With regards to his New Mexico upbringing and early influences, he offers, "I lived in the north valley of Albuquerque, NM. This was the capital of Cholo town; pointed-toe Winklepickers, creased khakis with cuffs, press-seamed Pendleton shirts, slicked back hair and starched headbands. These were some of my first heroes. To the average public, these are looks of Mexican gangsters, but really, it was just a heavy part of Chicano culture. At school I was known for having the sharpest creases, and I often pressed shirts and trousers for my cousins and neighborhood friends. It's strange to me now that this would become the very root of my career."
"I remember seeing A Hard Day's Night as a child and being in tears when it was over. I just wanted to live the life of music and fashion, and run around on the football field with The Beatles. My mother and aunt worked in the Levi Strauss factory on the outskirts of town, and a lot of patchwork garments were made on the kitchen table from the scraps my mother would bring home from work. So construction of garments was first nature to me - music seemed impossible and unreachable at that age."
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