Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Garcia.
Eric Leon Garcia’s story begins in rural Texas when his parents decided to immigrate from Mexico in pursuit of a better life for their family. From taking cash jobs to living in a mobile home community, their humble beginnings really gave Eric the drive to take the next step to make the American dream a reality for his family. “In elementary school, we took a field trip to a costume museum where I fell in love with this black piece where I drew it over and over as soon as I got home. I sketched a lot. Then in my senior year of high school, I entered a recycle and redesign competition where I made a wardrobe out of materials from home. Two silver medals later, I was able to compete at a national level where I pitched my collection to a panel which won me a gold medal and a scholarship to FIDM in Los Angeles.” “I was so excited! I was leaving my small hometown for the very first time. Entering the real world and exploring what LA had to offer was so thrilling….the celebs, the palm trees, the beach, THE FASHION – I was star-struck for LA’s vibes. And most importantly, I was pursuing my dream.” A few months before graduating, Garcia yet again applied and won gold for FIDM’s Advanced Design Program which showcased a collection through a runway presentation for new students and a handful of top-tier contemporary LA brands such as Guess, BCBG, For Love and Lemons, and Halston. It just so happens that Soozie Heo and Candance Lee of REVOLVE were also in the audience.
Straight away, Eric was offered a position joining the ecomm retailer designing everything from contemporary dresses to specialized leather goods. “When celebs and Influencers started wearing my pieces, it just blew my mind. Winnie Harlow, Jasmine Tookes, Chanel Iman, Kristin Cavallari, Teyana Taylor, Camila Coehlo, Rocky Barnes – I was in awe. This small town Latinx kid had no idea what was coming.” Garcia’s talents elevated even further with him co-designing collections closely with Influencers and their brands such as Steele by Amanda Steele, Eggie by Jenn Im, and Lani The Label by Amanda Stanton. Garcia’s time with REVOLVE really tightened his skill set and prepared him for his next passion project – his own lifestyle brand. Garcia had really gained a strong community of peers in LA and the fashion community. He honed in on their fashion wants and needs to envision what he needed to create for the new generation of people with new ideals. “I listened and then created. Not only did I want to just create great clothes, but also be a safe space for people to be a better version of themselves. I know it’s not easy being open and honest about ourselves.” “I saw such a gap in the men’s market and the respect I gained in the industry gave me the confidence to chase a new path. I was ready for my own project.”
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The journey to making Son of León has been a big learning opportunity for me. There’ is no handbook for starting a business. Even though there were many bumps in the road, you learn to navigate around them as they come. Right from the beginning, when we were deciding on a brand name, no one tells you how difficult that can be to legally register a name that is not already in the market or something that isn’t too similar. And when you apply for a company name, there are companies out there who purposefully buy domain names based your trademark application so that you potentially have to rebuy the domain name from them for a high price! We advise to make sure the domain name is available first, then purchase the domain, then apply for the trademark to avoid that. That was our first big lesson. The important thing is to not feel defeated and keep your eye on the prize!
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Son of León?
At its essence, Son of León represents the wandering spirit of Los Angeles. From the sun kissed surf of the Pacific, to the bodegas of Hollywood, to the starlit nights under the Joshua Tree’s of the high desert, you will find yourself welcomed into the diversity and joy of Southern California. Angelenos are dreamers and creatives; we envision a lifestyle that has us feeling mindful about every passing moment. Son of León is a reflection of just that – our collections inspire a life of exploration and embracing our fellow humans for whatever shape or shade they are. Son of León is an online boutique retailer specializing in California Wear. My goal as the Designer of the brand is to really craft pieces that aren’t typical to the market while really considering how convenient/enriching it is to people’s real lives. We want people to know we went through a lot of prototype phases to try and perfect pieces that look good on anyone all while staying under $100. Everything was truly designed from scratch. California and Los Angeles is such a unique vibe that I want everyone to experience it through our collections. We always have a proud moment when we see someone wearing our pieces and they have positive feedback. That makes it all worth it. I think what really sets us apart from other brands is the unique prints and silhouettes. When you look at it as a whole, it’s really fun and chill but so unique at the same time. We also made sure we represented the true diversity of LA. Everyone can and should be a model, regardless of their background or physique.
How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
We are very open to collaborating and working with other local brands or start-ups! New and upcoming businesses should always befriend each other to lift each other up! You can email us at Hello@sonofleon.com. For your support, feel free to follow us on Instagram @son.of.leon! We love to see how our customers style our clothing so you can also tag us on Instagram at @son.of.leon. All clothing is available for purchase at www.sonofleon.com.
- Our pieces are all under $100
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.sonofleon.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/son.of.leon/