Battle of the Brands - Los Angeles

Firme Clothing / Mala Suerte Co. competed in the Battle of the independent clothing Brands that are in, and around the City of Angels. We give thanks to all for another blessed summer weekend, especially in regards to the show last Saturday (next to Downey Park). Much respect to the owner of the spot that believed in the movement and allowed Crank L.A. Clothing to partner up with Ragd Clothing and use the grounds to throw the event. It sure was hot! Literally a scorcher, but relief was found in the shade of the canopy and the DJ StarChild (on the two tortillas) hosting a roster of emcees and Musical Junkies that put us in a comfort-zone: Ears2theGround Crew, Atlast, Self-Provoked and PawzOne to name a few...

As for the Clothing Companies- There was everything from fresh street threads from Coup Street and Street Products to Crank L.A. Clothing and Fixie Gear steering toward the bicycle-riding trend that's blowing up. Underground Hip Hop Blog keeping that b-boy spirit alive, while Critical Acts got there early and caught strategic advertising on the poles (we saw that). And Nonstop Clothing had the pretty girls (we saw that, too). Shout out to Racks Clothing and to the homie from Vndta Clothing that prints at the same place we do. Instead of competitive animosity there was a lot of camraderie and networking. We made new friends and reconnected with our old friend Big Herkulez Martinez from the notorious Def-Kon Unit (back in the days he would rock stages with his partner Strik9). It's been 10 years since we were in that underground music circuit and now we're in another business- but the hustling never stops.

It was definitely a winning experience at the Battle of the Brands, even though the competition itself was shrouded in controversy. There were little flaws in the voting process (glitches in the program U could say) that left the results of the tally undetermined, and still quite mysterious. But all the companies that battled for the purse had originality. Just like every person has their own strengths, each business has potential for success in their own rite. If the contest wasn't based on vote counts, maybe we would have won for ingenuity with our branch into the Firme Skate biz, or for showcasing the "unreleased" stamped leather belts. Either way, the team to beat was Bare Arms Clothing Co., as far as overall business operation and product display. They run a tight ship and have their professional game up. I was talking to the guys and they said it didn't happen overnight. Through trial and error, they gain from experience and now have their booth action down-pat. We are not mad at them for that at all...

The spirit of independent entrepreneurship is thriving and there is always room for more. You see, we don't think like corporate America (which seeks to cut their competitions' throats for huge market shares). We are looking for our own niches in small markets, within markets. Most of our operations are small enough to prosper on a moderately low production level. So, nobody is really a threat to anyone else: business-wise. We have that "everyone-is-in-his-own-lane" attitude and it shows when we come together. You could see everyone working together; even lending us hangers, and letting us hang our shirts on their partition. We appreciate that feeling of brotherhood. Even though we are in the same game, we are not playing against each other. There is plenty for everyone... and then some! We wish each one of you the best and may hope, peace and happiness follow you.

Let's do it again, sometime

ESkribe.Uno | Photos by Sal Rojas


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