Founded in January 2014 “AURUM TRIBE CO.” is a couture street-wear brand from a group of young Hispanic visionaries based in Los Angeles. The brand was created by Ricardo Villanueva (Je Suis Moi), Jerry Leone, Freddy Montoya, Rodolfo Salcedo and Mathew Pineda. Aurum Tribe Co started as a simple idea but has now grown into a fully fledged brand and company, rooted in both community and vision. While Aurum’s initial production is limited a to just a few boutique pieces, this allows the young brand to treat each of their product releases as ‘a moment’ allowing for a more unique approach to product production. While it is only Aurum Tribe’s 2nd year into existence, Aurum Tribe Co. has already gained the attention of many notable creatives such as creative director Virgil Abloh (OFF-WHITE) APEX (London Based Group), Its 8085 (London Creative Platform), Cozz (Dreamville recording artist), KR (Independent Hip-Hop Artist) and Mr Carmack & SPZRKT of the musical outfit, Soulection. Aurum Tribe Co.’s charismatic young owner Ricardo Villanueva states “Our brand is not for money or fame, but for the people who support our movement”, the ultimate goal for Aurum Tribe Co is to always represent and instill where they come from as a platform for the vision and support of family, friends, and community. It is Villanueva’s prudent approach in direction that has effectively aqueduct the infusion of high end fashion and urban street wear within every garment and piece of clothing created by Aurum Tribe Co. Looking to the future, the brand is now working and on schedule to producing 3 separate collections of around 5 items within each collection. Aurum Tribe Co. also has plans to collaborate on pieces with artists in fashion and music such as SodaSupreme, Blake Minto, Nick $tokes, Mike Santana, and many more.
I recently had the pleasure to catch up with Aurum Tribe Co.’s co-owner & creative director Ricardo Villanueva (Je Suis Moi) read the full interview below:
Hey Ricardo, thank you for taking the time, can you tell the readers a little bit more about yourself, how did you start up doing fashion?
My name is Ricardo Villanueva (Je Suis Moi); I am 19 yrs old and an aspiring New Age Creative from Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. Fashion was never really something that I cared for much up until my senior year of high school. I suddenly saw a brilliant creative known as Jerry Lorenzo (Fear Of God) and noticed that his clothes told stories rather than just being another piece of product; so I figured “Hey, if he can do that, then so can I”. Luckily I have gotten positive responses in my work and continue to work behind scenes.
Let’s talk Aurum Tribe Co., what pieces are currently available? Can we expect any new releases this year?
Aurum Tribe Co. currently has no available pieces. We have been working behind the scenes on some special products for our consumers. It’s not always about continuing to release products, it’s about exclusivity and being that brand that someone thinks; “Damn I need to get one of their products because they only release them once”. But you can expect us to release 3 Capsules of 5 products in each. We are taking the time to release everything precisely.
Since launching Aurum Tribe Co., what have you done to gain exposure and recognition for the brand?
With the modern technology that we have today, the best utensil that we have to gain exposure and recognition is social media via Twitter, Linked In, Instagram etc. But our overall tactic is communication with certain creatives and being able to accumulate strong friendships from these creatives in order to help build more than just a brand but a movement as well.
I respect your creativity, can you tell us what inspires you to create?
In all honesty, anything and nothing is what inspires me the most to create. The simplicity of certain things I see in my daily life such as, the ocean, museums, writing in books, portraits, even music. But also the emptiness of a cleared mind can also inspire me to create.
Your twitter bio indicates your are between L.A and London, how important are these places to you?
LA is where I am from; so it is only right that I do my hometown justice and represent them, but London is also as equally important because it is one of the Top 5 Global Fashion Capitals of the World and I hope to see my clothes there soon because London has inspired me to think ahead in culture and the products that I create.
Are their any artists you would like to see wear your clothes? Also, are their any artists you would like to collaborate with in the future?
There are a lot of artists that I want to see wear my clothes but I also have a selected few that my designs would fit with the most, these are artists like, Travis $cott, Kanye, Jaden Smith, Moises Arias, Mateo Arias, Vic Mensa, A$AP Rocky, etc…. Well one artist that I have collaborated with right now is MSFTSrep’s own dylAn and we will be working on more products and creative ideas together; but I would really like to collaborate with Jaden Smith and Moises Arias.
You managed to catch the attention of OFF-WHITE’s C/o Virgil Abloh, how does that feel?
This is an ecstatic feeling, to have the attention of such an influential creative such as Virgil is a true blessing and shows that with hard work, the recognition and support will be returned immensely.
Being Hispanic, and in fashion, do you feel the need to represent that side of you?
I think that being hispanic really doesn’t interfere with the products that I create because I know exactly what I want them to represent and choose what influences my ideas in fashion. So it’s all about what I choose to represent rather than letting my race do that for me.
What has influenced your own personal style?
Jaden Smith and Kanye West are the reasons for my personal style. Their intuit for culture, fashion, music, and art has been the backbone towards my style and lifestyle. However, I do not try to be like them, I just run on influence through their creative platforms.
Having established Aurum Tribe Co. last year, what did you learn in your first year of production?
It’s all about patience, on average a start-up company will settle in on it’s 5th year; so we have a long way to go. We have been through some ups and downs and will continue to see those conflicts as we expand and grow as a company. But we are more than prepared and look forward to encountering those challenges.
Where do you see Aurum Tribe Co. in the coming years?
I am no fortune teller so I can’t really answer that question, but I do achieve my goals and one of those goals is that Aurum Tribe Co. will be a big part in some of the fashion collaborations that will take place. Whether this is something we get credited for or not, it will happen.
What is the most underrated / overrated trend you have seen in recent years?
I tend to not try and focus on what is trending because it is not part of my craft, but in recent years, I have seen ordinary trends like joggers, snapbacks, graphic tee’s and now extended apparel. I will confess, we have upcoming products that will include extended apparel but we have added our personal influence on these products.
In terms of music, who are you listening to currently?
I am very diverse and don’t really listen to mainstream artist, at the moment I have been listening to a lot of Jaden Smith, Daniel D’ artiste, dylAn, Van Hill, Rashaun Hampton, Czech Royalty, Father, Juhova (Carolina Sound), Kleber Jones, Night Lovell, Appleby, Amir Obe, Roy Woods etc, the list can go on and on.
Okay to finish up, let’s talk general stuff, what’s the most random thing you do / like that people would be surprised by?
I am a huge gamer and play League Of Legends by RIOT Games almost the same amount of time that I design or create.
Thank you Je Suis Moi, I wish you the best of luck, do you have any last words you want to leave our readers?
Be on the look out for the 3 Side. Support the 3 Side movement, and tell Drake we are ready to work when he is!!!!
Shop Aurum Tribe Co.‘s now on aurumtribeco.bigcartel.com