Storm Pablo: The Iconic Stylist Behind Bad Bunny’s Killer Wardrobe
Storm Pablo is a heck of a stylist. Here at Galore, we are keen to discover more about the mysterious man who has imagined a plethora of iconic looks for one of the world’s famous, barrier breaking artist: Bad Bunny. Born in Guam, an island in Oceania, Manuel San Agustín Pablo II has transversed boundaries to share his vision with the world, “I want to go crazier than ever. More barriers to break and more story’s to be told through clothing” he shared.
Having grown up with a father who was in the military, Pablo grew up in many part of the United Stated, from Alaska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Washington. On the subject, Pablo shared, “Coming from such a small island like Guam taught me that people that come from these little places can do huge things“. Eager to know more, we interviewed Storm Pablo about his inspirations, the fashion industry, Bad Bunny, Jack Harlow and more!
What inspired you to become a stylist and why?
I always worked in retail and so did my mother so I guess she was my first inspiration. When I was growing up, she always had great fashion sense and would give me her opinion on my outfit decisions. Fashion and putting together outfits was always something I had an eye for though. I always thought I wanted to own a store or create a brand, styling came to my attention later but I’m glad it did. It’s a job position that I wasn’t looking for but found me at the right time in my life. I feel like I was unknowingly working towards this the whole time. After getting the opportunity to work with Benito styling became more interesting. He’s the only artist I’ve ever worked with that pushed me to take things to the next level, in the beginning it was pretty challenging but it made me the stylist I am now. I respect artist like him who have their hands on every part of the process. He’s inspired me to be the same way with my craft.
What was your first job and how does it compare to what you are doing now?
My first job was working at Pacsun at the mall. I worked at every store and chain restaurant you could possibly imagine. I used to work at streetwear boutiques like The Cool in Seattle owned by my friend David Lee. It’s crazy because he hired me like 10 years ago and now him and I own a store in Scottsdale Arizona called Mania Mrkt. Working for boutiques will always have such a impact on how i dress or how I’m styling. It’ll always have some street element and heavy hip hop influence. Thats just who I am.
Any advice for young kids out there wanting to be in the fashion industry?
I want to say some cliche shit like “you can do whatever you want if you set your mind to it” but I feel like if you want to do anything in life you have to have that mind set already. I guess my advice would be to ask questions. Less time on your phone, practice your craft. Stop with the DM’s, meet with people in person. I feel like the relationships I made before everything I’m doing now came from years before. Without those key people in my life I wouldn’t be doing anything I’m doing now. Also it’s important to have patience and confidence. Nothing worth while ever happens in a day, the baby steps towards your goal add up. Trust the process and yourself.
You have created some of Bad Bunny most timeless looks over the past year what has been your favorite and what was the inspiration behind it?
Probably every outfit on El Ultimo tour Del Mundo. I called in my friend Lennard owner of @Trashmangrn to help design the customs for it. I feel like we captured the feeling of that album perfectly. I remember Halloween there were so many kids that were wearing their custom outfits from that tour, it made me really happy.
Tell us about tour life on WORLDS HOTTEST TOUR:
There’s not enough words to describe this experience. I am so thankful to know these people I work with and I was able to meet amazing people on this tour that will be life long friends. I’m not Latino so going to Latin America was a crazy feeling. I felt like I had to just embrace everything and be open to all of the new experiences which I did. The people were so kind everywhere, the scenery was beautiful. I loved seeing the differences in all of the countries, literally every single one had its own vibe and beautiful thing about it. I tried some amazing food along the way too. Besides the traveling it definitely had its complications.
I started styling Jack Harlow right when the tour started and Jack was also going on tour. Being able to work with multiple artist while on the road was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do because I’m typically so hands on but we got through. I would be in hotel rooms and planes creating outfits for Jack on the way to a photoshoot with Benito while having a show the same night. It was crazy. We were gone for more then half the year so it was hard being away from home but honestly it was the coolest thing I’ve ever experienced. I can’t wait for the next one.
