Miami's underground fashion scene may be small, but it has proven more than capable of producing world-class creatives.
Take 24-year-old Julian Consuegra, a Miami Lakes native who has found success by paying homage to South Florida through clothes that sample the 305's youth culture. His label, Stray Rats, uses strong typography and visuals to create fashion filled with Miami-inspired cues.
"Every corner of Miami is inspirational," Consuegra says. "From Hialeah to South Beach, there are so many different personalities and mysterious creative people who fuel this city. I'm glad to be around a lot of them."
Consuegra started Stray Rats in 2010, drawing on the techniques he used for DIY flyers and album covers for his friends' punk bands. "I learned everything from... making flyers, records, and T-shirt designs for hardcore bands. It helped me develop my skills and style for years."
The result is a line of clothes that draws from hip-hop and punk culture without feeling as if it's appropriating the movements, like so many other designers.
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"A lot of my friends who go to punk gigs also skate and also are in tune with all styles of music," Consuegra says. "The attitudes are all there, and sometimes it's difficult to channel them in, but to me it makes sense."
He sells his T-shirts and hoodies plastered with rats and revolvers through his online boutique and at MIA Skate Shop. Stray Rats is still defiantly underground, but these days indie celebs such as Tyler the Creator rap onstage in the clothes, and it's tough to navigate a Miami nightclub without spotting a half-dozen of Consuegra's pieces.
"It's about understanding all different types of subcultures and truly and thoroughly enjoying them without lying to yourself."
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