ma’ñaz; (man-yoz): : n. 1. originally a Spanish word spelled manias, loosely translating into “bad manners,” clothing line Mañaz found this spelling more aesthetically pleasing while creating its logo. 2. an excuse to write out a faux dictionary definition as an opening hook in attempt to snare readers. 3. an independent clothing line based out of Los Angeles, citing manias as its source of inspiration, ie. “Rock stars have a whole list of mañaz, they’re famous for them, so I want people to feel that naughty bad boy or bad girl feeling when they wear my clothes.”
So says Tony Iginuez, independent designer behind three-year-old Mañaz. He carries a taste for mañaz beyond a source of namesake and style inspiration, committing a few seeming fa’shion in’du’stry faux-pas: n. 1. the designer waved goodbye to fashion capital Manhattan in favor of being near his Los Angeles family. 2. rather than monitoring seasonal trends, Iginuez cites that popular practice as boring. 3. Iginuez bears not FIT or Parsons pedigree, but an internship at Cornell University and background in theatrical costuming.
“I still work in theater, it’s something I will always do,” says Iginuez. “What drew me to costume design, is just the whole complexity of it all. I think you can see a little of costume design in everything that I do,” said Iginuez. “I want people to wear my stuff and feel like a rock star.”
As for what Iginuez wears, like any small business owner, he sports a sundry of hats — none of which are colored shy: “I was meeting all these guys at casting calls whenever I did shows,” he says, “and I was like, ‘Damn, I would love to see that guy in my clothes,’ so at a casting call one time, I just told the agent to get me five guys, and that was that, I started doing guy’s stuff.”
And starting Mañaz — with beginnings in lady’s custom wear — stemmed, too, from a simple experience. After strutting down a runway in elementary school — “They dressed me as a cowboy with these real tight Sergio Valente jeans, kind of odd for a 10-year-old” — Iginuez knew he wanted to do the Zoolander industry when he grew up.
And so he has, though keeping fashion industry hype and stereotypes at a distance. While Mañaz has had a few celebrity clients, like Lisa Marie Presley, the made-to-fit line challenges pop standards, making corsets for men and straying from using twiggy models.
“I love big girls who are comfortable in their skin,” said Iginuez. “I find that very powerful. It’s hard to try to look good or feel good when all these magazines and shows are telling you you’re the wrong way.”
Still, Iginuez has some criticism for Los Angelenos a little too com’for’ta’ble: adj. 1. free from stress or anxiety; at ease, ie. “I’m so comfortable in my sweats and Uggs.”
“Too many jeans and tank tops,” says Iginuez. “Save the tank tops for the beach.”