Already an accomplished entrepreneur by the time he joined the US Marine Corps at age 31, Trinidad had set himself a high goal: to keep up with the 18-20 year olds! He did that and more. Serving around the world (twice!) aboard Marine Expeditionary Units in the Pacific he was unanimously promoted passed his peers, received awards, and became an accomplished Infantryman. Though, as his enlistment passed, and a series of vehicle crashes weighing heavily on his mind, he dreamt of reaching out and achieving his goal of becoming a denim designer. No small feat for someone who would never have been thought of as a candidate for fashion school, but it was there he decided to take his chance.
While enduring the rigors of active duty at his final assignment at a reserve unit in the Los Angeles area, he secretly applied online for acceptance to the prestigious Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Upon a tough pathway to acceptance he worked out how he would be able to maintain his schedule day-to-day and not miss any of the exercises required as well as not miss the classes at night. Breaking through the inherent obstacles that face any new student he settled in and as final his enlistment drew to a close he joined forces with the local VA administrator for FIDM and founded the FIDM-SVA (Student Veterans of America) Chapter; to give those who followed him a better chance at navigating the rigors of student life having come from federal service.
Nearing graduation, and already completing two degree courses of study in menswear design, and denim (a first for FIDM), he founded his namesake brand. Beginning at first with advanced designs in heavyweight fabrics and transitioning through to a full sportswear collection, his range was surely expansive. Even given his relative success locally in the Southern California area he wanted to push outward with his mission to support veterans with every pair, and eventually coming upon the term "Powering Vets With Every Pair!" He knew he was capable of more and he was willing to do what took to accomplish his mission.
In the summer of 2019, a full year into managing his label and still working a full time job he reached out to a friend he'd made in the fashion industry looking for some help in growth strategies. He was referred, and not by chance, to another Marine veteran who'd also had experience in brand building and denim as well: Joe Lafko. Joe has been in the industry for 8yrs and had built a good reputation for being politely blunt, a wealth of knowledge, and objectively just what Trinidad needed to offer a real world perspective on how and why to move upward and outward with the mission.
After months of discussion and exchanging ideas Trinidad convinced Joe that his place was on the team directly and not advising, and he accepted a full time role as Managing Director.
In the following months we will keep you updated with fresh "stories from the front!" and share more unforgettable moments of Trinidad's mission to Power Vets With Every Pair!