Joey Asturias, Rair Threads CEO and Founder, sports the classic lightning bolt tee.

Joey Asturias, Rair Threads CEO and Founder, sports the classic lightning bolt tee. Photos courtesy of Rair Threads

Rair Threads, a curation of minimalistic streetwear clothing, is making waves in the Alamo City. I recently got the opportunity to sit down for an interview with Joey Asturias, CEO and founder of Rair Threads to discuss the brand, streetwear culture and the work that goes into running a clothing brand while also being a college student. Asturias is, a senior multidisciplinary studies major, took the tools he attained at UTSA and used them to build his own startup company. What started off as a small project, blew up into a popular San Antonio brand and is even making a push to surrounding cities and beyond.

 

Nash Chitakure, Rair Threads Financial Advisor, ponders the brand’s next best move.

Nash Chitakure, Rair Threads Financial Advisor, ponders the brand’s next best move. Photos courtesy of Rair Threads

 

Streetwear culture has definitely made a big push in recent memory here in San Antonio. Rair Threads is one of those brands that is adding refreshing new looks by taking a very minimalist approach to design whilst keeping in mind attention to detail.They are currently working on their season two collection. The fascinating aspect of their brand is the overall themes each season brings to the table. Season zero was a curation of  sky-themed merch, ranging from lightning bolts to clouds, while Season one consisted of a space theme. The designs of the clothing, while subtle, definitely pop out. The stitching and branding of each item is intricate and the quality of Rair Threads is comparable to the quality of big named streetwear brands.

Rair Threads is community driven and takes pride in the city of San Antonio. They are currently working on a tribute collection that features the throwback Spurs fiesta colorway, and it is something you should definitely be on the lookout for in the near future. From pop-up shops to South by Southwest (SXSW),  Rair Threads is always scheming and looking for ways to build their brand while also paying homage to the 210.

Asturias is consistently cooking up new ways to push the boundaries of Rair Threads while also staying true to its roots and has many ambitions for the company. “Setting up a scholarship fund is definitely something I envision. Growing up in San Antonio, I would love to see myself giving back to my high school and the UTSA community as well,” Asturias said.

Asturias shed light on the adversity you face and the persistence you need to turn your visions into a reality. One of the most admirable qualities about Asturias is that he didn’t start his company for the monetary gains. He gave a word of advice that I think could resonate with all roadrunners, regardless of what path we are taking, “There are so many resources out there that people don’t take advantage of. As a college student, it’s so important to have people that can mentor you. It’s also vital to be surrounded by people who are going to help build you up.”

Asturias is completely driven by his love for fashion and knowing that he is making his mark in such a tight-knit community. He is striving to bridge gaps and ensure unity in the Alamo City. Like paintings, music or other outlets of expression; fashion is something that brings people together.

Be on the lookout for Rair Threads. Whether it’s at SXSW in Austin, or First Friday here in SA, Rair Threads is always on the move and you will definitely be seeing them more in the near future.

You can purchase and browse Rair Threads at:

Rairthreads.com instagram: @rairthreads_  twitter: @rairthreads_

Full Interview available online

Q: Tell me a little about yourself (major, where your from, high school, etc)

I’m currently a multidisciplinary studies and marketing  student on my last semester here at UTSA. I graduated from Roosevelt high school. I am an RA here on campus. This helps a lot because I am able to connect with the residents there. That’s also been my home for the past three years. I have some merchandise setup in my dorm in case anybody ever wants to stop by and check it out. It’s actually crazy because I met my photographer through being an RA as well. He’s into streetwear and fashion as well, so we clicked off the bat. I’m also doing a marketing  internship downtown at the Aztec Theatre. So aside from Rair, I also have two other jobs. I like to stay busy for sure.

Q: Why fashion over other outlets of expression?

You can’t wear artwork; Rair is something I created that I can wear everyday to represent myself. I came up with all of these designs and other people like them too, that’s what encourages me to go ahead and push out my expressions in this form. Fashion is the best way to have self expression, especially with sneakers too. When I wear some of my favorite sneakers with the shirts I created, it’s cool to see how something I created myself can blend in with the rest of myself.

Q: Outside of your company, what are some other careers you wouldn’t mind trying?

I’m also real big into technology, a lot of social media stuff. I think a website like StockX has an innovative idea and they’ll be taking over very soon. I’m very big into smaller startups. So StockX began as a startup, but there’s also small startups I would be interested in being apart of. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a big company. You don’t really have a ton of say in working for a large corporation. I like to stay busy. I like to think that I’m versatile and like to push my comfort zone whenever possible. I wouldn’t mind doing a bit of management here and there. That’s one of the big reasons I like running this company. It’s a small startup that will get me on to something even bigger in the future.

Q: What goes into the process of designing a new Rair thread?

The first design I ever made was our thunderbolt shirt. I had always wanted something of my own to have a thunderbolt on it. One day I was messing around with photoshop, making a thunderbolt. I took a simple design and made it my own. I then wanted something to go along with that general theme, so I designed some pieces with a rain cloud on it. That ended up being our Season 0 collection. That was a sky themed collection. Then with the release of our Season One collection, we created a space theme.

Right now we are working on a tribute piece for the city of San Antonio that features the original Spurs colorway. Locally, our stuff has been doing well so I would like to pay tribute to SA. We live in such a big city that seems pretty spread out and separated. I want to bridge the gaps. There’s definitely a disconnect between UTSA main campus and downtown San Antonio. I’m trying to see how I could bridge the gap and blend downtown with the main campus area. I am working on setting up a shop by main campus that would feature local artists from downtown. We are finalizing the details on this and are shooting for March and April.

