Just a local kid chasing a dream

Young SoCal Entrepreneur working to make his designer career takeoff

Dylan Diaz founder of Non-Affiliated in ShoreCliffs, San Clemente, Califonia. (Bailey Bourque/Lariat)

Dylan Diaz and his clothing company Non-Affiliated are trying to make a start in the local area. The Dana Point native has started his brand with his fruition. The typical Southern California kid is looking for ways to set him and his brand apart from the others that represent this community.

When taking a look at Diaz, he is the typical SoCal 22-year-old. Behind that is a kid with a dream as the creator of his brand and logo design for Non-Affiliated. Drawing inspiration from his “Brother and Parents” to keep his brand and company going. 

As the creator of his own company, he has set an overall appearance and goal behind his brand, as well as the reasoning behind the name that is parallel to the main idea behind it. Wanting to be “nonassociated” with big labels and conforming to standard societal views.

“For the name, I didn’t want to be super simple,” he said, “We group people as one, and that is something that the Non-Affiliated name looks to stand against.”

Diaz is not only the founder of his own company his also the solo employee of it, making all of the logos and clothing designs himself.  The logo design itself was created because of inspiration drawn from Japenese culture. The logo for the brand title Non-Affiliated in Japanese three times; this is meant to represent  “ three faces for friends, family, and yourself.”

The design process has become much more understandable to Diaz over time, helping him come up with new ideas at a faster rate and starting with little experience in designing anything.

“In the beginning, it would take a long time,” he said. “ I didn’t know digital design on Photoshop, stuff like that, so it would take me four or five days just to get it started.”

After taking his time, figuring out the design, the full process only takes about “two days now.” Starting with a sketch pad and a pencil, he tries to put the ideas in his head to the paper. After the full sketch is completed, he puts the design into his illustrator app on his laptop. 

Acknowledging that he may be at a “disadvantage” because he is not fluent in design programs, he likes the “challenge” of it all.  He takes the process very seriously. He is making it so seriously in fact that he wants to leave little room for error.

“I don’t like not finishing a design,” he said. “Although I’m much quicker at design now, I like to work on one design at a time.”

Drawing inspiration from celebrities to become a designer, he likes to look through styles from today and icons from the past. Some of the most direct influences to Diaz include “LeBron James, Christiano Ronaldo, Tupac Shakur, and Robin Williams.”   

Ocean scenery giving Diaz inspiration from San Clemente, California. (Bailey Bourque/Lariat)

When it comes to thinking of ideas for new designs, he likes to work out. Whether it is running around his Dana Point neighborhood or in the gym, it serves as a platform for his visions to start. 

“Running around the beach or my neighborhood drawing thoughts and ideas from all of that,” he said, “Being able just to have a clear head, exercising and running around is the best way for me to see what I can create in my head.”

Diaz came up with the idea of starting a clothing company because of his family. He came up with the logo back in the summer of 2017. When sketching the plans for the logo, his parents and brother told him it would “clean on a hoodie.” 

The design process was very experimental at first for Diaz. Still happening occasionally in the early design stages, it is sometimes hard to tell what the final product might look like, as well as finding pricing that can give quality without breaking the bank.

“Incorrectly design something on illustrator that makes the shirt look messed up when it comes out,” he said. “Or just financial because it is hard to ummm..get good quality stuff for a reasonable price.” 

Doing most of his work from home or a local Starbucks. The design process has become mobile to Diaz. As time and times have gone on, the process has become much smoother as well. 

The Dana Point native was born and raised here and hoped to help mold a culture in his neighborhood. They are looking to make a great success in Southern Orange County.