the gym, for casual nights out, while traveling and, of course, on the day its floor. Aninspiration for the collection was drawn from military backgrounds. Yes, sir, please, welcome Mas Lutiao. How are you? I'm good. Who Are you?No, I'm hanging in there, try to survive a quarantine and soexcited about your fashion line. I just poured through all of the design's onlineon the mass branded website. I want to buy everything, just like canlook hot on the way to the mailbox. You know that's good. Yeah,I think you should always look Hott, no matter what you're doing. It'show you feel right inside, and hopefully the clothes I design just kindof shows off a little bit of your personality, for sure. I wantto talk about you growing up. You grew up as a military kid,so you were moving from from place to place. Was it hard to makefriends growing up? I think when I was younger, like a kid,like I was born basically it as an army brought, so I was alwaysused to and grew up moving around every three to five years. So itkind of forces you to make new friends really quickly. What's great about beingan army bright is that you're in the same situation with everybody else suits inschool with you. So I lived on the military basis. So most familieswould move around and then everyone knows, or quickly knows, that you haveto make new friends. So you don't really have the same friends throughout yourwhole childhood. So that was quite easy and it helped with I guess,as an adult I also move all around a lot and working and traveling alot and making new friends is something that...

I feel like. It's a positivetrait that I learned as a kid, for sure. Well, and you'rejust so friendly, like so someone chanted. How what was it like coming outto a military family? You know, I have with all these preconceived notions. That's a very conservative, very militant share with us. You're comingout story. Well, I came out quite early, at the age ofeighteen. It's early for me. Yeah, I'm forty years old now, soI'm not screen chicken and back in the day eighteen was very, veryyoung. I know all the kids are coming out when they're like and twelve, you know. So yeah, good for love, you know, Iadmire that. But for me, you know, my family's always installed likereally, really good values of being honest and truthful. So the moment Ilike came to terms with my own sexuality, I just told my parents it wasI didn't feel like I needed to hide it from them. They weren'ttoo thrilled with the idea at first, of course, is not not becauseof they didn't love me or anything, but maybe because they were afraid oflike live. We lived in Puerto Rico at the time, which is veryconservative Christian and Catholic country. So I think there was more of like thefear of rejection, and I think that the like me being openly gay andliving my true life, like they like. After a few years they saw like, Oh, you know, I'm still the same person and I haven'thad any that hasn't stopped me and pursuing my dream. So there are oneof my biggest supporters. They support me and everything I do and I'm verylucky. Well that. That is good to hear. And you know,I think, just like you said, I came out super late. Icame out when I was like a sophomore in college and now, like yousaid, everybody it's coming out younger and we're having the shared coming out storiesfrom all ages, and so I think the environment now is a little bitmore welcoming, or at least the languages they're a little bit better than Ithink when you and I came out, you know, to even discuss withfamilies. I love your fashion. It's so sleek and sexy, of course, with that those military kind of strong lines and and color blocking, withsome sexy Mesh and tight fits. When did you first get the fashion bug? Well, I remember growing up, like what, seeing my mom's fashionmagazines in Puerto Rico. She had bunny, the others and Ola, which areall Spanish publications. We didn't have vogue at home, but they carriedthe same images. So I think early s just seeing Johnny Versashi's runways.It was the beginning of supermodel being born. You know, we have Cindy Crawfordand Iomi and all these amazing women wearing these striking dresses and on.Versashi was really the first kind of designer that really inspired me. I startedand that I was twelve years old at...

