Essentials: Arvie Gimeno

The Chief of Fun at Albino & Preto and Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt shares his stories behind some of his favorite items.

Fashion 
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For our latest Essentials installment, we speak with Albino & Preto Chief of FUN and Jiu-Jitsu black belt Arvie Gimeno.

Albino & Preto was established in 2011 as a Jiu-Jitsu uniform and lifestyle brand with the focus of bringing to life the common ground of every Jiu-Jitsu advocate. “Jiu-Jitsu is one of the few, if not only art I know where you can sit in one room with a group of people with different backgrounds, religions, careers and still have the same goal with respect on the mats. Through the years of training, I’ve also met many people with the same interests outside of the mats, which is what motivates me to bring in those common interests,” says Gimeno.

Over the past decade, A&P has collaborated with a vast range of brands including the NBA, PLEASURES, Wu-Tang Clan, Native & Sons, Hot Wheels, Garfield, Bodega, Medicom Toy, and more, infusing Kimonos and other BJJ elements with nostalgic and contemporary inspirations.

Follow us below as Gimeno dives into his Essentials picks.

1990 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Ref. 16233 / Type 1 Benrus

I picked my 1990 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust because it was a watch passed down to me by my Dad. This watch holds sentimental value to me. It is a constant reminder of the hard work he’s instilled in me growing up and to one day pass this down to one of my boys. I had other watches I wanted to highlight, but I feel like the Benrus Type 1 is a great daily watch for me. Being military-inspired, I’ve always loved the simplicity of this watch with no branding on the face.

A&P x Native Sons Frames

You guys get to see it here first. One of my favorite Frames I have coming out with Native Sons in a Honey color. The Spirit model was designed for Soul Protection. The best part about these frames is they are handcrafted in Japan and are made of cellulose acetate, a non-petroleum-based thermoplastic, creating a flexible yet durable frame. They are also plant-based and hypoallergenic, conscious of the wearer in mind.

A&P x STASH BE@RBRICK

Another piece you get to see here first before it releases soon. I worked with STASH using his iconic cap designs and we integrated them into Kimono that the BE@RBRICK is wearing. Shout out to Ivan Jimenez! We both are into BE@RBRICKS and one day he sent an intro email randomly and the rest is history. But how these projects truly come about? It’s really because of the interests of the same thing for myself and whoever I’m collaborating with. But as far as the main A&P BE@RBRICKS, it has always been a dream to throw a Kimono on a BE@RBRICK.

Supreme x Nike SB Dunk Low “White Cement”

This shoe has a lot of stories and I don’t even know where to begin, but it is a reminder of what the culture was then whether it was collecting shoes or even networking. I’ve met many people during those times. Some of who are still friends of mine. The culture then was fun and whenever I wear this shoe it takes me back and reminds me how fun it was, but to also find a way to bring what was, to what can be now.

Take Hands Shoulder Bag

This bag was originally used as my Diaper bag. I wanted a cool, small diaper bag that I can travel with and Take-San had given me one to use. Take-San helped me develop something that can work as almost a utility-type bag, but also to take with you during workouts or travel.

Wood Sculpture by Alyasha Owerka-Moore

The Wood object is a Wood sculpture by Alyasha Owerka-Moore a.k.a Stack-Aly that he gifted to me. This sculpture means a lot to me as you already know his footprint in the industry. He continues to be an inspiration to many.

A&P JWSF (Journey We Stand For) Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt

Receiving my black belt was a stepping stone in my life so this belt is not only a reminder of all the hard work put in to get to where I am mentally but also a reminder to enjoy the journey. To me having a black belt is being a white belt again. It’s a new journey that I have to uphold to. It’s more than respect given to you by others, but the respect you have to give back. It’s the honor, respect, and loyalty you have to live up to.

DJ Rhettmatic Exclusive Collection CD

Music is a big part of my creative channel. The 4 elements of Hip Hop were everything to me growing up and Rhett was the juggle master, beatmaker, but also the heart to the parties. If you also loved underground Hip Hop then, then you knew groups like the visionaries or the beat junkies that he’s associated with. Because we training together at the same dojo and somehow know a lot of the same people, we’ve definitely become closer as friends or as I like to say Pars!

Laptop Stickers

Atago Home: My favorite Japanese home goods place to shop
Conde Koma Jiu-Jitsu: My Second home! My place for serenity. Go Train!!!
Sleepers Speed Shop: My go-to shop for my cars! But overall the vibes of Len Higa and his staff.

Is there a story behind the brand name Albino & Preto?

The mark embodies the journey we stand for. Albino stands for White and Preto stands for Black, in Portuguese, which represents the levels of belt ranks. As a beginner, you start at white and progress to blue, purple, brown, and black. As a black belt, you then once again become a white belt, having to adapt to knowing that you are now a role model. the highest level anyone can receive is the Red Belt. Visually, the logo path starts in the center of the A. Here you see a triangle representing the history of Jiu-Jitsu methods and discipline. This line continues as a full non-broken path trailing to the center of the P in Preto. The end cap of the P is rounded and naturally circles our attention around to start the of “relearning” the discipline, thus always progressing in the mental and physical academia.

When did you first get into Jiu-Jitsu, and how has the sport affected your lifestyle?

I dabbled into Jiu-Jitsu around 2002 but didn’t really get into it until around 2004 when it became a part of my lifestyle. The art has affected my life in many ways. It has helped me mentally and humbled me in many ways. It has made me a better person overall. To me, it’s the only place you can be where people from different walks of life, religion, ethnicity, culture, and careers can all come to the same place to learn, better your health, humble each other, and most importantly learn the value of respect, which all in due time takes time. The best part is Jiu-Jitsu has helped me learn to walk away from situations as opposed to putting myself in situations.

For those looking to start BJJ, what advice would you give them?

If you’re looking to start Jiu-Jitsu, find a place with an amazing ambiance and culture. Good vibes go a long way. It’s not always about convenience when it comes to health and mental stability. Sure it’s a luxury to be really close, but find yourself a dojo where you feel like you can call everyone family. For me, Conde Koma Jiu-Jitsu in Los Alamitos Ca is a true example of all that above, and I’m not being biased as many other people I know can attest to it.

When did you first think to integrate BJJ apparel with streetwear?

Honestly, I wasn’t trying to integrate streetwear into Jiu-Jitsu at all. There are a lot of things I like outside of Jiu-Jitsu, things I grew up on or was a part of, from being a sneakerhead, being in the car scene to just loving certain brands, and being inspired by creativity. To me, it was about building this common ground outside of Jiu-Jitsu that many of us who train can relate to on and off the mats and hopefully inspire many more people to start training!

Any upcoming projects you’re excited about that you want to share with our readers?
Hm! I’m excited about many projects coming, but the A&P STASH BE@RBRICK is something that I’m excited about. Crazy to think that this project started around September of 2020, time flies & now we’ll be dropping soon. The animation we did for this project is bananas! But overall it’s been amazing working with STASH on our projects. I think we’ve built more of a family friendship than anything.

Take a look at Arvie Gimeno’s product spread above and stay tuned for more Essentials pieces in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, we recently featured musician and SMG founder JJ Lin.

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