From Bad Bunny to Daddy Yankee: FRSH Company's Harry Maldonado Shares Unique Urban Fashion Trends

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Courtesy of FrshCompany/Imagine It Medía 
Harry Maldonado

In addition to being music stars, artists like J Balvin and Bad Bunny have established themselves as fashion icons. But, to captivate the audience, they all need a mastermind with their same vision.  

FRSH Company, created by Harry Maldonado, became the real vision for urban acts. "In Puerto Rico, the exclusive lines always were surfer-style clothes, because of our location and life style, and there was nothing dedicated to the urban genre" Maldonado tells Billboard. "Now the story is different, the trends have changed. It's all more casual, the colors are more vivid and urban."

Today, Daddy Yankee, Bad Bunny, Residente and Myke Towers (to name a few) are artists who support the 29 years-old visionary and his idea of creating iconic pieces inspired by Puerto Rican legends in music, sports as well the history of the Caribbean island.

Billboard reached out to Maldonado who explained how  he became an important fashion asset within the urban genre and gave us exclusive tips on what pieces are hottest to use.

How did you start with FRSH Company?

I had this idea since I was in high school. I always looked at certain pieces and thought [how to be]different and unique and always had that vision. My parents had a business and I learned a lot from them. They worked their materials with factories outside of Puerto Rico, specially South America. In my case, I managed to do business with a factory in Peru while working in designs with friends at the university. I didn’t study fashion or graphic design, but I am able to create the  ideas. At first it was very hard, I had my stumbling blocks. But, I didn't give up.

How did you get people to know your brand?

Well, I distribute first in certain stores in Puerto Rico.  Then,  I decided to open an exclusive store. Days before the store opened, Bad Bunny was going to be in concert at Coliseo de Puerto Rico and my partner Omi Rivera, who knows his team, and I sent them a proposal.  Bad Bunny loved the idea. The Instagram account increased more than 25 thousand followers in one day.

After having Bad Bunny endorsing your line,  do you think you created a trend?

I can tell you that the movement in general was created first by J Balvin. Yes, Bad Bunny helped me a lot. We make unique pieces and that is what everyone likes and what they like.

Now, the jacket that Daddy Yankee used on the 2017 Billboard cover with Luis Fonsi is one of your creations. How did you feel to see an icon like Yankee supporting your brand?

That Barrio Obrero jacket was designed exclusively for Daddy Yankee because he is from that neighborhood. One day I found him at the beach. I had met him before, but I was surprised that he knew about my brand. You know, he supports local products (from Puerto Rico).  I told him that I wanted to create a special piece for him, he was excited.  I designed it the same night and sent it to the factory.    Sometime later, after Hurricane Maria, I went to Miami, Florida, to live and we met again. The jacket, I showed him a photo and he was fascinated.

Have any Daddy Yankee fans contacted you to buy the jacket?

Yes, it happens to me all the time. And, that Daddy Yankee piece was made just for him. I ordered only one.

So far we have talked about men, do you have designs for women?

Yes and it is the pieces that sell faster. But, it really is a smaller production. I concentrate more on the men's line, since it had been my vision since I was in high school.

What's next?

We are working on new collaborations with other brands to create unique pieces. A collaboration will basically unite my product with their product.

Can you tell us which are the popular pieces?

In collaboration with Bad Bunny, the track suit is inspired by the youth of our island, Puerto Rico.

The Santurce Bomber Jacket - Inspired by the city of Santurce and our national hero Roberto Clemente.

The 6 shorts, inspired by the Puerto Rican basketball player Carlos Arroyo.


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