I’ve been back in the now flourishing Charlotte for a little over nine months now. It’s been such a defining experience, and I only continue to grow. One thing that has developed from my time here is this blog relaunch, and making sure I encompass a variety of topics. A major tagline feature, of course is, fashion! I love fashion for the parts that make it whole. I like to get fresh, I like to get others fresh, (and most importantly) I like to see what goes behind the scenes for fashion brands too. If you took the time to look at some of my older posts (which can be found here), they focused on certain individuals who I think were really personifying style at the time. This time I’m taking it up a notch, not just to challenge myself but to bring that love of fashion to you all by highlighting those who take fashion as their life’s endeavor. As someone who helped start a clothing brand , I know the stress and time it can take to really build a foundation, build a dedicated group of followers, and actually turn it into a business rather than just a fashion show among your friends.
(Don’t “HOW SWAY” me, please.)
The world is consistently proving to me how small it is, and it did so when I met my now good friend, Austin. So, as lucky as I am I meet a lot of these fashion entrepreneurs at work.. I originally met Austin at a lit party next to my girl’s house when I first moved to Charlotte. I thought “Well, this is just another lit white dude who’s cool and I’ll probably never meet again.” How little I knew, because Austin would frequent my store later in the year. He won a free hat from our company because his business card was chosen in our monthly drawing; and then I was introduced to Belligerent Apparel. Austin came in got his free hat, and our business partnership was born. At this moment, it still hadn’t clicked that we’d met before. Afterwards, Austin came by routinely to get his Belligerent hats made and it was always a pleasure brainstorming what threads looked best on which patterns. Until one day Austin texted me the usual:
“ Hey man, you in the shop?”
“Yeah bro. I’m here until closing come on by.”
“Okay cool, I’m heading out from The Plaza now, be your way in 20.”
And then it hit me. My girlfriend lives off The Plaza. The party I went to the previous summer was next door to my girl’s. BOOM.
THIS WAS THE DUDE. THIS WHOLE TIME THIS MAN WAS MY GIRL’S NEIGHBOR.
And thus, our personal friendship began.
First, I want to say thank you to Austin for letting me feature him on my blog! SHH DUDE. So below is an interview between Austin and I about his brand, Belligerent Apparel.
Belligerent Apparel. Always Classy.
Who is Austin ?
What’s up!? My name is Austin Tomasello, I am 23 years old, and I live in Charlotte, NC. I am the CEO/Owner of the Lifestyle Brand : Belligerent.
What inspired you to create Belligerent?
My father had always been heavily involved in the fashion scene when we first moved to NC. He is the owner of multiple clothing companies including his most popular one, Chesterfield Manufacturing. He got me introduced into fashion at a young age but there was never anything I felt that suited me or my type of target market in the industry.
I remember my first day of junior year in high school, I was wearing a shirt I had just bought at the mall the day before, I felt so fresh and original. I thought I felt cool to have been wearing it …. I walked in and within the first five minutes I saw someone else wearing the same shirt as me which totally killed my ego haha!
I created Belligerent because I wanted to be able to create a fashion that has limited edition designs and gave people the freedom to express themselves without having to wear the same thing that everyone else can buy at the mall.
What does Belligerent symbolize?
Some people have different ideas of what Belligerent is about but the true meaning behind my company is to develop self motivated confidence. I built this company for everyone to have something different to wear and to express their inner thoughts, expressions, and ideas without being judged.
Belligerent is more than a clothing company, it’s a way of life. When I wake up in the morning, I’m not stoned or drunk, I am Belligerent. My friends and I have always been this way without being under the influence and that is the lifestyle that we have created.
What keeps you going? What’s your motivation?
This answer is simple, my friends & family.
Where do you see Belligerent in five years?
To be honest I take one day at a time. I have plans for the future but it all comes in time. Business plans are good, but you’ll never know where life will take you. Everything can change in the blink of an eye so that’s why I’m going with the flow. I have a huge confidence behind my company and all I can say is that the sky’s the limit.
Where can we find you on social media?
I like to be heavily involved with my friend base so I’m always offering promos and ways to keep my following involved. Every 100th like or follow wins you a free T-Shirt.
The main website where you can check out by brand, and place orders is : www.bebelligerent.com
Follow Belligerent Apparel at:
Check out these videos on YouTube to see more of what my company Belligerent is about !
So there you have it. Austin is out here! And so is Belligerent! Show some love to my man on his social networks and check out his website! As for what’s coming soon for Belligerent and Austin? Here’s what he had to say:
The way I see it is that I have ideas and I use them to create a new design. I don’t have a plan. Some days I wake up & do the same thing or some days I wake up & decide to put out new gear.
With my relaunch I am excited to introduce these brand and fashion pieces. If you or anybody you know is currently developing their personalized brand or company and would like to be featured contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on twitter or instagram, @manny_crash.
Under-promising and over-delivering, Belligerently,