The Birth of Raza Collective
Our two founders go way back. They met and became friends in high school and have consistently partnered to test new ideas in the market, from software to medicine. Being born from immigrant parents and being the entrepreneurs that they were, they did not give up.
Once Sunday morning, our founder picked up and read La Raza Cósmica, an essay written by Mexican philosopher, secretary of education, and 1929 presidential candidate José Vasconcelos to express the ideology of a future "fifth race" in the Americas; an agglomeration of all the races in the world with no respect to color or number to erect a new civilization. Shortly after, he immediately called his friend, his co-founder to be, to share his thoughts.
In addition, they both embraced Voltaire and his "work smarter AND harder" mentality. He famously said,
“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her; but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.”
With that spirit of wonder, Raza Collective was born and the race to fill this gap began (no pun intended) using a two pronged approach: 1) Creating art and apparel; and 2) Partnering with non-profits to tackle educational reform, prison reform, immigration policies, and others.
When the founders met, the first was an Account Executive for Big Tech, and the second founder was a Computational Researcher at Stanford University and a member of the Stanford Venture Studio. Together they successfully fused the Los Angeles street and urban scenes with the Silicon Valley culture to create Raza Collective.
Raza Collective, launched in the winter of 2019, is a full-stack, vertically integrated media and streetwear startup. The brand equity is unparalleled with its audience, and there isn’t a page like it receiving cultural impressions this large in magnitude—over 55% peak engagement and 180,000 peak impressions.
The brand offers high-end streetwear apparel and accessories that showcase unity, drive, and hustle. The company showcases Los Angeles street art, photography, celebrities, athletes, lowriders, and stories that demonstrate what it truly means to hustle and drive forward day by day. Raza is more than just a brand. It’s a mentality and lifestyle choice.
Raza spends months finding the best partners and non-profits around the world—the same ones that fight for human rights. They visit them often and build strong personal relationships with the owners. Their goal? Contribute 10% of their profits evenly to their pledges to support their cause. A few of these organizations include Homeboy Industries, Teach For America, and RAICES. This initiative alone has intensely fueled their organic growth. Within three months of launch, they booked five figures in sales with only ~$100 of ad spend overhead—leaving them with zero inventory.
In September 2020, they launched Drop #1, their first product collaboration and executed a quick sellout within 48 hours—teaming up with “The L.A. Six,” a group of six famous Los Angeles street photographers: Estevan Oriol, Frankie Orozco, Merrick Morton, Angela Boatwright, Gilberto “Bam” Gidoy, and Suitcase Joe.