Embrace Your Era: Meet the Founders of Zelig!

You may have seen these guys around... or perhaps you haven't, since Architecture students are known for being covert on campus. Their Zelig Wear line, however, is anything but subtle! Her Campus UPR sat down with these business-savvy future architects to see what all the hype on Zelig Wear is all about.

Founders: Manuel Pérez Miranda, Efrain Sánchez and Roberto Reyes

Brand: Zelig Wear

Born: 09.28.2013

Website: www.zeligwear.com

HCUPR: What is Zelig Wear about?
Manuel: Zelig is a new clothing line that adapts to meet the needs of the people that live in Puerto Rico. By creating a modern apparel with a fresh and unique style, Zelig aims to represent the island lifestyle as fashion harmony between the beautiful beach scenery and urban context.

HCUPR: What products does Zelig sell?
Efrain: Panel caps, graphic tees, pocket tees, wooden sunglasses and —coming soon!— board shorts.

HCUPR: How was Zelig born?
Manuel: I was in a meeting with Efrain and other students, and between discussing new ideas about graphics and design, we came across the opportunity of innovating something that would attract a more general audience that isn't necessarily interested in design. So that's how we agreed to start making t-shirts designed by us. As for the name, the idea came from our partner Roberto Reyes, who is head of the marketing side of Zelig. 

Memorable Motto: Embrace yourself, embrace your style..."Embrace Your Era"

HCUPR: Since when have you been toying with the idea of starting a business like Zelig?
Efrain: Ever since I was little I have been involved with art. I remember back in the day when I was in a visual arts school, I always kept brushing up on my skills because I knew that one day I would do something that I'd need them for. Before I started working with Zelig, I was working with Manuel on another project (that's still on-going) called It's Design. I have been trying to implement both architecture and business, since I want to grow as a professional in the visual arts, design and entrepreneurship scene. 

Manuel: I've always said that I love architecture and I like the idea of becoming an architect, but nowadays it needs to transform itself and do something more than simply buildings. Instead, it should be more aware about the concepts theory and work together with what we know to be design. People have the wrong idea about design; they think design is something that should be secondary to architecture, when in reality everything needs to be done with a sleek design! I think I began thinking about Zelig once I launched It's Design. Both projects are an example of how I have been able to influence the industry by implementing some of my innovative ideas. 

HCUPR: Do your future career plans include Zelig?
Manuel: I know that I want to be an architect. But as an alternate plan, Efrain and I have more or less the same perspective on this: Zelig is another way of breaking into the industry effectively. I want to be able to do something more, and Zelig is definitely that...We are taking this business seriously, so we expect for it to continue growing!

Efrain: As an architect, I have been developing an artistic vision. What we see today is that many architects diversify and leave strict architecture to join other fields that are related to art and design... We could say that Zelig is our way of thinking out-of-the-box and diversifying ourselves, too. This is a full-time project and when we decided to do it, we said that we were going to give our best... And that's exactly what we are doing. 

HCUPR: How many times a week do you guys meet to discuss new ideas for the brand?
Manuel: Usually, we meet on Mondays and Wednesdays. 

HCUPR: How did you guys decide to put your heads together to develop Zelig?
Manuel: I remember that I needed a photographer for the It's Design project, and I knew Efrain was a good one, so I contacted him. I knew he had skills, and we were classmates, so that's how we came together. As for Roberto Reyes, I've known him since I was a three-year-old, and he was someone that I knew I could trust. I needed a person that could not only contribute to the project, but that I could also count on. He was always outspoken and had shown his leadership skills while in high school. He runs the administrative side of Zelig, while Efrain and I do more the public relations and design of the clothing line. 

Roberto Reyes and Manuel Pérez 

HCUPR: Where will Zelig be in 5 years?
Efrain: Sometimes Manuel and I argue because I am always imagining how far this project can go. I would love to see Zelig at an international level, and of course, a reputable brand in Puerto Rico. I would like to manufacture and make everything here on the — not just to for Zelig, but more importantly to help nurture the economy and help by doing something more. 

*Roberto Reyes could not attend to the interview.

Photo Courtesy: Zelig Wear Facebook Page