Oh dear goodness. I can already tell that this one is gonna be rough. Know why? Because I just went over all of Souper #7, Chuy Michel’s answers from our interview last week, and I am laughing out loud BY MYSELF.
Chuy is not only a fabulous friend of mine, but he is also one of the most casually hilarious people I know. I say casually because he doesn’t try to be funny, which means he also never laughs. Which makes it even better when he consistently asks his infamous rhetorical questions. For example: it’s early in the morning, and a co-worker walks in the office. Yes, he might look a little tired, and hair a little crazy from riding his bike to work. There was no “good morning,” from Chuy. Instead, Chuy asks with the straightest of faces, “Did you sleep here last night?” BBAAHAHAHAHAHA. Yes, I am laughing as I write this. How can I not?! I absolutely adore this kind of humor. It straight knocks me to the floor!
Chuy grew up in a small town called Lompoc (about 50 miles North of Santa Barbara) and after graduation when he thought he would be a marine biologist and attend either Cal Poly Pomona or San Diego State, he “came to L.A. and discovered fashion!” At 22 years old, Chuy enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles and received his degree in Design. Ten years after he moved to L.A., he is now working full time at Urban Outfitters and meanwhile even more importantly, creating what looks to me, like something BIG.
It’s called “Yeah Gurl, That’s The Price.” Duh.
Chuy and his good friend Freddie Rojas (whom owns his own store called Rojas on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood), started “Yeah Gurl” because they were going to UniqueLA events, an independent design show and became inspired. “I wanted to do a hand picked sale. I wanted to pick up and coming designers to be able to get their stuff out. It’s my fourth one (on November 20th) already and I started with six designers and now I have fifteen. They’re everywhere. [The] furthest is Manhattan Beach, but a lot are L.A. based.”
When I asked Chuy to explain how he got the name, he says, “How do I…I just…it just came out! We were in the store and a girl kept asking how much [at Rojas]…it just caught on.” Caught on is right.
“Yeah Gurl’s” price points are usually between $15 to $60, which for the new designers is 55-75% off. I asked Chuy what’s to come in the next few years for YG and for him. He said, “have an empire.” He has a deadpan face the whole time too. “It’ll be a lifestyle, not a name.” Not only does Chuy host YG, but he’s also a contributor by making doggie scarves. YES. You heard right. Doggie scarves.
This is his love, Charlie. He makes a good model, no? Chuy talks about if he were to go back in time and have a dream job, he would be a veternarian. He looooves animals! He talks about things he loves and says, “My dog Charlie, my family, my nephews and dancing, I loveee to dance.” I add a “me too,” and we go on to discuss how we raise our hands and get our groove on no matter who’s looking. I die laughing at him when after I explain how I’ll even throw in some “choreography,” he says, “No, girl, you practice your eight count in the corner! Your boom-kats…” HAHAHAHA…whatever!
There were so many good answers, I struggled to pick my favorites:
1. Who’s on the top of your celeb list? “[For a] man it has to be Vin Diesel, woman….it would have To be Ru Paul.” BAAHAHAHahahaha!! What did I expect?
2. Sports: “Oh my God, how embarrassing. I was forced to play soccer. Baseball and football in high school all four years. I just wanted to take showers with the boys and not take P.E. I hated soccer…I was waiting for break time with the oranges…” As I’m having trouble typing because I’m laughing, he keeps going. “I’ll be a goalie, I’ll stay over here. I was a filler…it sucks, especially [when] your little brother is on the same team as you…and he’s all good…” Maybe it’s because I played soccer and I know the drill that this is so hilarious to me. Everyone knows that kid. Ha.
3. First car: “A 1996 Toyota Camery. It was green and his name was Topango.” OF COURSE his name was Topango!
4. The next place you would move to: “Where’s Caleb from? Texas? Where the bears are. Bear country! The land with beards and plaid.” Quick story to explain how hilarious this answer is: a freelance artist named Caleb worked at Chuy’s store for a couple weeks. Caleb has a large beard, wears plaid and eats a maple bar every single morning for breakfast. Chuy OBVIOUSLY fell in love at first sight and we still talk about him to this day. So when I asked the question and there was absolutely no pause nor a smile when he answered “Where’s Caleb from?” I DIED.
5. Trademark: “My one-liners. Yeah girl, it’s the liners.” THANK YOU for saying that!! It’s sooo true!
6. Self conscious about: “I don’t like when my hair curls, I don’t like it when my hair gets kinks in the back…I wish I had the ‘Jew curl,’ that would be hot.” Would it? Really? She’s crazy. And when I say “she,” I mean Chuy. Duh.
7. Favorite quote: “She’s feelin’ it.” HAHAHAHAH!! Anyone who knows Chuy KNOWS this IS IT. Can we please talk about how anyone else would have quoted some famous scholar or someone out of the Bible? No. Not she. Chuy picks his OWN quote. HHAAAAHAHAH! Amazing.
8. If you were given a TV show, what would it be called and what would it be about? “Chuy and Charlie. The adventures of me and my dog. [It would] just be me and talking to Charlie—look twice but don’t touch! I think that’s why I don’t have a boyfriend because of my dog…its sad…” Oh…it’s ok Chuy. Maybe someone from VH1 will read this and they’ll see dollar signs. You’ll get a show AND a man like that! 🙂
9. What have you learned from your family: “To be honest, never forget where you came from and family first.” Awwww…whatta sweetheart. We love Latinos!! And family! Haha!
10. Favorite donut: “Chocolate bars with no filling.” Anyone who knows donuts knows that chocolate bars don’t come with filling. It’s the bavarian creme that comes with delicious custard!! YUMMMMM!! That might have to be my SECOND favorite donut.
Thanks for the laughs Chuy.
Look forward to the next “Yeah Gurl, That’s The Price” on November 20th, right outside the Urban Outfitters store on Melrose. See you there!