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 Metrosorsmini. The official pothas to metrosorte magazine and home of short form interviews with yourfavorite personalities from the lgvtq world and beyond Qrit Fun andinformatevt its metral source on the go out in Coenc, Liwell, hello, hello,hallowed. This is Metrosorse Minnys, an your host Alexader Radri e. In today.We are so celebrating hot fashion from day to night, with one of fashionsleaders in Mensware, with over fifteen years of experience in the fashionindustry, pretericenborn Maslugiano studied at the fashion institute atdesign in Los Angeles and has worked with international brands, includinggets rock and republic BYBEORIA BACKAM anlee jeans. His ristofan began in twothousand and fifteen when he competed fhor and won the titles of initially MrGanghong Kong and ultimately Mister Gay world, and this accomplishment inspiredhim to launch his energetic namesakestreetewar label. Mass brandedMassbrandhad just launched its new collaboration with the world renown.Israeli party producer actor and model who eliac Colin on a brand newathlesure capsule collection for the urban man on the go massrented forIliad, launche, seven new styles that can be worn to and from the gym forcasual nights out, while traveling and, of course, on the day. As for aninspiration for their collection, was drawn from military backgrounds. Yessir,please welcome Mas Nutiano. How are you I'm good? How are you I'm hanging in there trying to survivea quarantine? I an so excited about your fashion line. I just poure throughall of the designs on online on the massbranded website. I want to buyeverything just so I can look hot on the way to the mailbox. You know that's good yeah. I think you shouldalways Lok caut, no matter what you're doing it's at's, how you feel rightinside and hopefully the clers I design just kind of shows off a little bit ofyour personality. For sure I want to talk about you growing up. You grew upas a military kid, so you were moving from from place to place M. was it hardto to make friends growing up? I think wh when I was younger, like akid like, I was born. Basically, I as an army brought, so I was always usedto and grew up moving around every three to five years. Hit kind of forcesyou to make new friends really quickly, what's great about being an Army Brad.Is that you're in the same situation with everybody else who's in schoolwith you, so I lived on the military basis of most families would movearound, and then everyone knows or quickly knows, that you have to makenew friends. So you don't really have the same friends throughout your wholechildhood. So that was quite easy and it helped with. I guess, as an adult. Ialso move around a law O and working and traveling a lot and making newfriends is something that I feel like...

...is a positive trait, but I learned as akid for sure well, you're, just so friendly,like so Soean chanting, how what was it like coming out to a military family?You know having all these preconceived notions, as so very conservative. Verymilitant share with us, your coming out story. Well, I came out quite early at the ageof eighteen early for me, yeah, I'm forty years old. Now so not screenchicken and back in the day. Eighteen was very, very young. I know all thekids now are coming out when they're like and twelve. You know yeah good. AmYou know I admire that, but Um. For me. You know my family's alwaysinstalled like really really good values of being honest and truthful. Sothe moment I like came to terms with my ownsexuality. I just told my parents, it was, I didn't feel like I needed tohide it from them. They weren't too thrilled with th ideaat first. Of course, not not because of they didn't love me or anything, butmaybe 'cause. They were afraid of like we lived in Puerto Rico at the time,which is very conservative, Um Christian and Catholic country. So Ithink there was more of like the fear of rejection and I think that t like mebeing openly gay, Um and living my true life like they like after a few yearsthey saw like Oh you know and still the same person and I haven't had any thathasn't stopped me in pursuing my dream. So Um there are one of my biggestsupporters. They support meen everything I do and I'm very lucky well that that is good to hear, and youknow I I think just like you said I came out super late. I came out when Iwas like a sophomore in college and now, like you said, everybody is coming outyounger and we're having these shared coming out stories from all ages, andso I think the environment now is a little bit more welcoming or at leastthe language. Is there a little bit better than I think when you and I cameout Um, you t t even discuss with families. I I love your fashion, it's so sleekand sexy, of course, those military kind of strong lines and en colorblocking with some seximash and tight fits. When did you first get thefashion bug Li remember growing up like wseeing mymom spashon magazines in Puerto Rico, she had Banilalez andOla, which are all Spanish publications. We didn't have vog at home, but theycarried the same images m. So I think early nineties just seeing JohnnyVersachi's runways. It was the beginning of supermodel Um being born.You know we have Cindi craper and NIOMME, and all these amazing womenwearing these striking dresses and on versashait was really the first kind ofdesigner that really inspired me. I started, and I was twelve years oldat the time, so I started sketching a...

