This week’s Fashion Forward focuses on talented LGBTQ artists who are making fashion waves not only in South Florida, but around the world.
I sat down with my fellow Puerto Rican designer, Jose Diaz, who is the designer of a beautiful line of swimsuits for men based in South Florida, to get the fashion T about his brand Jose Diaz Swim.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is the perception of seeing something perfect, charming or attractive. Beauty is also a relative matter; what is beautiful for someone is not always for others.
What sparked your interest in fashion?
I was inspired by other fashion designers in Puerto Rico. I decided to get my second degree in fashion design, because it was something I enjoyed and could be good at.
Did you always know you wanted to become a fashion designer?
No. I got my first degree in photography. After a few years of working for a magazine, I decided to take the plunge and study fashion design.
How did your parents react? You are from a small town in Puerto Rico where that is probably not the most common career choice.
At first they were worried, because they know that fashion design can be a risky career; but as time has gone by they have recognized my passion for it and helped me.
Why did you want to start the label?
After a few years of exploring what I could do well in the fashion world, I decided to create my brand Jose Diaz Swim with a focus on swimwear for men because I simply found it so hard to find attractive, quality men’s underwear. I also chose swimwear because it’s just fun to play with – and, of course, South Florida is such a natural market for the product.
Can you describe the Jose Diaz customer?
Sexy, confident, luxurious, edgy and freeing.
Where do you get your inspiration?
As an island boy, I have always been drawn to the tropical lifestyle that my swimwear represents. I also find inspiration in nature and art.
What is next for your line?
To keep expanding Jose Diaz Swim in locations across the country and then to launch a line for women.
Where can we find your beautiful swimsuits?
You can find them online at Josediazswim.com and at Creative Male in Miami, Pride Factory in Fort Lauderdale, MojoMan in Orlando, and Chelsea Exclusive in New York.
Jose Diaz Swim designs are for men who are confident, sexy and daring.
And amigos THAT is a very good thing!