The name of our company is Rair Threads because we specialize in embroidery. One thing we are looking to get into as well is possibly printed tees. That would be a cool way to branch out from embroidery.

Q: It seems like we have this new wave of streetwear from guys like A$AP Rocky and Virgil Abloh , is there any particular celebrity or brand who you draw inspiration from?

I love A$AP’s whole aesthetic in fashion. He’s a big inspiration to me. The designer behind the Hundreds definitely inspires me. They put out really sick clothing without charging outrageous prices. They have a story behind their brand. So whenever I’m thinking of new designs, I look to them for inspirations. The brand is for everybody. It could be style for the youth or even tailored towards our parents. That’s how we want Rair to be too. Whoever wants to rock it honestly. Whenever we look at our audience it’s young males and students in college. Yet at the same time, our stuff is centered towards everybody. We strive to make our clothing universal.

Q: I noticed Rair takes a very minimalistic approach with designs, can you speak a little on that?

I like to consider myself an organized type of dude. With that being said, I like to stay consistent with a lot of the things that I do. When it comes to embroidery, the minimalist design looks great. I want to make stuff that stands out. But with Rair, you’re able to say more by doing less. With our merchandise, it’s also able to appeal to more people with the minimalism involved. Even though it’s minimalistic we still stay vigilant and aware of attention to detail. All of our merchandise has tags with the logo on it. So even though it’s minimalistic, the detail, branding, and packaging, etc. Details matter.

Q: If Rair could collaborate with any one brand or artist who would it be and why?

Honestly it would be cool to get a Rair sneaker going so I would love to collab with Nike. Nike has a lot of bold colors on their sneakers.Maybe even a Nike SB dunk for all the skaters. Definitely an SB dunk or even an Air Jordan 1 or Cortez.

Q: Can you speak on what Rair has cooking up for the future?

We are currently looking into a couple days or so out at SXSW in Austin. I think that would be a perfect way for Rair to branch out from San Antonio. We are definitely preparing very well for such a large event. We also recently had a soft release with Nomad at Imagine Books and Records. It was a pretty decent sized venue with a solid amount of local artists performing. It was definitely a good way to gain exposure and we are looking to do the same in Austin at South by Southwest. We consistently take part in first friday which is also great for our brand as well.

Q: Where do you picture your company in five years from now?

Definitely looking to get some teams of ambassadors going for Rair. Since we primarily work with streetwear, I’m trying to connect and partner with skateboarders and the bicycle communit[es]. I would even like to work with some hoopers. With the Spurs here in SA, I would love to reach out to some of the players. Even hosting my own events and tournaments and giving back to the community. Setting up a scholarship fund is definitely something I envision. Growing up in San Antonio, I would love to see myself giving back to my highschool and the UTSA community as well. I want to take the knowledge I learned here at UTSA with business and use it to help the community. I know there are a lot of kids out there who want to start their own business or something similar. That’s what I want to be about: Building a community, and that’s what I strive to center Rair around. Creating this brand is a movement. I want to bring people together while also giving them opportunity to express themselves through fashion.

Q: What are some of your plans in the near future?

We’ve been doing alot of pop-up shops at surrounding venues. We’ve been apart of various  sneaker shows and conventions. That was one of our bigger influences. We’ve also been making a push out of the UTSA main campus area to downtown San Antonio. All the locals in that area support each other and I’m glad to be apart of it.

If you are familiar with True North, it’s a streetwear store over by North Star Mall. They have been doing very well. They specialize in brands like Supreme, Bape, Palace, etc. True North has an abundance of rare sneakers and hidden gems. You can’t really find most of this stuff in San Antonio. With the release of Rair’s Season One collection, we got to do a pop-up shop there. That was a perfectly place to hit the ground running. We had a lot of people show out. We are planning on going back out at some point. I was glad we were able to be apart of that. For the most part, we have been doing tabling popups. But I recently got the opportunity to partner up with “Life’s Sweet”  company, another clothing brand I met at first Friday this past January. They have a brand called the Nomad, which is essentially a mobile pop-up shop. So there’s going to be four brands in there; Rair being one of them. The pop-up shop is ran through a van that will have art, clothing and jewelry. It’s pretty big and can fit 10 people in at a time. It’s like a real shop, just on wheels. It gives us the ability to tour around San Antonio with ease.

Q: Any advice for people who want to do a startup company?

The biggest thing is that there are so many resources out there that people don’t take advantage of. I mean, especially as a college student, it’s so important to have people that can mentor you. It’s also vital to be surrounded by people who are going to help build you up. Surround yourself by positivity and people are going on a similar path as you. I got a lot of my dedication from business class. Getting started is the hardest part. 2018 was definitely rough and we were faced with a lot of adversity starting the brand up. You definitely figure things out as you go through it. Yet if you can get through those early stages things won’t be as stressful. You will have to make sacrifices. While everyone is out there having fun, you got to put in that extra work. That’s the difference between an individual that is serious about something, and someone that’s not. Don’t get caught up in the inevitable distractions. There were weekends when I could’ve been out having fun, but I care about the company too much. That’s what it all boils down too. I see a lot of people out there who work hard, but not smart, You could be working towards a goal but if you don’t work efficiently, somebody out there is going to accomplish your goals in half the time it takes you to. Working hard won’t get you as far if you are unorganized.

Q: If you had to pick one pair of sneakers to wear for the rest of your life what would it be?

Probably the Air Jordan I, that’s what I rock with a lot of my designs. I have the Chicago Air Jordan 1’s that I wear with a lot of the stuff from my season 2 collection. They’re also real comfortable, so that’s why I would choose those over any other shoe. The Jordan I suits our minimalistic style and is a staple in streetwear culture.

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