...lot of what I would see in themagazines. I kept a little no book bout, every like that was my hobby just todraw and sketch dresses and around the age of fifteen, and sixteen that's whatI decided. I wanted to be a fashion designer Um. My parents basically toldme. Oh, you should probably study business first before you study fashionD, and I did that you know I got a scholarship in Puerto Rico, to study atthe 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, so I moved to LA and sote hat the POUNTAIN Institute of design and Merchandisy, and that'swhere I studied fashion and my career started so follow my dreams. I guessybut you having that even the few years of business school that you took, I'msure it's really helped you handle both sides. I know a lot of creative peoplethat only know how to work on their skill and the business aspect and thebusiness aspect and the fashion industry I can imagine, is a wholedifferent ball game and you have to you have to excel it both in order to havea successful brand, a successful line, Um yeah, but not I reading Ohat EDSIDM. Ihave no yeah. Sorry, I yeah. I totally agree, and I think that everythinghappens for a reason like if I haven't went to business school even like oneof my favorite classes, was business communication and how to communicateeffectively, just not just ridden, but also like when you communicate withothers, and I think that as a designer that really really helps a lot with howto communicate your idea as your concepts of what's in your head andputting it Onso, the other people could interpret it not just by a sketch'cause. You do have to have a techchical element to it and Um. Youknow life tere's, a business just paying your bills on time and managingyour finances, and those are f things that I everybody everybody shoul go to.dusthes Chool 'cause. There are tools there that I learned. So I I'm not complaining about that. Ijust want to marry rich, like that's. That's my business. When e a I love situm in Los Angeles, whatclasses did you excel at and what classes were you just like this? AndI'm terrible at this? I really liked fashion draping t I thijust 'cause the creative aspect of draping fabric on the form. U Is reallym fun for me. You know if you use your hands, you're doing pins, Ob and you'rekind of molding, something it's kind of like a SGOLBSHIRT. I really reallyenjoyed that. COSS sketching like on fashioned illustration and sketchingwas a funng poscess wall too. I hav a really really hard teacher named NanzyRigel Man, who's famous at Pidamshe, the books that she wrote is of w a lot of schools used to show fashionillustration. She was really really tough, but I think that one thing aboutbitum is that they prepare you for...

...the industry, Assahole and the industryis not bare to like walk you through at and hold your hand it's quite. It isquite hard to you have tough deadlines. You have to follow instructions of acreative director or design director, so you're basically told giving strictdirections of what to do, and you have to interpret it in a way that fulfilstheir needs and, I think tha, unlike other schools, which is more focus oncreativity, bidom really really gives you the tools to work in the fashionindustry, and I think that's that had a lot to do with lounging my first jobstraight out of school for guest jeans in l a now. Let's talk about working for alarge company. Like guess- and I know you work from rock and Republic Um-what things did you learn working for such a big company that you that youstill maintain that you still draw from in running your own fashioling? I think it's one of the most important thing,probably is don't do anything round him Um, a collection has to be cohesive.When there's a line, everything has to kind of belong and Haw, it's purpose.So if you have an if you're just designing something just for justbecause you feel like it in one style that doesn't really look like or belongwith the rest of the collection, you know it just doesn't have the rightimage doesn't carry what you're trying to communicate. So I think that that'sthat's something that I constantly tell myself when I'm I remind myself whenI'm sketching and designing a new collection is how to edit your work tomake sure that every piece in the collection belongs there that that itit's part of the same family and the same story. Also. What I learned t guess was thatthere 's a lot of different components to make the line come out. It's notjust from a initial sketch to selecting the fabrats todoing the fittings, butthen you have preproduction and guess it's such a huge team. So you havedifferent different departments that all work cohecinvely to make sure that,from the moment you you approve a sample the whole production process togetting to the stores in front of the buyers and all of that. So that reallyhelps with. I help me throughout my career 'cause. I H worked a lot. WITDstart up browns who didn't have that structure, so I kindo learned how to doa little bit of everything which Helpe me w th with my own brand. Okay, let's talk about mass branded forIliot Cowen, hot hot hot. Of course everybody laughs Iliad right from hisparties to his moveling to his social media like whoof right want her to Brid the clothes or justtare at your website picture itws like can you go you a your phone I have done mo now. How did you meat,alien, well ellio walked into universal body,AF Butique, an La that carry's mouse...