What is one thing people dont know about you?
My dad was in the military so I grew up traveling a lot. Mostly to really small cities in the US. I’m from Guam and grew up there til I was 11. Later my dad joined the military and we lived in so many places like Alaska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Washington. A lot of these places were slow paced but really molded me to be the person I am today. Coming from such a small island like Guam taught me that people that come from these little places can do huge things.
Outside of Bad Bunny and clients like Jack Harlow, who would be a dream client for you to style dead or alive?
I would have to go with Michael Jackson. Of course Mike was already a fashion icon but I would’ve loved to see what I could’ve brought to the table. I think Prince would’ve been cool to style too, It’s a toss up between those two.
Cntra is your brand what the story behind this and what can we expect from the new collection?
Cntra was something I always wanted to do. I’ve had a couple brands before but none of them really stuck, soon as the logo was made i was already in love with it. It’s special to me because I was able to partner up with my long time friends Alex Campbell (Designer) and Adrian Hernandez (Marketing). I feel like working with them is too easy, as far as creative were always on the same page. “Contra” means “against” in Spanish, we shortened it and made it “Cntra.” I feel like we wanted a brand that had a message, I think a lot of things in general lack that right now. I feel like when we created the brand I was going through a lot mentally, so many changes happening all at once. I’ve never been one to complain about my problems because I realize that people are fighting different battles everyday. Cntra is my way of expressing myself through clothing but also I want the message to let people know that they aren’t alone. We’re fighting just like you.
Wildest fashion finds on tour:
I would’ve never guessed Latin America was so cold. All of the clothing was made before the tour started which was all summer vibes so it caught us by surprise. A lot of the places he performed at were 70 degrees or below. We were struggling to shop at malls so my assistant Marvin and I had to hit the streets. Argentina was pouring rain so we went to a flea market and got the craziest poncho for Benito to perform in. Peru has beautiful Artisanal hand made stuff that we used. We were no longer surrounded by the stores we would typically hit so we got creative and used what was around us. I had a lot of fun doing that, some of my favorite outfits because of the story’s behind finding them.
What are your favorite stores for shopping around the globe?
I can’t give away all my favorites but I will say even after traveling so much this year I’ll have to stick to clothing stores in Los Angeles. I also haven’t been around Europe so until then LA takes the cake. H Lorenzo is always a good move. In NY I tend to do more thrifting. I really like this spot called Antiques in Soho. It’s mostly luggages, antique furniture, every once in a while the owner will send me pics of some crazy pieces. I can find clothing anywhere though, I love stumbling on the hole in the wall spots.
What fashion brand outside your own brand contra are you obsessed over?
I’m not typically a brand whore, I’m more into pieces. I’m a hipster in a sense that I dont like wearing brands that everyone is wearing or anything too predictable. I’d rather wear stuff my friends make or younger designers on the come up. I definitely have a couple faves like Acne Studios, Martine Rose, Stussy. Acne always has something for me, Martine rose makes crazy statement pieces and Stussy is a classic.
What are your goals for the future?
At this point in my life that’s a huge question for me. It’s weird, since I was 16 years old I wanted to own a brand and a store. Being a good stylist became a new challenge for me that I’ve been working really hard at. I’ve been blessed these past 5 years and I’ve been able to attain everything I’ve ever wanted. In the future I want to open more stores, I want Cntra to be the biggest and as far as styling goes I want to expand. I want a bigger team and I want to give people opportunities to do what they love. Later, maybe settle down, find some time for a relationship or get a dog. Doubt I’ll be slowing down anytime soon though.
What do you and bunny have cooking up fashion wise for 2023?
I want to go crazier than ever. More barriers to break and more story’s to be told through clothing. That is all I can say for now.
Written & Edited by: Shirley Reynozo @moyamusic_
Photographer: NICOLÁS Z @fotosbynicolas