...the time. So I started sketchinga lot of what I would see in the magazines. I kept a littlenotebook that every like. That was my hobby, just to draw and sketchdresses, and around the age of fifteen and sixteen that's what I decided.I wanted to be a fashion designer. My parents basically told me, Oh, you should probably study business first before you study fashion, and and Idid that. You know, I got a scholarship in Puerto Rico to studyat the University of Puerto Rico and business school. So I went to businessschool, but three years into that I'm like this isn't for me, soI moved to La and study at the Fashion Institute of design and merchandise,and that's where I studied fashion and my career started. So follow my dreams, I guess. Yeah, but you know, having that guy, eventhe few years of business school that you took, I'm sure it's really helpedto handle both sides. I know a lot of creative people that only knowhow to work on their skill and the business aspect, and the business aspectin the fashion industry, I can imagine, is a whole different friend ball gameand you have to. You have to excel it both in order tohave a successful brand of successful line. Yeah, but that's free and atfind of I have to know. Yeah, sorry, sorry, yeah, Itotally agreed. I think that everything happens for a reason, like ifI haven't went to business school, even like one of my favorite classes wasbusiness communication and how to communicate effectively, and just not just written but alsolike when you communicate with others, and I think that as a designer,that really really helps a lot with how to communicate your ideas, your conceptsof what's in your head and putting it onto the other people could interpret it, not just by a sketch, because you do have to have a technicalelement to it. And you know, life is a business, just payingyour bills on time and managing your finances, and those are things that everybody everybodygoing to school, because there are tools there that you learn. SoI'm not complaining about that. I just want to marry rich, like that'sthat's my business plan. Fantastically. I love fidom in Los Angeles. Whatclasses did you excel at and what classes were you just like this, andI'm terrible at this, I really like to fashion draping. That I thinkjust because the creative aspect of draping fat break on the form is really funto for me. You know, if you use your hands, you're dosomeing pins and you're kind of molding something. It's kind of like sculpture. Ireally really enjoyed that class. Sketching, like fashion illustration and sketching was afun class as well. To I have to really really hard teacher namedNancy Regal Man, who's famous at FIDAM. She's the books that she wrote iswhat a lot of schools used to show fashion illustration and she was really, really tough. But I think the...

...one thing about Fidom is that theyprepare you for the industry as a whole and the industry is not there tolike walk you through it and hold your hand. It's quite it is quitehard to you have tough deadlines, you have to follow instructions of a creativedirector or design director, so you're basically told giving strict directions of what todo and you have to interpret it in a way that fulfills their needs andI think the unlike other schools, which is more focused on creativity, fidamreally really gives you the tools to work in the fashion industry and I thinkthat's that had a lot to do with lanting my first job straight out ofschool for guest jeans in La now let's talk about working for a large companylike guests, and I know you work from rock and republic. What thingsdid you learn working for such a a company that you that you still maintain, that you still draw from in running your own fashion line? I thinkit's one of the most important thing probably is don't do anything random. Acollection has to be cohesive. When there's a line, everything has to kindof belong and have its purpose. So if you have any if you're justdesigning something just for just because you feel like it, and one style thatdoesn't really look like or belong with the rest of the collection, you knowit just doesn't have the right image, doesn't carry what you're trying to communicate. So I think that that's just that's something that I constantly tell myself whenI'm remind myself when I'm sketching and designing a new collection, is how toedit your work to make sure that every piece in the collection belongs there,that that it's part of the same family. And the same story. But alsowhat I learned that guests was that there's a lot of different components tomake the line come out. It's not just from an initial sketch to selectingthe fabrics to doing the fittings, but then you have preproduction and guests.It's such a huge team. So you have different, different departments that allwork cohesively to make sure that from the moment you you approve a sample,the whole production process to it getting to the stores in front of the buyersand all of that. So that really helps with a help me throughout mycareer because I had worked a lot with startup browns who didn't have that structure. So it kind of learned how to do a little bit of everything,which helped me with with my own brand. Okay, let's talk about mass brandedfor Iliot Cohen. Hot, hot, hot. Of course everybody loves alien, right from his parties to his modeling to his social media. LikeWolf Right. Yeah, I don't know where to buy the clothes or justare at your website pictures like you. Yes, I have done both.Now, how did you meet aliens? Well, Elliott walked into universal bodyof Boutique in La that carries mass branded...

