INTERVIEW BY RYAN BRINSON
Brandon Demirel and Sebastian Diego are bringing their Los Angeles-based brand, Mr. Mistr, to a wider audience and we caught up with the duo during New York Fashion Week to talk about the process of launching a legitimate fashion brand, the growing pains of expanding and a future that looks bright for their sexy and forward-thinking style.
How did Mr. Mistr come about?
Sebastian: Brandon had the vision and it evolved from there. At the time, he was working with someone who was good at the construction process. I had just come back from Fashion Week where I had met people who said there were brands they had invested in to bring to their clubs. They were now looking for someone who was an emerging designer that they could invest in. Brandon had said he wanted to start doing swimwear and from there, it just clicked. I knew I could help with the branding, coming from being a marketing director at Andrew Christian, so I took the leap and joined Brandon. We renamed the brand Mr. Mistr and after some time laying a foundation, here we are.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
Brandon: What I design is what I like and what I’m into. It comes from being open with sexuality. The style, the aesthetic, the vision – it’s all got sexual undertones. It’s subdued, but it’s there. This building of the brand has been really eventful and turned into something I never thought it could be.
The person who had been involved with the brand in its early stages eventually wasn’t a part of the picture. After having to get over the hurdle of the shift of leadership within the brand, what was the next step in making Mr. Mistr a stable brand?
Sebastian: We put together a business plan and spent weeks going to the Small Business Development Center to get help building the structure of the business. Because of that, we were able to get the business side of things together and the framework was now legit. The design part is the creative part but as a brand, you have the take the creative/dreamy part of fashion and turn it into a reality-based business.
Was that a difficult process?
Sebastian: The execution is the most difficult part of it.
Brandon: You don’t realize how many things go on behind the scenes on the business side when you’re just looking at clothes.
Sebastian: The key component for making decisions for us is that we have one person who is creatively-minded and one person who is business-minded. We have to balance each other out like yin and yang.
Brandon: He can sell ice to an eskimo so I just let him do what he’s good at.
Sebastian: I’ve been thankful that I’ve been able to have creative input as well on some pieces and Brandon has been into it. For example, I thought maybe we could do a velvet hoodie. Brandon isn’t into hoodies that much, but likes crew necks. So we did both.
What else is happening in terms of the clothes themselves?
Brandon: We aren’t at a point right now where we can plan a season ahead, so right now we are doing fall/winter. We are working in that direction and then we will move into the spring. The fall clothes are on the website already.
Sebastian: And we have a new website coming that will be sharper and feature more extras like blogs on where and how you can wear the clothes in more ways than just at a bar or club.
Brandon: We bounce new ideas off each other. We mesh really well.
Check out the new looks below and to get your hands on your own Mr. Mistr clothes, head over to the website!