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Meet Destiny Isiguzo of Hooded Bandíts

Today we’d like to introduce you to Destiny Isiguzo.

Destiny, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In 2016 after my freshman year of college, I became homeless. I went from having a stable home of nearly thirteen years and having a strong family base, to now having nothing. Along with dealing with my persistent mental health issues such as depression and my new found anxiety once I entered college, I unfortunately found myself in an identity crisis. I was the student who went home every other weekend or stopped by the house often when I was in town. How do I go about my life now? I was freshly nineteen years old with not a dollar to my name.

With the help of a friend I had a place to stay, but I still didn’t know who I was. Who was Destiny? All that I thought I knew about myself was gone. I’m lying to myself and others by still addressing myself as such without even knowing who the hell I am. So that’s when Lil Bandit was born. I was always wearing a sweatshirt with my hood on because that’s really all I had honestly. So Hooded Bandits was derived from that concept. I was doing things to survive, My lifestyle was a bandit lifestyle. Did I choose this for myself? No. But I wasn’t about to sit in my terrible situation and just be idle feeling sorry for myself. I gotta eat.

So during those three years, after I created Lil Bandit and Hooded Bandits, I had a dream to make it a clothing brand. This sort of movement of life dealing you shitty cards, and you finesse the fuck out of those cards. I learned so many life skills in the lowest part of my life. I didn’t think that this traumatizing situation that happened to that young nineteen-year-old girl, would mold me into the twenty-two-year-old I am today.

Has it been a smooth road?
No, not a smooth road at all. I’ve had this idea in my head for nearly three and a half years now, but as I mentioned before I didn’t have a home anymore so whatever money I collected from selling my art, etc. I couldn’t just blow it on getting designs printed on hoodies and starting the brand. I had to eat. I still have school to pay for and not to mention the constant need to always re-up on art supplies so I could CONTINUE making the little money I was.

I had to prioritize, and even though that sounds bad, not prioritizing my dreams, but as a young adult female who didn’t have much of a financial support system, I had to set my list up of what is needed right now. I always knew I was going to launch Hooded Bandits as a brand, it wasn’t something I was given upon. And I’m grateful because even though those idle years I collected ideas, material, and experience along the way. So when the time was right, I knew the execution would be something I would feel proud of.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I specialize in clothing and art distribution. Hooded Bandits is a clothing brand that I own, where I display art designs on the clothing. I am an artist that focuses on painting.

What I’m most proud of from my company is that I am really was able to take such a painful and hard time in my life and put it out there for the world to see, and use it as a positive message that you don’t have to become your trauma. You can grow from it and turn it around to bring light into your life somehow. It really warms my heart when I receive messages from my followers or some people I meet, and they express that they themselves went through or are still going through something similar and that hearing my story they get hope and inspiration. That’s what sets me apart from others. I’m bringing light to current situations that are happening to young individuals every day. And it’s time we had a voice.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think our city is a good place for my business. Because there are so many young adults who are homeless and/or their financial life is always unstable and are still trying to go to school and it’s not our fault. I feel like there are a lot of individuals in Los Angeles that can relate to my story and the mission of Hooded Bandits. Yes and no I would recommend them. This is a beautiful city full of amazing people who are just waiting to support the right people, but also I think our city needs to improve because, even after all the hard work, one can still barely meet the rent. Or because certain programs see you’re in school then everything in your life must be going smooth and perfect. And it’s like no…we are really struggling out here.


  • Hooded Bandit sweatshirt- $65

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Image Credit:

Joshua Pacheco : instagram @jp_img

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