We had the good fortune of connecting with Alejandro Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alejandro, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
It feels trivial to speak about how fashion could be changing the community let alone the world. This past year has really opened my eyes to the idea that when we all focus on doing good in our own backyard — no matter how big or how small the deed — it can translate globally. When we first started, it was difficult finding factories or companies who were willing to work with us. LA Fashion (factories) was known for mostly tees and denim at the time, and the fashion entities required extremely high quantity orders. Fortunately enough, several small factories of which many were Latino family-owned took a chance on us. We’ll be forever grateful to them because they really propelled our business to where we are today. It’s become a symbiotic relationship where we rely and invest in our manufacturers just as much as they rely and invest in us. Over time, we’ve built a small ecosystem within Los Angeles that is sustainable and slowly growing. I’ve also learned how important it is to have a voice in this world, but more importantly, a voice for someone who can’t use theirs. There is a huge community of craftsmen and women, and artisans in LA that don’t get the respect they deserve because of two main hindrances — A: their location (not being in Europe) or B: the language barrier. I really believe that some of these artists are just as talented as the people who create and develop for the world’s “luxury” brands. I think it’s important to shine light on them and their skills as a continuous reminder to all. At the end of the day what we wear, and everything we consume is made and prepared by people.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think what sets me apart from others in my industry is that I try to not get too caught up in “fashion” and the gimmicky trends. I’ve been doing this for a while and I’ve learned that authenticity is key. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, just be authentic in how and why you’re doing it. It definitely isn’t easy, the process is going to take longer, but in the end it’ll make sense and the people that you attract along the way will be there for the long haul…. The ones that believe in you wholeheartedly and not just around for the one product you put out.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I don’t think I would have anyone come visit me for a whole week. The thought of it gives me anxiety… But if it was for a weekend we would definitely have to go to the Rose Bowl flea market on Sunday and get a few tall cans of beer while searching for vintage boots, military and western clothing, sunglasses and furniture. Bay Cities Deli in Santa Monica is a must, I could have this everyday of my life and be happy. A hike is also a must, theres so many places across the city and depending on difficulty level or what view you want you can choose from Malibu to Angeles Crest and tons in between. But to be super honest, I don’t really plan things, I kinda just let the day take me where it takes me. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The person that I have to give the biggest shoutout to is my Mom. Growing up she was the coolest person to me. She would wear Levis that she had since high school, cowboy boots, and turquoise jewelry. She was the person that showed me that anybody can buy fashion but not everyone has style. As I got older and started experimenting with ideas she opened up her garage to me as a make shift factory. She supported my decision to skip USC and go to Fashion School, and always pushed me to follow my passion. To this day she’s my number one supporter and always steals samples from my showroom, if she had it her way she would have a whole museum in her house of one of every single piece I’ve ever made. I owe a lot of my success to her.

Website: www.btflstudio.com

Instagram: @btflstudio

Twitter: @btflstudio

Facebook: facebook.com/btflstudio

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.