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Meet Valentine Aseyo of Matador Meggings in Venice Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Valentine Aseyo.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It all started five years ago when I started my yoga teacher training. There were 20+ women and just a single man (me) in the class. All the women wore yoga pants and I was the only person who didn’t, or better said, couldn’t wear them because leggings expose men parts completely and leave nothing to imagination — which is not necessarily a bad thing but there’s a time and place for everything and I’m not sure if those women would appreciate my VPL (visible penis line). That day, I said to myself: “it’s 2015, surely someone needs to invent leggings for man, right? I mean, women have cups in their bras to hide the outline of nipples, why can’t men have a similar feature in their leggings?” Fast forward five years later, no one else still does it. There are several brands that claim to manufacture leggings for men but their products either make your crotch completely flat (which is really not flattering) or they expose the outline of your goodies — I personally am not a fan of either. So I decided that this would be my contribution to humanity: MEGGINGS! Men’s leggings specifically designed for male anatomy.

Another issue with leggings is lack of functionality so I added an open pocket for your phone, a zipper pocket for your valuables, a tshirt/towel loop at the back. All are designed for the needs of modern men so that you can wear them from intense workout sessions to festivals to Sunday brunch.

Prior to Matador Meggings, I spent 10+ years in the tech industry and multinational companies (I worked at Facebook/Instagram for eight years, Bandsintown for two years, IBM and Colgate-Palmolive prior to that) Throughout my career, I built all sorts of products but this is my first fashion venture and I was able to bring a completely fresh perspective that these giant fitness apparel brands lack.

Even though I’ve never worn leggings at a gym prior to inventing my own product (because shorts on top of leggings looks hideous and just plain tasteless), I’ve been wearing leggings for years at Burning Man festivals. I went to my first burn in 2010 and been going pretty much every year since then. Whenever I needed to buy leggings for Burning Man, I had two options: either go to big brands to get high-quality leggings but they only come in boring colors like black and gray, or I can purchase them from Amazon to get funky colors/designs but they’re incredibly poor quality nylon/spandex that gives my skin rash. I could never find high-performance leggings made from premium fabric that are also colorful and have cool prints. So I decided to take on that challenge as well and Matador Meggings is my solution to that too. Matador Meggings brings function, quality, and design together. Our March collection will offer the coolest and funkiest prints available in the market. We’re very confident about our upcoming collection that’s so unique in every sense.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Entrepreneurship is a lonely road. I’ve always worked in big teams and massive companies. I’ve had endless resources in terms of money, people, tools, expertise, and such. But now, it’s me, myself, and I. I have 12 departments in my company but a single employee. I do everything A to Z myself. While I design, develop, and produce my collection; I also respond to customer inquiries, do my marketing/advertising, design the website, and more.

I don’t shy away from asking for help and I have a lot of partners/vendors helping me, however, it’s pretty lonely on a day-to-day basis. I miss the teamwork, bouncing off of ideas with my peers, or just being more social at the workplace.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Matador Meggings – what should we know?
There are 12 departments in my company but a single employee, which is me. I’m the founder & CEO. That being said I do design, production, logistics, marketing, advertising, PR, customer service, website design, content/blog, analytics/measurement, bookkeeping, accounting, finance, wholesale, offline sale, model/photographer/location scouting for photo shoots — I even model for the brand. And this brief list is not even 50% of my responsibilities or the departments I work for. There’s so much that goes into a fashion brand that you can’t even imagine.

As for Matador Meggings — we’re a men’s activewear brand. Our hero product is men’s leggings specifically designed for the male anatomy offering a molded crotch, functional pockets, and shirt loop. We also offer premium moisture-wicking tops, joggers, and accessories — our best sellers are hoodie tanks and skank tanks. As the name suggests, we’re primarily known for our meggings, which sets us apart from all other brands in the world: it’s specifically designed for the male anatomy offering a molded crotch that conceals VPL (visible penis line). It was several features such as an open pocket for your phone, a zipper pocket for your valuables, a shirt/towel loop at the back. It’s made from best-in-class premium fabric (seriously, it feels like silk). We offer colors, prints, and designs that no one offers. We’re known for bringing fun designs/colors and quality premium garments. Nowadays, you can find only one of these: they’re either great quality but pretty boring colors/designs OR they’re cool/fun but cheaply made and not designed for modern men’s needs and anatomy.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Kenneth Loo — my husband, partner-in-crime, aaaaand PR Guru. He owns nation’s one of the best Fashion PR, Communications, and Marketing Agency. He has two decades of experience in the fashion industry so he’s been incredibly generous with his network, knowledge, and mentoring.

Jimaye Nguyen — founder of Jimaye Swimwear. He’s a fellow LA entrepreneur. We met at a Landmark seminar when we both lived in NYC. Then I followed him to LA when he moved here   He’s been an incredible resource in every aspect. It’s such a fresh breath of air talking to another entrepreneur who goes through the same struggles and challenges as you. We’ve been helping each other, sharing best practices, and supporting each other’s businesses. I’m a big fan of his products.

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