Positivity. Dedication. Passionate. These are all words to describe StayGood’s founder Chris Gonzalez. Chris started StayGood back in 2016 with the purpose of making quality clothing that he would purchase regardless if it was his brand or not. He wasn’t focused on following the trends set by the fashion industry, particularly within the streetwear segment of fashion, rather he was set on designing pieces that he liked without worrying what other people thought. This mentality along with a lot of hard work has driven StayGood to be a prominent streetwear brand in Dallas.
Coming from a mixed background and living in the Dallas area all his life, Chris finds it extremely important to represent where he’s from through his pieces. Elements of Texas culture as well as Chicano culture are sprinkled throughout several of StayGood’s pieces which often results in designs which are simple yet beautifully executed. After 3 long years, Chris has built StayGood from the literal ground up into what it is today. StayGood is a true success story. We recently sat down with Chris to talk about him and StayGood, here is what he had to say.
Tell us how you came up with the name StayGood and the meaning behind the name
I’ve had brands prior. I started doing stuff in 2013 and the brand I had before StayGood was called Hoodlums. I was doing it with a friend of mine but I decided I wanted to go my own way. In December of 2015 I got let go from my job, so in January of 2016 I was like ‘fuck, what am I going to do?’, so I applied for unemployment benefits and I was unemployed from January til April. That whole time I didn’t have a job I didn’t have that much money coming in and I was trying to figure out ways I could revamp in terms of clothes. I remember a 3 week period, or it might've been a whole month, where I would stay up til 6 in the morning and just come up with brand names.
Every name I would come up with I would design like 10 different logos just to see how it would look in different ways. But, all the names I would come up with I thought they were really basic like The Players Company or Fair Game. But, I wanted something unique with meaning. So I decided to put two different words together and that’s whenever I came up with StayGood, it just clicked. I knew it was the one. It’s inspired by what I was going through at the time but it was mainly inspired by everything I went through growing up. It’s built on challenges, it’s built on struggles, and no matter what life throws at you, you got to StayGood.
What is StayGood for you?
The way I see StayGood, I don’t tell a lot of people this, but StayGood is not just a clothing brand. I want to make it into different things like I want to do furniture, basically anything I can get my hands on I want to do it. I just like being creative.
Which came first, your love for designing or your love for fashion?
Definitely my love for designing. I love creating stuff on the computer.
What made you want to start designing clothes and begin your own brand?
Whenever I first wanted to do clothes it was mainly because I’m a pretty hefty dude so it was always hard for me to find clothes. That’s what pushed me to make my own stuff because I knew what was in stores either didn’t fit me or I didn’t like it.
What are some sources of inspiration for you?
My friends, my family, of course the people who support me because without them this ship would sink. Life in general, life is a beautiful thing man.
What do you believe makes you unique or sets StayGood apart from other streetwear brands?
My hustle and my ambition. It’s not like I just started doing it a few years ago. I feel like if I would’ve started a couple years ago people probably wouldn’t have taken me serious, and so because I’ve stuck with it and worked so hard since when I first started in 2013 that’s what sets us apart.
How do you come up with the designs and color schemes?
That’s a hard question. I don’t put a certain amount of colors in front of me and pick them like ‘this one, this one, this one, this one’ and just go based off of that. I pretty much just either have some throwaway designs and I’ll put them with some colors. It’s just organic. I don’t pick and choose, I just go with the flow. I feel like so far I’ve been good at making collections come together.
What’s been your all time favorite piece you’ve designed?
I have two of them, one of them would be this clock I just made just to see how it would come out. The other one which is currently unreleased, I’m actually still working on it and planning on releasing it in two weeks, is this fitted hat. It’s the first time I’ve done fitted hats, in the past the hats that I’ve done were always strapbacks. When I first designed it the first person that came to mind was LeBron James, so I’m going to try my best to give it to him
Tell us some of the challenges that you’ve experienced in starting your brand here in Dallas and how you’ve been able to overcome them.
I don’t really have any challenges as far as like being in the industry. I’m proud to be from Dallas and I’m happy to be here.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring designers who are maybe hesitant to put their designs and clothes out there?
I’m not the one to like to give advice because I feel like I’m still learning. But, if I had to give advice it would just be make what you want, do what you want, whatever you want to do as long as you put your mind to it you’ll be good. From a clothing aspect I would say don’t base your products off of what you think other people will think about it. Just design shit that you like. Real people will gravitate towards real things.
What’s the greatest moment you’ve experienced in doing all of this?
I had a collection that I did back in December, it was a winter collection and it was my biggest collection to date as far as how many pieces I had in the collection. I was pretty much working all of last year on that collection. So I had a pop-up and I did it with my homeboy DK and it was crazy, I sold out within a few hours. People who I knew and didn’t know were fucking with me so hard. It was a good ass day.
Follow StayGood on Instagram: @staygoodltd and make sure to check her out their website: www.staygoodmfg.com.