Small Island Boy, Big City Dreams

January 24, 2018 Ryan Jesus

Brandon Espiritu, a son of Guam, has been making some huge moves as of late in the street culture scene both on island and around the world. 

Espiritu started his street culture journey back in 2014 when he co-founded streetwear / lifestyle brand ALOT (A Life Over Time) with his friend and business partner, Kai Cryster.  

ALOT is best described by Espiritu as "That favorite hidden restaurant that you want no one to know about. It's simple, exclusive, serves as original product, and the owner treats you as a friend rather than just a customer. It's my thought process, self expression, and philosophy on life - in a tangible form that you can wear."

Since the brand's debut back in 2014, they have had many successful releases, almost all of which sold out in a matter of days. The most memorable of those releases was their Summer '15 collection. Around that time was when Espiritu and Cryster were both interning under Crowns Guam. While absorbing the priceless knowledge during their internship, they were also in the process of working on what would be their most successful collection to date. It was inspired by the birth of their "f*ck the system / follow your gut mentality" that they still share today.  It was evident that people responded very well to this collection because the web site crashed within the first 10 minutes of the release. 

ALOT then went on hiatus for the entire 2016. 

"I conquered college and sold my soul to a 9-5 for a pretty paycheck and drop top convertible and Kai was going through his own respective journey. We were both attending a crash course on 'finding yourself.' Though ALOT was stagnant, the hiatus was essential for the growth of who we are today." 

- Espiritu

The hiatus ended when ALOT came back with their Summer '17 collection. Before any photos of the actual garments leaked, the drop itself had already built so much hype and anticipation from its supporters. The summer drop was a statement. ALOT has come back like they never left, better than ever, and hungrier to get their message out there. 

 

Through developing ALOT , Espiritu has built a foundation and it has become a platform for him to showcase his creativity. 

Clothing, however, is not the only medium in which Espiritu chooses to express himself. Espiritu grew up in his father's photo studio, Photo Plus, in Tamuning. He then picked up a camera and started dabbling in street photography, which played a huge role in his creative side. He decided to then part ways with his 9-5 and pursue photography full-time. Couch hopping, making new friends and connections was probably the best decision he has ever made.

"Walking out of those doors with my box of sh*t was the most liberating feeling ever. I woke up without alarm clocks, ate lunch whenever and wherever, and most importantly - spent time chasing my truths." 

- Espiritu

Photography has opened even more doors for Espiritu, from shooting high profile models like Kristina Chai, rappers like Madeintyo, as well as the chance to travel on trips to shoot for brands such as Crowns.

"Sleeping on couches and leaving those nice checks was one of the better decisions I've ever made in my life." 

- Espiritu

Kristina Chai by Brandon Espiritu

Madeintyo by Brandon Espiritu

Victoria Espaldon by Brandon Espiritu for Crowns Guam. 

Nearing the end of 2017, Espiritu then decided to approach the camera from a different angle. Stepping out of his comfort zone and stepping in front of the camera. 

"The transition from shooting to modeling was organic. I truly believe that life is all about the balance of opposites. Without night, there is no day. Without hate, there is no love. The same applies to photography. Without being behind the camera, I would not know what to do when in front of it."

- Espiritu

"This year moving forth, expect to see all of my creative abilities packaged into one final product. A product that will be on a broader level - to inspire every single kid who grew up with a humble background to get it how they live it, by any means necessary. Who knows, you may see me on TV, commercials, or runways! ALOT expanding globally, furthering my social growing, establishing names for new businesses I'm currently working on, or even living away from U.S. soil. Only time will tell."

- Espiritu

To follow Brandon Espiritu on his ambitious journey, check out his social media accounts down below. 

@espiritubrandon

@espiritustudios

@alotco

 

About the Author

Ryan Jesus

A little bit of everything and a whole lot of nothing.

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