INTERVIEW WITH RUBEN BARRAZA
MAJOR WAVEZ By Alexandra Bonnet
What inspired you to launch your sneakers line?
I’ve always been into fashion and my retail background definitely played a big part in that. I would custom shoes when I worked at Urban Outfitters and I would get a lot of feedback from customers wanting to purchase. Overall, I’ve always been into fashion and I love sneakers in general.
Walk us through the process of creating a line. What are some obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?
I first start with picking a design that I want I would say keeping a shoe one theme can be difficult at times and also sizing and placement. I believe it is very important to highlight either the main character on the shoe or accents and that can be challenging at times. Growing up, do you remember your favorite pair of shoes? Can you describe them to us?
I was always a fan of skate shoes and Jordan shoes, I think probably because I skateboarded and I played basketball. But definitely the Osiris brand and Jordan brand, specifically the Jordan ones, and Jordan fours.
How would you describe the value of owning a pair of custom sneakers?
I would say it’s something special and a conversation starter. It’s something that you create and specifically made for you and your style, so I think that gives the wow effect as well as something more special.
Do you own a collection of sneakers yourself?
Yes. I have a large sneaker collection of about 25 to 30 shoes anything from height beast, high resale to personal favorites that I just like. I also owe in about 5 to 10 custom pairs of my shoes.
How much money have you spent on sneakers?
I’ve been a sneakerhead since I was about 10 so I would say a lot of money has been spent. But now that I’m older, I do purchase shoes quite frequently and I have pairs that are $1000 and some pairs that are $200. So in total, I would say upwards of $15,000.
In what ways do you believe fashion has a positive impact on someone’s well being?
I believe fashion is a way to express yourself and I think that putting an offer together or wearing the right shoes can help people build their confidence. Overall, I would say it’s a way to express yourself and I think that that can betray a positive and more confident person.
What role do sneakers play in today´s lifestyle? Is there something for everyone?
The role that sneakers play is very significant. I would say there are shoes for every type of person, from running to fashion to lifestyle, and also different types of affordable or expensive options. But in general, I would say there is a design that could be for anyone and being as complicated as a portrait to as simple as the name of a relative or someone you love.
What do you hope people feel when wearing a pair of your custom sneakers?
I hope they feel and see the work that’s been put into the shoe as well with the durability and the consistency of what they see online. I also hope that they feel like it’s a genuine MAJORWAVEZ product and a one-of-a-kind, as I do take my time for each custom pair and make sure when they receive it they love them.
Tell us more about some artists you have worked with. What is your favorite part about working with them?
I’ve worked for a handful of artists I’ve worked for Kodak Black, Tyga, Young Thug, Trey Songz, Rae Sremmurd, and A$AP Rocky. Most of the artists I work for, pick some designs of my website. Some of them gave me a creative direction and creative feedback on how they wanted their shoes made. Overall, I am still grateful for the opportunities that I have come across and I like the challenges and creative direction they like to push towards.
What are some things you have learned from working with other big brands?
I have learned a lot from working with bigger brands. From the operational part to setting up tech packs and graphic design work but I wasn’t too familiar with at the beginning so I would say it’s all learning experience and I’ve learned a lot over the years.
Who is someone you would love to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with any shoe companies Nike, Adidas, Puma,... I feel like these companies are well established and have been around for so long that it would be a learning curve for me. I would learn a lot about what it takes and how to see the creative and designing process either way. Hopefully, I will see something like that in the near future.
If you could be a shoe, which would you be and why?
If I were a shoe, I would be a Jordan One because it’s a lifestyle shoe and a basketball shoe at the same time. Both simple and iconic.
Have you ever considered opening physical retail stores?
I do plan on opening up a physical retail store where I will be showcasing my designs and also offering classes to show people how to make customs. I plan on having a bunch of industrial sewing machines and writing classes for free on the weekends to give to the creatives who would love to learn.
Tell us more about upcoming projects and collaborations.
I would like to say that I do have a few projects that are coming up but I am in a non-disclosure so you guys will have to wait and see. But one of them is with a big company and I am very excited about it. Other than that, I am always creating new designs and I’ll fly out on opening my store sometime within the next 6 months.