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Meet Vanessa Perez-Gonzales of Rebellious Subjects Brand in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Perez-Gonzales.

Vanessa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m first generation American, and the second born to Mexican and Guatemalan immigrants. From a young age, my brother’s and I spent a lot of time watching as my father chased after his “American Dream” in a sweatshop. At the young age of 20 my father started working in the apparel cutting Industry. By 33 he had gained enough knowledge to open his own business. My Father was the proud owner of an apparel cutting and fusing business in Downtown LA ( Axels Cutting & Fusing Services) named after my older brother. Weekends and Summer vacations meant we got to go spend time with and work with my father. Here, we learned to be humble, as we had to learn the trade.

You would think that being the kids of the owner came with slack, or that we had it easy, but that was not the case. My father taught us to work for what we (his children) wanted, and so we learned from the bottom up. He started us by learning how to swept the warehouse, then to organize rolls of textiles under the cutting tables, then he moved us to pattern placing, sizing the cuts, and finally to read and properly label garments. As time passed, we learned the different steps in completing one article of clothing. By the mid 90’s my father and mother were cutting, sowing and dressing us. They made us shirts, pants, skirts and dresses. I literally grew up wearing Vanessa’s Fashion which is what my father and mother would label our articles.

As I entered my 20’s, a lot of retrospection and late nights took place. As I tried to figure out my place in society I would recall all the time I spent at my dad’s sweatshop. That sparked my vision and my love for Los Angeles flourished my creativity. My “American dream” was born in 2006, When I chose the path less travelled, entrepreneurship. At 21, I developed and started my first clothing brand; City Life Clothing. This brand echoed my love for Los Angeles and its neighborhoods. The idea of putting my neighborhood ( Mid –City) on a t-shirt via heat transfer began. Slowly, I transitioned from heat transferring to silk screening and was able to improve on the quality of both shirt and image. Once this was done, I slowly began to do pop-ups at bars, coffee shops, and graffiti events where I got to experience the raw talent the underground Hip Hop scene offers. Thanks to this LA scene, I was able to not only watch LA legends perform but also to network with many driven Angelinos.

As I continued on this road, I decided to share my achievements with my kid brother. I believe this would be a great opportunity for him to join in on the fun that is entrepreneurship. This spring I stepped down as the owner of City life Clothing and gave my kid brother the reigns. Putting him at the reigns also gave way for me to venture out and create my second project Rebellious Subjects Brand.

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?
As you know, starting a new business always has its obstacles, and challenges. Owning a business can and is stressful. Many hours are put in to create greatness. There’s many sleepless nights, especially when you have to juggle many hats, like being a single parent, attending college and working a 9 to 5 in order to be able to invest into your dreams. The cool part however about having challenges and obstacles is what you gain. You gain so much more love and understanding for the process. Every step is a teachable moment, and if we take note from our past mishaps, the next time around you don’t start from scratch, you start from experience.

Rebellious Subjects Brand – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Rebellious Subjects Brand (RSB) is a line inspired by AUTONOMY. Here at RSB we believe in our right to be free; and this freedom comes without infringing on the freedom of others. We believe in our right to be our authentic self, regardless of social constructs. Every product we offer incorporates our unique vision, style, and attitude.

Rebellious Subjects we specializes in ready-made garments, such as shirts, sweaters, hats and accessories. Our threads echo the visions of those who have come before us, and will come after us to fight for our freedom, our rights and our independence from tyranny. What sets us apart from others is our vision and our promise to always be authentic even when our authenticity goes against the status quo. We are Rebellious Subjects.

What I’m most proud of with this new project is the ability to follow and build my vision. Being a Rebellious Subject has helped me overcome obstacles in my personal life, and that’s what I wish for everyone who comes across RSB. I want everyone to find solace in our brand, and hope that they are inspired to be true to themselves. As I once found in the words of Che Guevara, Winston Churchill, Simone De Beauvoir, Emiliano Zapata, Malcom X, and countless others who have ignited the fire I’m trying to convey through my products.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
You know as a woman being at the head of a male dominated market that is urban streetwear, it takes a great deal of determination. At times I have felt out of place, but I have overcome those feeling by reminding myself of who I ‘am. The daughter of immigrants, who crossed borders, opened there business and never looked back. So I take risks and step out of my comfort zone, this in itself has led to many great opportunities, like meeting like-minded and driven individuals that have contributed to the validity my business when it was needed to grow.

For that reason I will forever be grateful to rappers like Murs of the Living Legends, 2mex of the Visionaries/ Of Mexican Descent, Pawz One, Producer St Louis of the drug lab, and shop owner Geez from Geez Locker in Japan. Not only have they rocked my brand City Life in the past, but have given me priceless advice.

Now, that I have embarked on a new chapter, I’m looking forward to evolving as an entrepreneur and meeting more individuals who want to build and grow with RSB. Currently, I’m grateful to artist like Feefa, Ash Riser, RVLT Los Angeles and the trio Reos del Tempo who have taken a chance on Rebellious Subjects. I’m looking forward to continue working with them.

It’s all these big and little accomplishments that have contributed to “My Proudest Moment” which is being able to build this brand and present it to the world.


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Image Credit:
Byron Amaya, MRKX VISUALS, Cindy Moneta, Luz Orellana, Stacy Cosenza

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  1. Coco Cane

    October 7, 2019 at 16:10

    So inspiring! YOU ROCK GIRL!

  2. Lilia Onate

    October 9, 2019 at 22:23

    I am so proud to rock something from your original collection. Much Love.

  3. Jennifer

    October 17, 2019 at 20:35

    This is inspiring and awesome! You’ve already accomplished so much in a short amount of time. You keep at it!

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