On The Come Up: A Conversation with Edgar Hernandez, Brand Owner of Cielos LA

On The Come Up: A Conversation with Edgar Hernandez, Brand Owner of Cielos LA

Today we are joined by Edgar Hernandez, owner of Los Angeles based streetwear brand Cielos LA. Cielos is a brand rooted in nostalgia and design, with many projects having a full experience from the product down to the packaging. Edgar is also part of the Sandbox, a collective of graphic designers headed under reknown designer Blazzy and his brand, Nothing Personal.

1. Pleasure to finally connect with you! How are you doing currently? 


 I am writing this on July 12th, and I can say its been overwhelming. In many ways its a good stress though.

In my professional life, the sherpas have finally arrived and so I am shipping them out with my family. It was the most orders I have ever received, so when I posted that they have arrived I believed that the email updates would be fewer but now it seems that they have doubled. I love it though, I like talking to our community whether its through email, dm’s, or in person. It gives me a sense of how everyone feels about the brand and ways that I can be better. 

I also work as a designer for Nothing Personal and it feels like I’m putting out my best work as of late. I think that my style in packaging has been evolving. A lot of influence from artist like Lostbros, hysterical melancholy, 3starcity3, and others! A lot of these projects I am talking about have not been teased yet but I’m confident that my style change will be noticable. 

In my personal life, I am giving myself a lot more responsibilities which is exciting too. 

2. As a fellow clothing designer, I'm curious what got you into making clothes? What does your journey look like?


I think my story is similar to that of Blazzy’s in which I came in only knowing how to do graphics, and not even on clothes or anything, just flyers and one-of-one packaging pieces that I would show off on Instagram. 

It wasn’t until I joined the Sandbox and the Nothing Personal team that I learned how to put a graphic on a t-shirt. I also contribute my interest in clothing design to E (Yael). He would put me on multiple clothing brands and vintage pieces that aren’t necessarily graphic heavy. Going into the Sandbox I definitely started caring more about what I wear which in turned into what I design. 

You are the average 5 people you spend the most time with. 

3. I noticed that your clothing brand (Cielos) features a lot of hispanic culture through both your products and marketing.What roles does your hispanic heritage play in your design process and brand ethos?


I think its by accident. I don’t go in thinking “I should design something Mexican/hispanic”. A lot of it is because I grew up on these kind of things and its what I best understand. Same with the Pokemon series, I grew up with a gameboy advance playing Sapphire. I wouldn’t change my childhood for anything, thats the biggest influence in my work. 

I would say though that as an adult I do acknowledge my roots and love my heritage WAY more. I had to unlearn a lot of the self hate I had back then. 

4. Talking more about Cielos, your brand has some of the hardest packaging and marketing in the game. Did you always plan from the beginning to make that such an integral part of your brand strategy?


Thank you and yes! Because a lot of my earlier work was packaging, I thought that it would be the best way to standout. Even with the first brand I started in 2019, I shipped these shitty long sleeve pro-club shirts in a valentines box. Hahaha they were so ass looking back but I definitely cared about those aspects of a product back then. 

I love the unboxing experience, whether its something from apple or a phone case from amazon. 

5. Are there any specific challenges or obstacles that you've encountered thus far in your journey that really tested you and made you stronger therefore?


I think its everything outside designing. Marketing on instagram and tiktok, running a website, and even making my business legitimate. 

But by far it has been manufacturing. My obstacle has and will continue to be quality issues and promises that they do not keep. For example they may promise to finish your bulk order in 30 days but then end up taking a few weeks extra. Also dealing with manufactures that do not care about the product as much as you do. What has been working for me is being honest with everyone about any delays or issues that we got. People tend to be lenient when you don’t lie to them, so just be transparent. 

Also shout out chris and new western!! Can’t do it without them.

6. What kinds of things do you do outside of designing/work to help your well being and keep you happy? 


Zelda and Smash bros, gym, art galleries, YouTube, and drinking with friends.

7. Do you have any daily rituals that keep you focused or set you up for a successful day?


Nothing special. I start my day with seeing whats up on instagram/tiktok, check emails first, work on any pending designs, and finish my day at the gym.

8. What is 1 piece of advice you have for an upcoming designer/artist looking to grow their own brand or make something for themselves?


Motivation can only take you so far. Its consistency that gets you to where you want to go. Especially on days that you do not feel like working.

Also don’t be afraid to reach out to people you admire or want to work with. These brand owners do open their dms, trust me! That being said, don’t reach out empty handed either. Show them your work. 

9. Thank you again so much for taking the time to talk about you and your brand! Is there anything exciting you wanna talk about for the future of Cielos? Or at least 1 last thing you wanna mention/say?


Yeah, I got about 3-4 drops left for the year. Designing the mew/mewtwo drop atm, already got the Rockero ready to go, a CRAZYYYY back to school item (never seen anyone do this), and something for my berserk people (working with nate on this!). 

Thank you Daniel for having me. Keep doing what you do! 

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