Today I’m interviewing Kenny Vera, the founder of his own brand called LOOT Lifestyle. We actually went to high school together and I’m really impressed by everything he’s done! A new collection drops today, so I asked him a few questions about his brand and what it’s like to run your own business:
Where you’re from/ Where you live now:
What you do:
Curator of loot lifestyle
One quote you live by:
“you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate” French Montana said that recently and it’s really stuck with me when I have been getting more into the business side of things ! Haaaan. But in chasing your dreams sense I would say “ If you’re hungry don’t eat.” And nobody ever gets this at first so just try to figure it out.
What is LOOT Lifestyle and what does it stand for?
Loot lifestyle is a lifestyle brand that first off produced limited clothing collections and is trying to embody fashion, media, music, sports and perhaps more endeavors in the future. It takes a very authentic, raw and organic approach and has built a worldwide life for itself. LOOT stands for letting out our thoughts which is us telling everyone to chase their treasures in life and let out what u really feel like. Get the best out of life and spread the wealth.
What inspired you to start a clothing line?
A couple things my uncle used to be a creative director at DKNY in the 90s. And I always thought that was a lit job. I was always into style and fashion In HS and in general. I think also watching how to make it with my friend Koof and Rick every Sunday was dope cause I messed with the whole concept of the show and I thought that would be lit to do. Also just like being able to have clothing is cool cause everyone needs clothing all over the world so it’s one link between you and being globally alert.
Were you always into fashion or did you always have another plan for yourself?
Nah furreal like I either thought I would be a soccer player, soccer coach or like a late night Tv host I always wanted to be that which could still happen. But at the same time I always wanna keep doing different things especially in the business sense. Like Yes I kind of thought I would get into fashion at the same time but it hasn’t been easy, but its good now and I feel like everything is slowly unfolding. Did I ever think I would be in this current situation, never but am I mad about it, Naah. Confidence is important but I believe knowledge is power and I’m learning a lot as I go about myself, business, fashion and just life in general.
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
I get them from everywhere. To be honest I could be walking my dog and get inspired or I can be going on a run and think of some shit. I really have no filter, and I’m inspired by many things so that’s why I try to keep it full surface with loot and don’t categorize myself. In terms of other people who inspire me it can vary like I was really inspired by Jamie Vardy last year the prolific scorer in The English Premier League and now I like this Lil Yachty guy I think hes got a dope way of looking at things. In fashion I’m most inspired by like just events in my life and everything I pick up along the journey.
How is your brand different from everything else out there?
I can’t sit here and tell you what I got is the best because it’s an obvious bias. However Im fully confident in the brand I’m building with my team and the vision is expanding. You can see we are authentic and our whole get up is not like many out there no mater how hard you search.
What’s been the most challenging and most valuable part of running your own business?
Many challenges in any start up. Obviously the money is gonna be tight so you gotta really ball on a budget and be strategic. You also have to be risky but pick your battles. The last thing you wanna be is over reckless at first just stick to your process and trust it. I would say in general having the wits to stick by an idea that might not have taken off or even started to buzz is the most difficult part. The most valuable is the unprecedented rate knowledge you pick up on the way and all the great people you can work with.
How did you deal with people not believing in your vision?
First off I want to say if you don’t believe in yourself then who will? You got believe in yourself ! Honestly sometimes it would bother me cause like I’ll get asked mad questions and how I should do this and that, but I try to take it as constructive criticism and I know at the end of the day whatever those negative thought were will blow away and I keep moving.
Who’s been the biggest supporter of your brand?
I would have to say there’s a lot of people who have messed with it especially Clark University, Long Island, West Coast, New England, United Kingdom and even the Midwest now. Also have to mention The Haggerty family has been huge in the process they really took a shot with me and continue to believe in the brand. Also really just everyone who knows me personally I feel a good positive and supportive vibe from and it really empowers me. I’m def a man of the people.
Where do you see LOOT in 5 years?
Hopefully a flourishing business with innovative approaches that does unique events, makes top of the line apparel, has programming. Do I see myself at the helm at that point who knows but do I see it still maturing yes.
What’s your best advice for people who want to create their own brand but fear that it’s too risky?
My advice is if you wanna do something just do it. Have the tunnel vision and remember you are going to be very different and not everyone is gonna understand that but the juice will be worth the squeeze if your passionate about it
What’s one thing you want to accomplish by the end of 2016?
Find A cute wifey for those winter nights haha ! On a fashion note make my own loot lifestyle sneakers, other items and content that keeps pushing the boundries. But most importantly I just wanna be healthy and getting wealthy for the most port tho haha!
THANKS KENNY! 🙂