...brownded, and he really really likedthe clothes and on the owner of the store shout out to Scot and he'slistening and watshing. He put Hir in contact yeah, so he introduced us andWev just started chouting and just casually he posted a few things of himwearing her clothes and I'm like hey. Why not like do something together likewould you like to collaborate? U He has the right! Look? U, but we like, andthe attitude too omthing that I really really that really stood out for meabout Elio Coen. I've been a found of his since his early videos popped up onutube for Arisa the parties UNTELLABEEF, and I really like his really strongmasculine look, but he wasn't taking it too seriously. He waswith performingwith the drag Queens. He was n doing silly things and I kinda like that. Youknow especially like when I lived in La Um in the early two thousand. It was you know, like everybody like the idealof masculidity. Is everyone had to be big and macho and everybody's a pop?You know, and it's Lik it's so annoying that that when no ine a as so not true,especially not now, you kno try to find the top in L, a absurtly trust, weare,Rarerad, Indiaa chones in the last time Iqlackly,you know so just kind of like seeing Elio just personify like a more funversion of mascularity is something that I that really drew me to him, andI try to do that also with what we do w th with mouse brownget. Like the I tryto do sexy street, where I like to mix mesh and make it provocative, but stillwearable, so it's a very fine line Essad to okay, what's between being, I wouldn't say, clossy, but structuredand andversatile, Um and versus being just sluddy, which is something that Itry not to do well, and I actually do have it c like I haven't written downas Classy, because it is provocative. I love the Mesh, but there's there's alevel of sophistication to it. It's not just you know, I'm just showing partsof my body. It really has a certain form and a certain thene that is thatis so classy and elevated to it. While it's celebrating the body now, how didyou kind of collaborate 'cause? I know M, he had kind of input, as well as asdeveloping this ashion line. How did you guys work creatively together tocome to this mass branded line? Welwe've had a lot of conversations asto what the collection should look like and Um. He really wanted it to have anatleisure on Bibe to it, which is a little different from what we do andmass round it. So the fabrications were a lot more softer things that you canwear to and from the gym. There's a hardly any mesh in it too. So it's adifferent different from what we...

...normally do. But then we started thinking about whaters the similarities between him and and me, and it's our army background,like he served in these Israeli armed forces n for three years and me, ofcourse, being in growing up in the military. So I'm like, okay! Well, whydon't? We jowsinse is an alucier collection. Why don't? We do base it off of like off duty uniformsor physical training on fatigues that were that are used in the militaryButdo, our interpretation of it by making it sporty and sexy as well too.So I think that tha after we kind of agreed on on what the collection shouldlook like, I sent him a few sketches nat a few back and forrd, and once thesound wos were ready. I flew to London to meet him in January and we kind of did a fittingwe. He made some really really good um adjustments like making sure that allthe sippers have all the ponkets have sipper. So when people are at the PartyR, I the club, they don't lose their belongings and things like that, and wefinally were able to launch a couple of weeks ago. So it's been over a year inthe making and we're both really happy withthe outcome. Well, it's it's definitely beautifuland it's something that's so different on the market that I think t appeals toa lot of different genre types. You know it's not just one set like Oh okay,it's these kind of people that will like this closhe. I think it's veryuniversal while being sexy as well. Now you are currently living in Hong Kong.I have to know what is Hong Kong like right now during covet? Well right now it slightly in a semilocked out, not really locked down. We had like it's so weird, like I'm sureit's like this everywhere, it's just a weird o sensation. Three weeks ago wehad cero cases and we were at serocases for like threeweeks, so everyone was like super happy and going ou and everything was back tonormal and then all of a sudden, all o the infection started to spike up andnow w they. The government has closed down all restaurants, all gyms, the G.I was going to the gym until three two weeks ago. So imagine how happy I wasa'd, like oh coba, this as really unectie and now everything's, like backto U Sero again where everything's closed, it's compulsory to wear amouscure. So if you don't wear a mass you Bo get fine on, even if you're,working out or jolking out, and this heat and trust me. It's really reallyhot here at the moment, everyone, but everyone complies with it and Joest.Wear a mask. People here in Hong Kong are very considerate of it's it justfee like a community. U So everybody does their part to to make to try toend this virus Um. So I, although it's a bit hectic, I dofeel safe here and and that's really important. Well, I think we need totake a few lessons. We didn't even get...

