MANDO: At the Intersection of Fashion and Culture

Written by Ry Lei

Published Oct. 19, 2018

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Many designs start out as dreams, fleeting impressions, or doodles on napkins. Sometimes, those doodles get tossed aside. Other times, they stick. That’s what happened with MANDO—an idea that sprung from a conversation that Andrew and Aaron Pang had during a Warriors game back in early 2017.


“We had this persistent itch to make something.”


Their inspirations and passions come from different sources, including Anthony Bourdain, their friends, and their environment. Growing up in the Bay Area, both Andrew and Aaron were constantly immersed in many different cultures and surrounded by many identities.


“Growing up here, being surrounded by friends of different ethnicities and backgrounds has heavily influenced us and the MANDO vision,” the two wrote. “We made MANDO to celebrate that diversity and everything that it enables. However, with so many different groups of people we think that more work needs to be done to help everyone better understand each other. With MANDO we are trying to continue the conversation.”


Having pride in identity comes in different forms for different people. Sometimes it’s a hashtag, other times it comes with seeing somebody who looks like them on the big screen, and for some it’s wearing a shirt as a statement.


For Andrew and Aaron, it’s also in the mere act of creating for MANDO.


“Be it traditional or modern concepts, we take the time to learn, digest, and create something new. That being said, we are also very aware of the line between sampling and stealing,” they stated. “Respecting the roots and origins of whatever inspires our product is something we work very hard to do.”


What MANDO brings to the table isn’t just clothing, however. It’s a statement that finds itself everywhere on the MANDO website: “Culture isn’t optional.”


Though MANDO may have officially started on that napkin, its story is so much more. It’s a story that dives into representation, community, and culture. It starts with roots and history. It’s about growth.

To read the rest of our exclusive interview with MANDO, get your print or digital copy of issue four today!

Stay up to date with MANDO on their website or Instagram.

See the rest of the articles from issue four here.

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