Today we’d like to introduce you to Joseph Jenovese.
Joseph, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started this clothing company a little over six years ago and I believe we’ve made great strides in introducing a reinvented guayabera to the modern world. This shirt means everything to me. I’m Cuban-American, born and raised in Miami Florida, so I grew up seeing all types of people wearing guayaberas in different ways. This shirt reminds me of my childhood, a time when we lived at a slower pace and enjoyed life fully. It reminds me of my family, especially my mother and grandfather who both passed away in 2009. Abuelo always wore his guayabera, he was kind, loving, and he taught me honor. My mother was everything good in this world, and she loved it when I wore my guayaberas. For many others, the guayabera means almost the same to them as it does me; it’s our culture, our heritage, our strength and bond between families. It represents Home.
The problem was that the guayaberas that were available were boring or too baggy. That wasn’t my style and that wasn’t what modern men wanted in a shirt. The shirt that symbolized respect in our culture just wasn’t working with our style. So I blended unique artwork, modern features, and the iconic details of the traditional guayabera shirt to create the new guayabera. Comfortable fabrics, modern fit for those who want it and classic fit for those who prefer the extra space. This is more than just another button-up shirt; this is where you find the shirt that represents YOU, your culture and your pride.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The term “guayabera” has a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions attached to it. For people like me, it represents elegance, culture, and family. But for some, especially in Miami, the shirt is a “communist” shirt…you read that right, a “communist” shirt. A few Cubans in Miami have said this to me when I introduced to them my brand. This was the most shocking and unexpected obstacle I had to try and figure out. Then we had to deal with the price perception of a “guayabera” in Miami, a lot of people think a guayabera should be cheap or worn only by hospitality workers. We had to overcome major stereotypes that would have made anyone else quit by now. But this represents who I am, who my family was, who my ancestors were. The guayabera needed to be reinvented and reintroduced in a better light, and I think we did that. We still have the naysayers, but we have more fans friends and family that understand what we’re doing and how important it is to keep this tradition alive.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
We offer a reinvented and remixed the Guayabera Shirt for the Modern world. I started with updating the fit of the Guayabera Shirt, getting away from the Box shape. And then I added modern features like hidden collar snaps, long sleeve latches, and pen pocket at the chest. And then we created stunning color combinations for our product launch. I kept all of the iconic details that make it an authentic guayabera shirt which includes vertical pin-tuck pleats, embroidery, and conveniently placed pockets. I then created original artwork and collaborated with up and coming artists around the world to combine everything into something modern, comfortable, and still iconic. By collaborating with artists for our designs we’re able to provide a revenue platform for them and empower these artists to monetize their passions in creative ways which make us proud. There are no other shirts, let alone guayaberas, on the market like ours. The fabric, details, embroidered artwork, and style of the shirts are the most unique and yet still classic shirts on the market.
We’ve built a brand and collection that ranges from Wedding Attire, Business Attire, Casual Wear, Custom Shirts, specialty shirts for the Cigar Lifestyle, a Heritage Collection and more. Y.A.Beras work for any occasion, and you don’t have to speak Spanish to wear one. It’s a worldwide thing, with worldwide recognition.
What were you like growing up?
I was quiet, not introverted, but only spoke when I had something to say. I had plenty of friends, but I was the calm one for the most part. I did sports, music, art…all the normal stuff. But I also grew up in Miami in the ’80s with an “unsavory” environment around me at times. I had everything I wanted and as a kid and you don’t think about where it all came from. As an adult now with no parents, you realize things were just a facade, a Scarface movie with a different ending but just as tragic. The one thing I kept with me through the years was my love for clothing, my crazy combinations, ripped jeans with a crazy fabric sewed behind it, Tommy Hilfiger from socks to glasses and everything in between…everything. I knew to start a clothing line was not an easy task, but we survive – grow – and continue with what we love, what more can you ask for (more growth I guess lol).
- Short Sleeve Lux Linen – $85.00
- Long Sleeve Lux Linen – $95.00
- Special Editions & French Cuff Lux Linen – $125.00
- Website: www.yabera.com
- Phone: 3057915910
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yaberaclothing
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yaberamiami
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/yaberaclothing
- Other: https://pinterest.com/YaberaClothing/stylish-mens-y-a-beras/
Josh Esponda – Green Shirt photographer