We had a chance to sit down with this new and upcoming brand from la Afterlife LA and ask them a few questions. Very dope release and we can tell they are gonna keeping coming with fire look out for these heavy hitters. Check out this interview to see what their about and what they have coming for the future. You can find their gear on their webstore.
My name Is Jonathan Castro I was Born in East L.A and moved to the Valley when i was 11 years old with my mom dad and 3 Brothers. Im 25 years old now and I have to say I love my city even though all my family is still out in LA I cant imagine living anywhere else. Im proud of where im from and where i came from. Im Mexican American and I get a lot of influence from my older aunts who are very much into Religion and have Virgin Mary statues and Jesus crosses all over there houses, I grew up seeing that kind of stuff all my life and I try to put it into my brands image as much as possible.
The Idea to start the brand was always there we just never really did anything to pursue it or make it happen. I was Working 9-5 jobs since i was 16 and I hated it. I wanted something else something more for myself I just wasnt sure of it until about last year around september. I saved up 2 months Pay put my 2 weeks in at The Home Deopt where I was working for Almost 2 years and left to start my company. Im Happy I did that.
• What was the inspiration behind the brand?
The Inspiration for the Name ,feel,image and concept of the brand came from My personal life. I was like 15 and I used to rap (lol) My dad always did his best to support me with Anything and everything i wanted to do so one day he took me to Guitar Center and bought me a Microphone a stand all my wires a Interface 2 studio speakers and my Recording program. I started recording. 2 years later im 17 and i start working on my first Mixtape. One day im out drinking and fucking around with some friends and I end up getting into one of my buddys Yukon truck. He was drunk I was drunk and he was speeding down the street running red lights and swerving then he lost control and rolled the truck twice before i was ejected out of the window and thrown across the street. My little brother and Older brother were in the car behind us so they saw the whole thing. I walked away with a bruise on my back that day. Everybody said I was lucky to be alive and I should live my life to the fullest and a appreciate everything so i did. I named my first Mixtape AFTERLIFE and its stuck with me ever since. Its a second chance not a lot of people get and i want to inspire and show my appreciation to GOD for my second chance.
When i started Afterlife as a Clothing company yes i knew it would be serious because I was serious about it. I didnt think people would catch on and accept it as fast as they did but I appreciate what has come my way so far. I dont take it for granted and nothing has changed the way I feel about my brand. I want to remain humble and Hungry, I want longevity in this game. I want to be known as a company that has always been true to ourselfs our customers and our supporters.
• How would you define your city’s fashion?
The Fashion in my city is pretty diverse Just like in every other city its all mixed now you cant really define it. But there are a lot of skaters out here in the valley and it influences a lot of the younger kids out here.
The Internet Is a very important tool for anybody these day. If you use it right it can be very powerful and beneficial to you. We use the Internet to communicate with A LOT of people who aren’t in our area through emails. We built a strong email list of Great Bloggers, Stores, Photographers , Models and other brands that are on our side and have our backs 100% we believe that it takes making friends not enemies to be successful.
• What should your followers expect to see in 2013 and beyond?
We have a lot of Ideas we hope to get out with in the rest of the year and next year. We plan on having more accessories and collaborations with a lot of up and coming brands from the valley, LA and Other cities. We are excited to show our hoddies sweatshirts and possibly Custom socks with in the next season.
I think what makes us different is that we are NOT trying to capitalize on the Virgin mary designs or bandana prints. We truly are from where those ideas are taken from we were raised around it and it is apart of our up bringing. In east LA I had cousins who were in gangs and having bandana prints on you meant something it was a sign of something and not everybody could wear it. Now everybody wears it with no affiliation or idea of where it came from and I don’t respect it. Same as the Virgin Mary , Jesus Pieces and Crosses you see on everything and everybody nowadays.
• Where and how can new followers follow your brand ? instagram? twitter? facebook?
We are Heavy on Instagram. That is the biggest and best social Media outlet in the world right now because everybody is on it and its easy for people to get in touch with each other. We have made A LOT of connects through Instgram and continue to reach people from all over the world. @Afterlife_LA ! we don’t have a twitter yet but ive never really been into it for some reason.
I saw A interview of 40 oz van a while back that had me really inspired and i have to say he’s top on my list maybe because He started off with hats just like Im doing and i would love to have the success he’s having. And Nicky Diamond hands down this guy is killing the game.
My long term goals are simple. I want to be a staple in the valley I want everyone in the valley to be apart of Afterlife I want them to support and protect the company like it was there own and maybe one day have a shop like Primitive shoes so we can both supply the valley with all the Newest Fashion. Thats all.