The Little Brown Kid That Could.

I first met Francisco Reyes Jr.—aka Never Made—last year at Agenda Long Beach.
I ran into a few Friends from The Hundreds: Eddie Viramontes and Phil Lumbang. Phil had the opportunity to intern under Shepard Fairey, creator of Obey. Coincidently, Francisco was working with Shepard as well. 

You could say Phil was the plug. That was the way in.

A chat with Eddie and Phil soon turned into lunch with Francisco. He was a super rad guy. I gave him a run down of where I was at in life; I told him about interning at The Hundreds, working as Jr. Product Designer at The Bumbag Co. and of course about Emanon. He was genuinely interested in my little design career. 

We went our separate ways after lunch, but I continued to admire from afar. 

I first came across Francisco’s work a few years back on Instagram. I fell in love with his vibe, and what he stood for. “Never made, always earned.” I related to him on a new level. Growing up as a child of Mexican immigrant parents, I understood his beliefs and his work ethic. Just like him, I’ve never had anything handed to me. I’ve worked hard for everything I’ve ever had. 

Flash forward a year, and I find out Never Made is doing a collaboration with one of the biggest streetwear brands in the world: Obey.

As a designer, you dream about opportunities like that, but few get to see it play out. 

I drove 2 hours with my girlfriend and a few friends to the release party. No way was I going to miss it. Free tattoos, free beer and Shepard Fairey on the 1’s and 2’s. Doesn’t really get better than that. The turn out was insane. Shoulder to shoulder crowds of people admiring Cisco’s art and merch; Obey bags in one hand, their free beer in the other.

I was stoked to see Cisco getting the recognition he deserves. We went to congratulate him, and were met with high fives and hugs all around. He just had the biggest smile on his face, and the fact that he remembered me made it a thousand times cooler.  

There’s something about seeing the people you admire succeed. The "little brown kid that could” was living out his dream, and I saw a part of myself in him. 
Cisco’s journey constantly motivates me to continue on mine. His road to success inspires me to keep working until I’m living my own dream, and showing the world and our “raza, que si se puede.”
Photography by: Jean-Richard Perez @Rezuhloot


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