Rebel Etiquette is the brainchild of friends Cathy Collette, Andrew Ibea, and Julian Sambrano Jr. In this blog series, we take a glimpse into the people behind the brand. First up, let’s meet co-founder Julian.
A native of San Francisco, Julian moved to Los Angeles ten years ago. When asked to describe his personal style, Julian says: “street, with a bit of prep, is what I feel most comfortable in.” On a given day, you might find him running around sunny southern California in a fitted button-down shirt worn with the sleeves rolled up, slim denim cutoff shorts, and duck boots. He’ll throw on a pair of oversized nerd glasses and top it all off with one of the snapbacks in his enviable hat collection. Julian’s closet is a mashup of the doesn’t-give-a-damn rugged urbanite, and the sophisticated gentleman with an eye for color, tailoring, and detail. “I have been told many times, ‘You dress different….you are so YOU!’–along with a side eye,” he says with a laugh. “I used to take offense to that but now I am owning it.”
It is exactly this attitude–“owning it”–that drives Rebel Etiquette’s line of men’s accessories. The label’s name is intentionally oxymoronic, Julian explains: “A rebel is someone who stands up against opposition, a revolutionary. Etiquette is a code you live by in a society or group. Personally, I was raised to have etiquette and always be polite, especially to my elders. However, I am realizing that the rules of etiquette I was taught don’t necessarily always work to get what you want in life. You have to create your own set of rules that work for you and that is where the rebel comes in.”
What’s your favorite piece in the inaugural Rebel Etiquette collection, and how would you wear it?
I would have to say that my favorite piece is the KYLE, our silk and leather bow tie. This is our only bow tie that you tie yourself, and it’s reversible. I love the personality you get from tying it yourself.
For a more formal look, I would wear the Kyle with a Hugo Boss Glen Plaid suit and a white button-up shirt. Tie it with the silk side forward, and flip a piece of the knot to show an accent of leather. People really notice that leather detail and it’s a great conversation starter. To dress it down, I would wear the Kyle tied with the leather side forward, a chambray button-up, dark denim jeans, and black boots.
How did you meet Drew and Cathy?
When I first moved to SoCal, I stayed in a house with Drew for a couple of weeks. The first thing he said to me was, “Do you want to go to Hermosa and get drunk?” We instantly bonded over Jack and Cokes and the rest is history.
Cathy and I were acquaintances in high school, and I was re-introduced to her through Drew. We joke that I am her Gay Boyfriend and she is my Straight Girlfriend. She actually formally asked for the title one night when we were at an Esquire party in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills. It was quite romantic.
What inspired you to start Rebel Etiquette?
We have been wanting to do something together for a long time. We were going to do the t-shirt thing several years ago but honestly, we weren’t ready. At least I wasn’t. It wasn’t until last year that we were all at the right place in our lives, financially and mentally, to create something.
We may have done things a bit backwards. The name came first. Drew had the name Rebel Etiquette on his mind. Rebel Etiquette sparked the product and the message we wanted to send. Ties/bowties are connected to etiquette so we decided to start with these pieces but in our own way.
How do the three partners divide up the work? Who does what?
Well, to be honest, we all do almost EVERYTHING. Designing, production, social media, advertising, and accounting is all of us in some form. The things we need help with are PR and production, but we have been blessed to have a great network of people to help with this.
Does Rebel Etiquette draw inspiration from being in the city of LA?
We are 100% made in Los Angeles and proud of that. So the materials are definitely shaped by our city. In the initial product line, we juxtaposed silk and leather. The pieces are meant to make statements without being overly loud. They have a cool air of confidence to them. Our pieces are versatile where you can wear them formal and casual, which can be an LA thing. You can get away with going almost anywhere in this city as long as you look good!
(Profile by Jean Ho follow @jeanho on twitter)