Today we’d like to introduce you to Manny Garcia.
Manny, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born in Texas and raised in Michigan. I have always been inspired by creativity and fashion that makes a transformational impact on humanity. After a brief stint in Nashville, I landed in LA. Libertad originated as a result of a transformational trip to Quito, Ecuador in 2012. The trip was one filled with acts of empowerment leading to social justice and change.
While in Ecuador, I came across many unsung heroes that had given themselves to the needs in front of them resulting in positive solutions and change. What was gained from the trip was this simple message: use what is in front of you and be the change. I arrived back to Los Angeles and was moved to take action which resulted in the formation of the Libertad Brand.
The name LIBERTAD, which means freedom, resonated because it served to summarize the heart of our cause. We believe that every individual deserves liberty and freedom and use our clothing as both a fashion statement and a tool for social advocacy.
A portion of proceeds goes to charitable organizations that are in-line with our mission and values and promote human flourishing. What began as a simple run of our custom designed t-shirts has grown to what it is today! We are entering into our 4th unisex collection that is set to release winter 2018.
Please stay tuned by visiting our website for the exact release date of our 4th collection that will advocate and donate proceeds to help fight some of the injustices being faced in our country concerning immigration.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My road in the fashion business has not always been easy; it’s been filled with many highs and lows. The journey has involved hitting the pavement, knocking on doors, being rejected, and on rare occasions praised for my efforts. I’ve repeatedly had to go back to the drawing board, I’ve researched and asked questions to see that my business succeeds.
I’ve had to arduously work to fund the Libertad brand and had to believe in what it stood for while many others didn’t. This being said at the culmination of each line, there is a great feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment knowing that I am able to advocate for worthy causes and see my vision come to life.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about LIBERTAD COLLECTIVE – what should we know?
Libertad is fresh, innovative, contemporary, and socially conscious, We are a gender-neutral brand that reflects a fashion-forward streetwear aesthetic, specializing in apparel that tells a story and carries a message of advocacy. Our silhouettes are ultra-relaxed and unisex, leaving the styling up to the wearer’s own interpretation.
Our brand has grown to include top-line: t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and hats. The heart of our brand is Giving, and we love to partner with customers and vendors that recognize this value! We also pride ourselves in having our products designed and manufactured locally in LA.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I’m honored to be living in this city and after nine years here I’ve grown to call it home. I love its creativity and uniqueness that sets it apart from other city’s in the world, but I do recognize the many hardships designers face in this place.
The fashion business can be a dog-eat-dog world, and at times you can forget the very reason why you chose to create and design. I would love to see our city grow in supporting up-and-coming designers, and I desire to be a part of this solution.
That’s why I believe in the collective portion to our brand. It is a hard and expensive place to begin a clothing brand, and because of that, you need a supportive network for such endeavors.
- Website: www.libertadcollective.com
- Phone: 616-283-3332
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographer: Brad Amechi Stylist: Derek Alcala HMU: Sophia Sanh Photos of the hats: Photographer: Jack Lawrence Mayor Stylist: Whitney Grimm HMU: Sophia Sanh Photos of hoodies and sweatshirts: Photographer: London Tate Sylist: Faye Williams HMU: Allison Elliot Photos in Black and White: Photographer: Yoon Kim Stylist: Alexandria Williams HMU: Allison Elliot