...to zero cases, we're already MACunderlocked down everything's closed again and everybody's fighting onwearing a mask. It's like! What's what's the big deal now? What is theAlgity t? Culture like in Hong Kong on a regular basis like precoved, explainme what what that culture is is like? Well, it's very international community,so there's different aspects of it. I think for the Westerners or people whothere's a lot of foreigners who live in Hong Ko, including myself, there itit's quite bustling. There has been a few new bars and clubs that have opendthat are lgbt run and operated Um, so there's always fun venues to go andpeople here like to mix it up. So we don't just go to the gay venues. I'msure it's like that in most places as well too, but in Homg Kong, like likeeveryone, goes out to no matter if it's a gay venue or or a nongay Benu. Sothat's fun. We do a lot of outdoor activities like Hong Kong H, a lot ofpeople don't know it's an island and we have lots of beaches and fun hikes andtrails to do so. There's a a big outdoor gay community that does UmHikes and trails and sports as well too so t's. It's quitediverse, though I'v Kinda, like that it's, although it is a biginternational community, it feels kind of small. It is it's a small island, so everyone kindof gets to know each other really quickly, uand every now, and then, whensomeone you appears on the seat, it's like O, that's fin that everyonebefresh wet o at e, but everyone becomes friends quite quickly, her too,which is something io sure yeah Wellyou Ha such a friendly personality. Now,what are you wearing around the house on a regular basis like if you're notgoing anywhere? No one's going to see you be honest? What are you wearing oiwere the tiniest tiniest shorts like they're like basically underwar, I'm not worrying them. Now, no, I left down the House with them and myboyfriend's always pulling them up like trying to like ride them up my cock yea.I tipipate the giggle out of it and I'm like, I would not be caught dead inpublic wearing dote. Oh God, I wish tha was one of yourneighbors okay, bring. We dont like. I live in, like anapartment that all class around, so a good thing that it's mostly businessbuildings around that no one can look in, but I'm sure the people in thebusin like the office, the office building next door Um have a littlegiggle every now and then I can just imagine like their conference room liketheir business meetings. It's like W WL, Whan Wa. If they're lucky you got to put on theshow right there, you go. Okay, we're going to do a little rapid fire are.Are you ready, I'm ready? Okay, worst fashioned trend that you felt victim to...

O. I think, like baggy jeans, Yeah Ata acelebrity that you would kill to design for IM, Ricky Mardin, Puarto Rica, a dhave to choose that H, me Famelia. What do you think has been the biggestmistake you've made in your career? I think not not following my gut, you know or or not being trueto to myself. You know when that's the biggest mistake when someoneki a lot of people have 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 for me. Okay,your favorite sheat food in Hong Kong, O Sanghai, nees, dumplings, they're, sogood, I've never even seen one, and I wantone it's Theyr Cana. They have their like a pastry and their panfried and onthe inside they have o like a soup that when you bite into it it's squirt s.You have to be a little bit too careful 'cause. Sometimes it's very, very hotand you can burn yourself, but it's so delicious. I could make a dirty joke, but I don'teven have to okay and the biggest thing you miss aboutliving in Los Angeles, the Sunsets, I'm sorry, the sky in Lathere's. No other sky like that. So I do miss like I lived in West Hollywoodfor so many years so ever like on Santa Monica Poar, when the sun is studyingit's amazing, so I do miss a all right. It has been such a pleasureyou're. So adorable, your clothes are so sexy Um tell everybody where theycan find. You follow you and N, and where we can buy mass branded FortIliac Coen. Oh, you can go to e mouse brown t dot Com. It's Arwe'reexclusively selling the collection there Um. You can follow the brons atmass under score. BROUNDED! U At instogram, and you can follow me atMass Luciano oninsorgamswell too, and I highly recommend following him oninstangramwell thank Yo. So much for hanging out with us. That has been ourepisode. I'm your hostand lead wrider for Metrosourze magazine, AlexanaRodriges, you Coan, follow me at a instagram at Alexander is on air andyou can binge listen, o all of our episodes featuring your favoritecelebrities from our issues and online articles and metro source dot Com untilnext time stay true and Juu. Boo othat has been another metof sorsemanny blackshare, subscribe on your favorite podcast player and check out the latestissue of Metroforse magazine on new stands or online at Mezafort tcomfollow us unfaceful, ginsttagrammant etecort and on Tiere Hese fors man,Aother Tin,.

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