Hannah Garcia, writer


   The expanding industry of secondhand clothing and thrift stores has opened many opportunities for people to express themselves using fashion by buying clothing that is eco-friendly, unique, and very affordable. The outburst of fashion trends within the young generations are truly examples of the creativity and aesthetics that people choose to incorporate into their appearance. Fashion has always been a big part of society and the social norms of fashion are always changing year after year. But where does the fashion industry stand in the meek towns of the RGV?

   In recent years there has been an outburst of small businesses dedicated to upcycling clothing and reselling them. Multiple popup stands and marketplaces dedicated to small businesses that sell clothing, jewelry, artwork, pottery, and anything you can imagine, are being introduced into the RGV. 

   Brothers, Roberto and Andre Rubaldino, Roberto being a former student at Memorial High School and Andre being a current student, are one of these small business owners that sell upcycled and repurposed clothing . Their brand is called R3D BLAD3. “It’s kind of grunge, goth, and Y2K style fashion aesthetic.” Andre explained. Andre Rubaldino is the younger brother of the two and he’s the “face” of R3D BLAD3. Since the very first debut of R3D BLAD3, Andre modeled it all.

   “This business started, February 1, 2023. My brother originally wanted to sell Hot Wheel cars at market places but he got inspired by others to add clothing  into the mix.” Andre explained. The Rubaldino brothers have always taken a liking to fashion and the grunge, vintage aesthetic.  “Fashion has always been a big part of my brother’s life,  he’s always loved fashion. I’ve always felt that his fashion is always ahead of its time. One day he’ll wear something unique, then the next month everyone will be wearing the same thing.” 

   Andre and Roberto have very similar fashion sense and ideas about the business. However, Roberto has been the brains of the whole operation. “Roberto came up with the name of the brand and he handles all the profits and finances we put in towards the business. We believe that when we make the designs on the shirts we think about what we would wear and how we can show it to others who might enjoy it too.” Andre says. “I think he got his inspiration from dark aesthetic rappers like Playboi Carti and Ken Carson for example. He has always taken a liking to these rappers and they have really influenced his liking for grunge clothing.”

   When asked about the feedback from others in correspondence to the clothing, Andre says, “There’s always been criticism from my family, some family members don’t like the way we dress but we can’t tell them they’re wrong and we’re right. We think that it’s just a cool way to dress but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way to dress. Regardless, we will always continue to spread our clothing brand.”

Image from “R3D BLAD3” account on Instagram. Featuring, Andre Rubaldino (Right) and Hannah Garcia (Left). (Roberto Rubaldino)