Interview w/ Rebel Spirit Clothing’s, Edgar Munoz

21 Jul, 2012

Learn More About Rebel Spirit Clothing at: www.RebelSpiritClothing.com

Rebel Spirit Clothing

Edgar Munoz is the owner and head designer of the cutting edge Los Angeles-based clothing company, Rebel Spirit. He began designing clothing at the young age of 15. And after an inspiring trip to Juarez, Mexico at the impressionable age of 8, Munoz was largely influenced by the sights he saw there, in terms of the colors of the city and the traditional clothing worn by Juarez’s locals. After seeing a performance by magician Criss Angel, who was sporting a Rebel Spirt Jacket, Munoz delivered a box of Rebel Spirit Clothing to Angel and his company’s involvement with celebrites continued from there. Although Munoz never planned on marketing his brand to the entertainment industry, these days his brand is worn by many celebrities including, but not limited to Boyz II Men, Criss Angel, Pauly D. (Jersey Shore), the “Situation” (Jersey Shore), Snooki (Jersey Shore), Cristiano Ronaldo, Hulk Hogan, Mc Hammer, Jermaine Jackson, Joey Guila (Comedian), Joey Medina (Comedian), Bell Biv DeVoe, Corey Feldman, Sean Paul, and Bret Michaels. The list goes on…

Dig In Magazine: Where did you grow up?

Edgar Munoz: I was born in Hollywood, California 1n 1972. My family moved 3 years later to a city called La Puente 30 miles east of Los Angeles, and that is where I grew up.

DIM: How did you get introduced to fashion design?

EM: I was around 8 years old when I had taken a family vacation to Juarez, Mexico. There [I] experienced what was to be my passion for art and fashion. From the get go arriving to Juarez, Mexico was an introduction to colors and textures. Because everything was so different to me [and] so foreign, it attracted me. Anything from a rusted sign to a corroding brick wall that had been painted countless times exposing an array of emotions as the distressed top layer of turquoise paint was counting it’s days. As the days went on, I noticed these colors in the outfits worn by the people there. Oh man it was crazy, I used to think, “Aren’t they embarrassed to be wearing all those colors? And look at all those crazy patterns!” Well, after a couple of days had passed by, I started noticing that the people [that were] wearing these colors and patterns were not embarrassed, but [were] proud people. That was the defining moment of my introduction to fashion. Yup, I came home with a white sombrero with gold lacing and gold tassels paired up with my shinny new maroon boots, turquoise sweater and white jeans…ahhh I loved It!

MTV's Cast of Jersey Shore rockin' Rebel Spirit

DIM: When did you know that you first wanted to be a fashion designer and how did you discover your passion for design?

EM: That same year [that] I went to Mexico for vacation was the year that everything I would see from that time on was magnified by 10. I paid more attention to detail, colors and textures. I always asked myself why things were made the way they were and why did they use those colors…. sometimes I would drive myself crazy. As far as my passion for design, well I guess it started when I got home from the vacation. I started building things in my backyard and painting them with any house paint that was available. And yup, I would still rock my maroon boots…LOL

DIM: How did your career as a fashion designer get started?

EM: I was about 15 years old when my mother Amalia Munoz taught me how to use her sewing machine (the green monster). Her sewing machine was scary and still is ’til this day. It is a Rex Industrial model. I remember when she used to turn it on, it made this jet like humm [and] I thought, “No way will I ever put my hands behind that needle!” Well, I did. I believe I was about sixteen when I actually started doing solo projects. I recall making heart pillows with a puffy clowns faces and hands that would actually hold the heart, a really intricate piece. I would then write a girlfriends name or a boyfriends name on it and sell them in my high school. Well, that venture ended pretty quick. Dad put a stop to it. He didn’t like the fact that I was behind the sewing machine.

MTV's Jersey Shore Mike "The Situation" rockin' a Rebel Spirit Vest

DIM: How long has your clothing line, Rebel Spirit, been around?

EM: Rebel Spirit has been around for 4 years.