...and he really really liked the clothesand the owner of the store shout out to Scott and he's listening and watching. He put us in contact. Yeah, so he introduced us and we juststarted chatting just casually. He posted a few things of him wearing ourclothes and I'm like hey, why not like do something together, like wouldyou like to collaborate? He has the right look. That what we likeand the attitude to something that I really really that really stood out for meabout Elliott Cohen. I've been a fan of his since his early videos ofpopped up on Youtube for Arissa, the parties and Tel Aviv, and Ireally like his really strong masculine look. But he wasn't taking it too seriously. He was with performing, with the drag Queens, he was doing sillythings and I kind of like that, you know, especially, like whenI lived in La in the early it was, you know, like everybodylike the ideal of masculinity is everyone had to be big and macho and everybody'sa pop you know, and it's like it's so annoying that that was nottrue. Yeah, true, especially not now. You know, try tofind the top in La. I'm sure it's like trust we are a rarebraid, like Indiana Jones and the last top actually, you know. Sojust kind of like seeing Elliott just personified like a more fun version of masculinityis something that I really drew me to him and I try to do thatalso with what we do with with mouse round it like there I try todo sexy street where I like to mix mesh and make it provocative but stillwearable. So it's a very fine line us into. Okay, what's betweenbeing I wouldn't say classy, but structured and and versatile and versus being justslutty, which is something that I try not to do well, and Iactually do have it clown like I have ever written down as classy, becauseit is provocative. I love them, but there's there's a level of sophisticationto it. It's not just, you know, I'm just showing parts ofmy body. It really has a certain form and a certain theme that isthat is so classy and elevated to it, while it's celebrating the body. Now, how did you kind of collaborate, because I know he had kind ofinput as well as developing this fashion line. How did you guys workcreatively together to come to this mass branded line? Well, we've had alot of conversations as to what the collection should look like and he really wantedit to have an at leisure vibe to it, which is a little differentfrom what we do, and mass round it. So the fabrications were alot more softer, things that you can wear to and from the gym.There's a hardly any mesh in it too,...

...so it's a different different from whatwe normally do. But then we started thinking about what are the similaritiesbetween him and me, and it's our army background, like he served indisraeli armed horses for three years and me, of course, being a growing upin the military. So I'm like, okay, well, why don't wedo, since it's an athleosire collection, why don't we do base it offof like off duty uniforms or is physical training on fatigues that were thatare used in the military, but do our interpretation of it by making itsporty and sexy as well too. So I think that that, after wekind of agreed on on what the collection should look like, I sent hima few sketches. That a few back and forth and once the sound goeswere ready, I flew to London to meet him in January and we kindof did a fitting. We made some really, really good adjustments, likemaking sure that all the sippers have all the pockets have sippers so when peopleare at the Party and the club they don't lose their belongings and things likethat, and we finally were able to launch a couple weeks ago. Soit's been over a year in the making and we're both really happy with outcome. Well, it's definitely beautiful and it's something that's so different on the marketthat I think appeals to a lot of different genre types. You know,it's not just one set like Oh, okay, it's these kind of peoplethat would like this close. I think it's very universal while being sexy aswell. Now you are currently living in Hong Kong. I have to knowwhat is Hong Kong like right now during covid well, right now it's slightlyin a semi locked out, not really lockdown. We had like it's soweird, like I'm sure it's like this everywhere. It's just a weird sensation. Three weeks ago we had serio cases and we were at zero cases forlike three weeks. So everyone was like super happy and going out and everythingwas back to normal. And then all of a sudden all of the infectionstarted to spike up and now we they've a government has closed down all restaurants, all gyms, the gym, I was going to the gym until threeweek, two weeks ago. So imagine how happy I was. I'm like, Oh, covid doesn't really affect it, and now everything's like back to zeroagain, where everything's closed. It's compulsory to wear a mask here,so if you don't wear a mask, you will get fined, even ifyou're working out or jogging out and this heat, and trust me, it'sreally, really hot here at the moment, everyone, but everyone complies with itand just wear a mask. People here in Hong Kong are very considerateof it's just feel like a community. So everybody does their part too tomake to try to end this virus. So I although it's a bit hectic, I do feel safe here and and that's really important. Well, Ithink we need to take a few lessons.

