Years ago, I was at an art show in the heart of the Mills50 District. I was arriving and Tony was leaving with a group of friends. As he passed I said to him something like, "Antonio, you're on one of my lists... I want you to come work with us." And that was that.
Tony's attention to detail is obsessive; it is a trait that I absolutely love and admire. One may notice this level of detail in something small like the hands of the mannequins in the College Park window; They are expressive and lovely.
With no further introduction, an interview with Tony :)
What is your favorite outfit? Shameless plug for this little shop you may have heard of called, Dechoes Resale. My current favorite outfit, which I got entirely at Dechoes, is this super cute mahogany colored vintage Givenchy Sport jacket, with a white Alexander Wang t-shirt tucked into these high-waisted black Hugo Boss pants that I cropped. I wear this look with my Gucci Ace Sneakers and a Elizabeth & James Bodega Tote that I recently got at a sample sale in NY. Ok, so everything is from Dechoes minus the bag, but this is an outfit that probably has a retail price of around $1,675 (no joke) and I got for around $450 (also, no joke,) so that shows the power of a savvy shopper and how much you can actually save by shopping at Dechoes.
Favorite Designers: J.W. Anderson, Ann Demeulemeester, and of course a huge Alexander McQueen fan (RIP)
Favorite Photographer: Juergen Teller
Favorite Artist: Marina Abramovic
Three songs on playlist now: Troye Sivan - Dance to This (feat. Ariana Grande) // Boy Harsher - Pain // Ssion - Heaven Is My Thing Again
Favorite place to grab coffee? One of the things that I love so much about Orlando is how rich the Latinx culture is here. I am very proud Puerto Rican, so the way to my heart is with a $1.50 cup of café con leche from the Bravo Supermarket with a little pan con mantequilla.
You are responsible for doing wonderful merchandising and window displays at the College Park store. Can you explain where your reference points or inspiration come from? Sometimes inspiration comes by way of me searching the internet for street style shots. Sometimes I pick a designer and try to emulate collections using what we have in the store. Most recently, I get inspired by an article of clothing that comes in during a buy and I sort of let dictate the direction for the complete window display.
Is there a secret talent or thing you want to share about yourself? My not-so-secret talent is that I play the piano! I started when I was 8 and took lessons until I was 18. When I was 19, I started playing for my parents' church's praise and worship ministry where I played until I was 22!
Why do you think that it is important for people to shop at stores like
Dechoes? Shopping at stores like Dechoes IS important. Growing up, I didn't have the luxury of just going out to the mall and buying designer pieces. But working here I have been able to acquire pieces I used to dream about owning. It's honestly like I'm fulfilling that little gay boy's fantasy of feeling like a rich b*tch. I was obsessed with Paris Hilton after all, so I guess you could say she taught me well. But also it's highly important because Dechoes is a locally owned small business, and we should always strive to support small businesses. It's fun to work at Dechoes because it's like you're part of something cool. You kind of get to be an influencer in a sense because it's almost as if you're creating a culture of people who appreciate the same things you do, and for me personally I feel like sometimes people may not know about that one designer that makes me freak out, so I get to teach them and get them excited about it too!
Images courtesy of Tony Gonzalez / Interview by Flower Ta.