We had the good fortune of connecting with Hommy Diaz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hommy, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind my success is patience. While willing to fail in the process, acknowledging and accepting that “FAIL” is an acronym for First Attempt In Learning. The faster you fail the more you learn, increasing your ability to offer your brand more value with experience. Success is about building from each failure without discouragement or loss of enthusiasm. I simply look at failure as the executive assistant to success.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
During my years in college, footwear design, or the business of sneakers was not taught or offered as a major nor as an intensive focus towards any degree. In 2007 I was recruited by DC Shoes as their Global Product Line Manager for Lifestyle footwear. This is where I earned my degree in the business of footwear design and merchandising. I look back at my 5 years with them as my time at DC University. The past 12 years in the footwear industry having worked for DC Shoes, Palladium Boots and K-SWISS has provided me with the experience of visiting over 40 major cities around the world for footwear market research and over 20 mass production factories related to footwear in 5 different countries. It allowed me to live out my dream from that naive perspective as a kid wanting to be an artist. Looking back I continue to acknowledge the main ingredient of my dream that has remained true and served as my inspiration for success, which is my intuition as a “Product Of An Immigrant”, like Oscar de la Renta. I conceptualized and co-founded MAGNUS ALPHA in 2016 to shine a positive light on the luxury of being a “Product Of An Immigrant”. We produce luxury goods as a metaphor to reflect the quality made possible by immigrants. To support our brand message we produce our leather goods in Mexico and our apparel in the USA vs the traditional path of Asia despite having great relationships with the very best factories throughout Asia and Europe.
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?
Well, “in the before time” (pre covid19) I would begin the tour by allowing my guest to experience the bird’s eye view of LA from the rooftop at the SoHo House West Hollywood. Lunch at Uncle Paulie’s for some of the best Italian subs on the west coast followed by Salt & Straw for the best flavors in ice cream. Shopping spots would include The ROW DTLA, Apt. 4B on Fairfax, Union LA on LaBrea, Maxfields on Melrose Ave across to Rodeo Dr., and Fred Segal/Kith on Sunset. Dinner spots would include Bottega Louie, Cecconi’s, Catch LA, Jon & Vinny’s, The Nice Guy, Soho House West Hollywood, and SoHo Warehouse by the pool. Unfortunately today, this itinerary is a luxury we could only wish for as an experience.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout is dedicated to my mother for her creative and perfect timing of putting the late great Oscar de la Renta’s name on my radar during middle school. At that time the internet did not exist and it took several years for me to put a face behind his name. We were at a family gathering when one of my aunts asked me what I wanted to become professionally (since I was the eldest grandson on my dad’s side). My answer was, “I want to be an artist”. Her response was, “you know artists don’t become famous and rich until after they are dead, like Pablo Picasso”. My self-confidence and my dream were clearly rejected in front of the large family gathering. I was under the impression my parents didn’t think much of her comment or my aspiration due to their silence and I was left to swallow my sense of embarrassment. During our drive home after hours from the family gathering, we drove through a commercial shopping street. My mother pointed out a new perfume store that was opening soon. And she said, “Oh look at that new perfume store, I wonder if they will have the new Oscar de la Renta perfume in there?” I was about 12 or 13 years old so I had no idea who an Oscar de la what is or was. Her response was, “You know, Oscar de la Renta is an Artist, a successful fashion designer, he’s from the Dominican Republic like us and he is both wealthy and alive. And now that was a mindblowing source of information with inspiration. Unfortunately, as I got older I continued to experience more rejection about the idea of a career in art and design. Time flies by and I’m in my senior year of high school with the pressure of applying for college and choosing a major. At this point, I am depressed having drifted away from art and design being a viable profession due to influence from others. The bell rings and I take a seat in Ms. Saborio’s senior Spanish class. I am captivated by her teaching style instantly as she tells us a story. In that story, she mentions the achievements of none other than Oscar de la Renta and points to a framed portrait on the wall of her with Mr. and Ms. de la Renta. And now this was a mindblowing source of visual information with inspiration because this was the first time I officially put a face behind the Oscar de la Renta name after several years. That moment, that sign gave me the ability to come out of my depression uplifting my self-confidence, allowing me to reconnect with my dream. That moment encouraged me to believe that a career path in art and design was my path. I went as far as my conviction to apply to one school only, Parsons School of Design. Once again I received a negative influence being told by school guidance counselors that I was making a big mistake by applying to one school and it being a top art school and that I would not get accepted due to my low gpa. The universe had spoken and set me on my path by getting accepted and graduating from Parsons on time with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts with a major in Communication Design.
Hommy Diaz, Alvaro Quila, Erick Hercules, Austin and John Rosario