MAFIA: Fashion in Pursuit of the American Dream

POLOS BLOUSE &NAPOLEON SHIRT

Startup: MAFIA: Male And Female International Apparel

Founder: David N Osegueda

Launched: 10.1.13 via Kickstarter campaign

Base: Los Angeles

The fashion industry isn’t exactly known for its affordability and designer goods are a luxury the average person can’t afford.

“95 percent of the items sold in department stores are made overseas,” says David Osegueda, founder and CEO of MAFIA — Male and Female International Apparel. The reason for the overseas production is obvious: it’s expensive to manufacture clothing in the US. However, Osegueda says, “We want to create fashionable, high quality clothing at affordable prices even if it means not making the biggest profit.”

In this way MAFIA is about much more than fashion. El Salvadorian Osegueda is a believer in the American dream. He sees MAFIA as a way to showcase American diversity, create jobs and promote teamwork locally. Indeed, he says the reason he is able to produce MAFIA garments in the US at affordable prices is because he has created a co-op of sorts within the Los Angeles garment-making industry.

“Everybody is making sacrifices,” he says. He added that MAFIA will also be an online retailer, which will enable the brand to be its own distributor.

MAFIA launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $30,000 to fund its first line of polos, dress shirts and knit blouses for women. So far, the campaign has 31 backers who have pledged nearly $7,000. Osegueda admits that funding is a challenge but he believes that now is the time for him to make his own American dream come true.

Photo credit: MAFIA