A few weeks ago we had the fortunate opportunity to interview designer Sheeso, owner of XIXO Menswear. Sheeso is an amazing talented individual, started from a humble beginning by not having much to owning a automotive shop for 12 years in Madison which then led to the birth of XIXO.
Hmoodle: Give us a short self-introduction.
Sheeso: I started from a humble beginning not having much growing up in central California. But at age 34 things has change and its change me to be more determine then ever. From a career stand point you might think I’m a fashion but really I’m just a entrepreneur because I own a automotive business called Skunk Speed Shop located in Madison, WI for 12 years and still counting. But I didn’t stop there I later found a hidden passion for fashion and what you know is as XIXOMENSWEAR. Beside that I also join 2 others business as well. As of now I’m here in the mid-west as a self-employed single business doing what I loved to do.
Hmoodle: How did you come up with the name XIXO?
Sheeso: XIXO Menswear is my name Sheeso spelled in a catchier way, while the branding mimics who I am as the owner. The most important part of XIXO Menswear for my customers and I is the pride we feel as a Hmong person when we wear XIXO Menswear products. Wearing XIXO Menswear identifies us as Hmong wherever we go and at whichever events we attend. When we wear XIXO Menswear products, we are proud of ourselves, our background, and our ethnicity.
Hmoodle: What inspired you to get into the fashion industry?
Sheeso: It all started when I attended the Hmong Milwaukee New Year back in 2012. I went there dressed up in a three piece fitted suit and noticed that other Hmong men and boys were also dressed in a three-piece suit, casual or traditional Hmong outfits. Right there and then something clicked in my mind. As an entrepreneur, I noticed that I wanted to represent myself as a fashionable modern Hmong man. And that’s where the MAGIC began. I wanted to apply and envisioned Hmong inspired everyday accessories to wear on every occasion. Now since I was already at the Hmong New Year, I decided to purchase 6 yards of Hmong fabric from a woman who was vending there that day. When I got home that night I turned to my mom and asked her to make me a bow tie out of the fabric. Within one week she made me the most beautiful Hmong inspired bow tie. I was speechless and quite frankly, it almost had me in tears. Moving forward one year later in 2013, the three bow ties my mother made me were worn to various number of occasions. Each time I wore the bow ties, I would receive an incredible amount of compliments. It wasn’t until November 2013 when I decided to start this business that I was so passionate about. The more I did it, the more I fell in love with it – especially having my mom as my partner in crime showing me the ropes on how to sew, the meaning behind the different designs and just simply sharing a Hmong heritage past made by hand to an everyday modern wear. With the compliments and the love of sewing, it led me to venture on to making strictly men’s accessories building this new legacy that has never been seen or done before ever. When I first launched the business in November of 2013 and to this day it’s still growing and surrounded myself with a great team.
Hmoodle: What are some personal short term goals for yourself and for XIXO?
Sheeso: This brand is not a short team goal but a legacy in the build but every day matters as a short term. So we grind every day!
Hmoodle: Growing up who inspired you the most?
Sheeso: Growing I didn’t have a mentor although I wish I did but as I got older I found people that I have never met to look up too such as: Warren Buffet, Sir Richard Branson, Daymond John, Mark Cuban and Steve Job.
Hmoodle: The old stories tales say that many Hmong Symbols where hidden messages, do you plan to incorporate that into your designs?
I sure do keep the tradition pattern symbol as much as I can in my design. But at the same time I incorporate new style into it as well.
Hmoodle: When your attending fashion shows, what are some things you look for?
Sheeso: I have attended fashion and the key thing I look for is originality and uniqueness.
Hmoodle: Name a fashion line or designer who’s really impressed you.
Sheeso: I follow GQ magazine but some of the designer I like are Ralph Lauren and Tom Fords.
Hmoodle: When you’re not working on XIXO, what hobbies do you enjoy?
Sheeso: An ordinary day in the life of me is never a dull moment… lol. But I hike, fly fish once a year, attend car show, live concert, snow board, drifting/autocross and travel a lot!
Hmoodle: Give our guy views tips on looking sharp.
Sheeso: For the fellas, please get your suit tailor and its all about the accessories to compliment your style.
Hmoodle: Tell us something shocking about yourself.
Sheeso: I can only blink with my right eye and I dislocated my right shoulder.
Hmoodle: How can our viewers follow your work? Social media, website, or email.
Sheeso: You can find us at: www.xixomenswear.com. www.etsy.com/shop/xixomenswear www.instagram.com/xixomenswear www.pinterest.com/xixomenswear
Hmoodle: Any last words.
Sheeso: Thank you so much for all of you’re support remember to stay dapper, stay classy and stay HMONG!