DIM: Where is Rebel Spirit based?

EM: Rebel Spirit is based in City of Industry, California, but will soon relocate to Rancho Cucamonga, California at the end of the year.

DIM: What made you decide to start your own clothing line?

EM: My decision on starting my own line was made after I left a former employer. I left on sad terms. It was my dream job. The owners got involved heavily in drug use and when I saw what I helped build start crumbling down, my soul could not take it, I had had enough. So, I left and started my journey.

DIM: What is the inspiration for the Rebel Spirit brand?

EM: The inspiration for Rebel Spirit is life, freedom to express our vision and have others enjoy it.

DIM: Where do you come up with the concepts for your designs?

EM: Concepts come from everywhere. One day I could be walking by an old building and notice something that stands out on it, or just wake up in the morning and bam, straight to the studio. I never stop thinking [and] I’m constantly looking everywhere at everything. I gotta stop doing that when I drive, there have been some close ones…LOL

Filipino Boxer, Ana "The Hurricane" Julaton in Rebel Spirit

DIM: What in your life influences your collections?

EM: I’m influenced by my father’s (Florencio Munoz) hard work ethic and my mother’s dream of having her own Sewing Boutique. When my mother was young, she opened up her own Boutique in Mexico, which soon closed due to my grandmother not believing in her and making her get a job so that they could have a steady income. So, I guess it makes me feel good to know [that] I have made her proud in achieving what I have so far. I still call mom for advice.

DIM: What are you trying to communicate through your fashion designs?

EM: What I communicate through my fashion is my life…my spirituality, my moods, and my passion for art. Things I find interesting. That is the scariest thing about starting your own brand, it is your identity. I guess I have a lot in common with a lot of people, because they seem to be liking Rebel.

DIM: Who does Rebel Spirit market to?

EM: Rebel Spirit has never really marketed to anyone. That has been the beauty in Rebel. I created a look and stamped on a tag line (A ROYAL WAY OF LIFE) and the rest is history. I believe that everyone is a Rebel and everyone should live as Royalty.

DIM: How did Rebel Spirit become a brand that markets to celebrities?

EM: Marketing to celebrities was never an option for us. We simply did not have a budget for that. What happened was, one night I was watching the magician Criss Angel during one of his shows and all of a sudden he comes into frame wearing a Rebel Spirit Jacket and roaring by on his motorcycle announcing his next big trick. It was crazy! So, the next day we contacted his people and delivered him a box of Rebel. That was the start for us. We still do that to this day. Celebrities always want something different, they want quality and Rebel is both.

Rebel Spirit Ambassador Dog the Bounty Hunter and Steve Lobel

DIM: Who are some of Rebel Spirit’s celebrity ambassadors?

EM: Ambassadors of Rebel: Boyz II Men, Criss Angel, Pauly D. (Jersey Shore), the “Situation” (Jersey Shore), Snooki (Jersey Shore), Cristiano Ronaldo, Hulk Hogan, Mc Hammer, Jermaine Jackson, Joey Guila (Comedian), Joey Medina (Comedian), Bell Biv DeVoe, Corey Feldman, Sean Paul, Bret Michaels and the list goes on…. I’d like to say thank you all for Rocking Rebel!!

DIM: Where do you see the Rebel Spirit brand going in the future?

EM: I see Rebel where it is now, the most original and influential brand out there. We don’t follow trends, we set them.

DIM: Where can people find Rebel Spirit Clothing?

EM: Rebel Spirit can be found at RebelSpiritClothing.com or at the following stores: the BUCKLE and METROPARK. We can also be found in many boutiques around the world.

About the author

Cindy Maram

Cindy Maram is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Dig In Magazine. She is an accredited film journalist for Sundance Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival and CAAMFest, as well as writer, vlogger, designer, digital, online & social media marketer. She possess a B.A from UC Davis in Cultural Studies and an M.A. in Mass Communications [Film and Marketing] and Popular Culture Studies from Cal State Fullerton.

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