Teenagers Mateo Santamaria and Jack Schwartz have developed a clothing line out of recycled materials and it's getting the attention of TikTok stars, including Charlie D’Amelio, Addison Rae and Blake Gray. The success the pair is seeing is almost as impressive as the way in which the business was founded. Friends since the third grade, the two Los Angeles natives started their newly formed business over Zoom during quarantine when “they had nothing better to do and so much free time” because their school days were cut in half, Schwartz said.
“We were like, ‘We wear fashion, why don't we try starting fashion?’” added Santamaria.
So they pooled the money that they had earned from $10 entrance fees throwing parties pre-COVID as capital to start.
Loonar Clothing carries t-shirts, hoodies and masks, all made from recycled water bottles and post-industrial cotton. They are adding hats to the collection next month. Each item is branded with various versions of the line's logo, which features an infinity sign in place of its Os. Some shirts have rhinestones; another features astronauts holding up the moon.
“We thought it was important to represent something we cared about and be good to our planet,” Schwartz, 15, told Inside Edition Digital about the concept. “Since our brand is Loonar, it's kind of like the moon.”
Their typical day involves school followed by homework, which they say wraps around until about 1 p.m. Then they out on their entrepreneurial hats for the rest of the day, holding design, production and marketing meetings to brainstorm ideas on how to sell the brand.
“We just wanted our brand to be the next one up, so we tried to do everything the coolest, the best,” Schwartz said.
They came up with a genius plan to get some of TikTok’s biggest influencers to help market their products by approaching them outside popular restaurants in the Beverly Hills area where they’re known to frequent.
“We told them our message about equality for all and they loved it,” Santamaria, 15, said. Endorsements from such influencers would prove to be worth their weight in gold, as Schwartz and Santamaria have repeatedly sold out of their wares.
“We just somehow find them,” Santamaria said of how they get celebrities like Emma Chamberlain, Avani Gregg, ‘Lill Huddy’ Chase Hudson and Sommer Ray to sport their goods. “We run into them outside and we pitch them our idea.
“We tell them: ‘We're two 15-year-old kids trying to have a popping brand,'" he said.
“We figured out using masks were simple and, because of COVID, it would represent a good message,” Schwartz added. “They could just put it on -- we could get a quick video or a picture and everyone would win! They'd get to keep the mask and we'd get to market our brand.”
Even Post Malone joined in.
“We thought it was the dopest to get Post Malone, because we'd never think in a million years we'd get Post Malone to wear our brand,” exclaimed Schwartz.
The teens’ next goal is to get their first storefront in the Los Angeles area, but they want to wait until the COVID-19 pandemic has ended to pursue that opportunity.
“It's dope to think about how not in a million years we'd think about having a brand that we'd just see people randomly just wear,” Santamaria said. “It's awesome.”
“We want to dedicate it to the rest of our life,” added Schwartz.