When Hector Estrada immigrated to America for college, his plan was just to go to school, get a degree and return home to Puerto Rico. Who knew years later he would not only still be a New York resident, but also be responsible for recreating urban wear?
Even before graduating from college, Estrada landed a job with Ecko and continued to work with other major fashion labels after. It got to the point around 2001 when all major clothing lines were asking him to design similar threads. Estrada soon felt a responsibility to switch things up in the game. If he felt like fashion was getting mundane, he figured a lot of other people did too. Estrada then had the means to start his own line. Hence, Triko Clothing was born: a socially conscious line for the progressive, eclectic individual. The catalog contains s a wide range of men’s clothing, including t-shirts, button down shirts, track jackets, hoodies, sweaters, swimming trunks, denim, and trousers.
Triko distinguishes itself from other brands by staying true to itself. Estrada is very environmentally conscious and reflects that in his line by using sustainable materials, such as coconut buttons, bamboo buttons, and organic cotton. Also, Triko partners with organizations like PBS for their “Tell the children the truth” campaign. “We think they are doing a good job of educating people and broadcasting materials that other stations won’t, therefore giving people a broader vision of what the world is. I feel the right information is the key towards people becoming more educated and more tolerant of each other,” explains Hector.
Another group that Triko represents on their clothing and donates exclusively to is the Defenders of Wildlife. Estrada was drawn to this organization because he felt they make it easy for people to become environmental activists right from a computer. Currently, the Panda tee from Triko Clothing is one of the most popular spring items. Details include the number 1600 stitched repeatedly throughout the shirt, representing that there are only 1600 pandas left in the world.
Although the man behind Triko is Latino, he is careful not to have his line pigeon holed. If you look at the impressive range of people that have been seen in his clothes from the Black Eyed Peas, Chris Brown, Daddy Yankee, and Tego Calderon to name a few, you’ll see Triko is not targeted to any specific “market.” Instead Estrada describes his customers as “People who are not afraid to express themselves, or wear what they like, regardless of where it comes from. I always tell people that my customer has a wide range of music in his iPod. My customer is always looking for a way to elevate himself and raise his sophistication level.”
We are looking forward to Triko growing and expanding with a women’s line, which will be available as soon as August 1. For those who have aspirations of starting their own clothing line, Estrada advises: “You have to love fashion and educate yourself on fashion. Just because you buy clothes and wear clothes, doesn’t mean you know fashion. Above all, you have to really, really want it.”
For more information on Triko and where to buy, click here.