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

Hi Azael, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
It all started back in 2018 and I bought $50 worth of rhinestones and a pair of retro looking sunglasses. I stoned all night and when I saw the final product I said to myself “well what else can i stone”. I stoned then shoes, jackets and all sorts of knick knacks and had it all on my Etsy page and then I eventually took my designs and switched the over to my very own website. throughout this journey I met several creative individuals, some even became close to me. From these connections I was able to work on unique projects, some that i am very proud of and continue to impress myself with. The goal for me with Azael Apparel is to introduce my eye for fashion in a unique way, so fast forward to now, I am working in new pieces for this summer as well as for a collaborative pop up show called “LA Rise” that will be happening this MAY 15/16 at 122 Studio in  120 Glendale Blvd Los Angeles CA 90026.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am highly inspired by the fun of pop culture, the godliness of victorian and greek art and the inner goth in me so I like to mix these elements together to create unique pieces using fun patches of painted designs, pearls and rhinestones and stud spikes to spice things up. A self made brand always seems like fun at the beginning and sometimes it can be but there were definitely some struggles that not only me but many entrepreneurs face when building something from scratch such as marketing and selling yourself to the public. It’s difficult to put a price on a creation that seems easy for us to make and I’ve been victim of that and now i am seeing my work for what is worth and leaning how to sell myself with no shame or shyness. I want to share with the world the beauty of my mind through my creations but also to put my last name out there and inspire future latinx designers and community.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would start by showing them the Koreatown are which is where I reside and we would have the best Korean BBQ at either Sanya KBBQ or Moonlight KBBQ and boba from Boba Place. The DTLA area would definitely would be in the plan and one of my favorite spots down there to eat is St Vincent Ct which has a variety of italian restaurants and has a very unique vibe. Little Tokyo which is also in DTLA would be the next spot and has one of the best ramen places to eat Orochon Ramen. West Hollywood is a must for a fun night with very cheap drinks if you catch happy hour at Fiesta Cantina. Hiking up to the Observatory would be a must and maybe hike it up to the Hollywood sign too. To finalize a busy week the Wii Spa on Wilshire and Rampart would be the place to chill at and then grub on some delicious pasta and matcha latte at Cafe Mak in koreatown.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am blessed that throughout this journey I’ve had every single friend of mine support me 100% and are always pushing me to keep on creating with their feedback and positive reinforcement. A special shout out to Richard who joined Azael Apparel and now is helping me achieve bigger visions for my brand. I also wanna highlight some of the best people I’ve met through this journey who are also very talented and chasing their dreams, Yajdiel Zamora with the @thessark , Sammy Castillo with @noadmitofficial and IT’S ASHA who is a beautiful singer and runs @a.b.c_design.

Instagram: @azaelapparel

Image Credits
Sock Photo: Yajdiel Zamora Mask Photo: Yajdiel Zamora

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