We didn't even get to zero cases. We're already back under lockdown. Everything's closed again and everybody's fighting onwearing a mask. It's like, what's the big deal now? What isthe LGBT culture like in Hong Kong on a regular basis? Like Pre covidexplaining me what what that culture is is like? Well, it's very internationalcommunity, so there's different an aspects of it. I think for the Westernersor people who there's a lot of foreigners who live in Hong Kong, includingmyself there it's it's quite bustling. There has been a few new bars andclubs that have opened that our lgbt run and operate it. So there's alwaysfun venues to go and people here like to mix it up, so wedon't just go to the gay venues. I'm sure it's like that in mostplaces as well too, but in Hong Kong, like like, everyone goesout to no matter if it's a gay venue or a non gay venue.So that's fun. We do a lot of outdoor activities, like Hong Konghas a lot of people don't know it's an island and we have lots ofbeaches and fun hikes and trails to do. So there's a big outdoor gay communitythat does hikes and trails and sports as well too, so it's quitediverse. So I kind of like that. It's very although it is a biginternational community, it feels kind of small. It is. It's thesmall island, so everyone kind of gets to know each other really quickly andevery now and them when someone you appears on the seat, it's like,oh, that's fine, and everyone being aristally, but everyone becomes friends quitequickly here too, which is something sure. Yeah, well, you had tohave such a friendly personality. Now, what are you wearing around the houseon a regular base? Just like if you're not going anywhere, noone's gonna see you. Be Honest. What are you wearing? I wearthe tiniest, tiniest shorts, like they're like basically underwear. I'm not wearingthem now, though. Around the House with them, my boyfriends always pullingthem up, like trying to ride them up my crack. Yeah, it'sthe giggle out of it, and I'm like, well, I would notbe caught dead in public wearing those. Oh God, I wish I wasone of your neighbors. Okay, we're gonna we hop like I live inlike an apartment, but all glass around. So good thing that it's mostly business, all buildings around that no one can look in. But I'm surethe people in the business, like the office, this office building next door, have a little giggle every now and then. I could just imagine liketheir conference room, like their business meetings. It's like WHAAAA, they're looking atyou got to put on the show right there. You Go. Okay, we're gonna do a little rapid fire. Are you ready? I'm ready.Okay. Worst fashion trend that you...

...fell victim to? Um, Ithink like baggy jeans. Yeah, awesome. Yeah, a celebrity that you wouldkill to design for, Ricky Martin and Puerto Rican, and have tochoose yet. Hey, hey me, Familia. What do you think hasbeen the biggest mistake you've made in your career? I think not not followingmy gut, you know, or not being true to to myself. Youknow, when that's the biggest mistake, when someone kind a lot of peoplehave opinions about what you should do and sometimes you just have to kind ofblock that out and just trust yourself. So I find that that works forme. Okay, your favorite cheap food in Hong Kong Shanghai knees dumplings.They're so good, girl. I've never even seen one and I want one. They're kind of they have their like a pastry or their pan fried andon the inside they have like a soup that when you bite into it it'ssquirt so you have to be a little bit too careful because sometimes it's very, very hot you can burn yourself, but it's so delicious. I couldmake a dirty joke, but I don't even have to. Okay. Andthe biggest thing you miss about living in Los Angeles the sunsets. I'm sorry, the sky in La is there's no other sky like that. So Ido miss like I lived in West Hollywood for so many years. So everylike on Santa Monica Boulivard, when the sun is setting, it's amazing.So I do miss aw all right, it has been such a pleasure.You're so adorable, your clothes are so sexy. Tell everybody where they canfind you, follow you, and and and where we can buy mass brandedfor Iliot Cohen. Oh, you can go to the mouse brownsitcom. It'sour we're exclusively selling the collection there. You can follow the browns at massunderscore branded instagram, and you can follow me at Mass Luciano on Instagram aswell too, and I highly recommend following him on instagram. Whoo well,thank you so much for hanging out with us. That has been our episode. I'm your host and lead writer from Metro Source Magazine, Alexander Rodriguez.You can follow me on Instagram at Alexander is on air and you can bingelisten to all of our episodes featuring your favorite celebrities from our issues and onlinearticles and Metro sourcecom and town. Next time, stay true and do youboo. Okay, that has been another metro source mini like share, subscribeon your favorite podcast player and check out the latest issue of Metro Sports magazineon newsstands or online at Metro sourcecom. Follow us on Facebook, instagram atnatural source and on twitter at metal course man. Until next time, hefast.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (44)