The Reduciano Interview

Diego Luciano, also known as Reduciano is a 20-year-old creative video and clothing designer from Puerto Rico that has established his name as one of the frontrunners of the video creator scene of the underground music and fashion industry. We had the opportunity to speak with Diego about the transition he made from moving from Puerto Rico to Los Angeles, what it was like being the head creative director, alongside Sam Mazzarino (@reenostus), for Lyft's most recent collaboration with Yeat, and what kind of creative control he endures when working with some of the industry's most recognized pioneers. 

YMM: Name? Age? Where are you from?

Diego, just turned 20, from Puerto Rico

YMM: How would you describe your profession?

Very fun, very stress inducing, I’m a creative, designer, a creative person, I just don’t do one thing

YMM: When did you leave Puerto Rico?

I officially moved in February to LA, it was crazy.

YMM: Seems like that all happened so quick...

Yeah, in a way, another thing to know is I had been working my ass off in Puerto Rico and making sure of all these connections so I had made sure when I moved to LA I'd be good. I was building all these crazy connections and friendships just on my tiny little island in the Caribbean.



YMM: How did you first get started with graphic design / animation?

I have just always been a very artistic kid, from the very beginning. I would pause the TV and draw frames from Pokemon. I have a bunch of paintings back home that I did. I took drawing classes for like 4 or 5 years, piano lessons for 8 years, guitar lessons for 4, drums for like 3. I’ve always kinda had that sense of art and everything. Back when I was 15, I would animate clips of Carti or Uzi with the paper transitions and stuff and I started making my own versions of those for my brand. I would make the mockups 3d in After Effects and add stuff from my childhood that I thought was cool. Flipping Doom 64 assets and turning them into branded stuff, syncing them all with Carti music, it all started popping off like crazy. After that other people started hitting me up to do stuff for their brands and I started meeting a bunch of people in the clothing brand scene. This kept going and I kept making videos then one thing led to another and now we are here. 

YMM: Most of your inspiration comes from video games?

I don’t watch a lot of movies, and that is something like even Reeno tells me I should do but it’s just something that's hard for me. To sit down for 2 hours. I used to play so many video games 24/7 like all the time, and almost everything I do comes from the video games I used to play. I used to play Destiny, I still play Destiny. It’s one of my main inspirations for everything I do.

YMM: Brand or artist that you want to work with?

I want to work with Givenchy. I also want to do something with Balenciaga. I feel like It makes sense, making an animation for Balenciaga just makes total sense, I want to do a lot more fashion stuff with animations.

Artist wise I have kinda worked with everyone I want to work with, what’s left is just gigantic ass artists that are just like inspirations. I worked with Carti a year and a half ago, nothing ever came out of that but it was a really cool moment. I really want to do stuff with UZI and big artists like that but I think my #1 artists are Bladee, Yung Lean and Ecco 2k like Drain Gang. I haven’t done anything for them, I don't know anyone, I know the people that know them but that’s it and those are some people I absolutely want to work with, Bladee and Ecco. I’m going to their popup tomorrow so I’m pumped but I have just never been able to get to them, like no one can, they're like myths.

YMM: Do you lean more towards the fashion industry nowadays?

I love the music industry, I have so many friends in the music industry and that's something I love but I want to do both music and fashion. I want to be able to do the fashion shit but be super tapped into the music shit. Like Virgil bro. Virgil was fashion but everybody in the music scene rocked with him because he knew what was up. He knew about the culture and that’s kinda what I want to do as well. I just want my brain to come up with crazy shit, crazy fashion shit and incorporate the music sides of things as well. I want to do a runway at Paris fashion week one day, do a runway where I obviously do all the clothes, I do all the models, I do the visuals, the entire soundtrack, produce it and all the promotion, a whole body of work like that.

YMM: Can you tell us about your relationship with Zack and Elan Bia?

I did some work for Pyschworld, and I was really good friends with Elan. Zack hit me up cause Elan showed him the Psychworld video and was like “yoo your work is fire”, and I was like “yo sick what’s up man, I'd love to do something for you”. I showed him the visuals I did for SSGKOBE at the time. He loved those and said he had a show tomorrow so I was like let me know I'll make you some visuals. He agreed and I was just up for like 24 hours straight. When I got him the visuals he loved them and now you know a fuckin year and a half later he’s like my brother. We do everything, it's awesome.


YMM: Do you have plans to make a new clothing brand?

I definitely do. I'm thinking it's a little complicated because I had Vital and it was doing very well but I just don't feel like that’s me anymore. I don't feel as connected anymore. I’m still trying to figure out the logistics of it but I really want it to be high end, not so you can’t pay for it but more artsy stuff that I can do runways and run it really weird, try stuff that I’ve never tried. Post no captions or surprise drops all the time, post no context shit that just makes sense, try stuff that’s weird, I think this age of streetwear is so boring. The shit I see everyday is just the same shit the same formula, just personally I think there is no excitement, it's all so cookie cutter. I want you to have post notifications on not because I told you but because you have no clue when I’m gonna post, could be a new drop, could be a new site or could just be something else, could be a no context random pic you know that’s fun and exciting, it makes you want to keep your eyes on the brand instead of expecting the brand to comment and tell you to you know enter for a chance to win free hoodies. You know that’s boring.

YMM: Didn’t know you had this side of you…

That’s the thing man. A lot of people don't know that, they only know me for my videos, that’s something I’ve been frustrated with recently, because it's not really like that. I know how to design clothes better than I know how to do 3D. I’ve been doing it for a lot longer, it's really crazy I have a lot of stuff I want to do but it just takes time 


YMM: Where do you see yourself making that transition to working with big brands?

I don't think it's ever gonna be a transition, it's gonna be a natural transition because I don't ever want to stop doing one thing to do the other. I feel like too many people do that and it just ends up not working with one side. People don't like it or it just ends up going wrong. I want it to feel right and more natural, how I went from doing this to doing that instead of it being a sharp drop, like hey guys I’m doing this brand I’m no longer doing videos sorry. Nah. I want when there is a runway I made for people to think “that’s sick, it makes sense”. It's not just a random transition from X to Y. I want it to be super smooth and natural. That's why I want to start doing animation work for fashion houses. I have a really crazy project under wraps that comes out next year and it's gonna be insane, it's gonna be the first step for people to see that I do more than just 3d design.  I'm super thankful of the LYFT thing because that was just the start to show people that like “oh he actually has really good ideas instead of making things people tell him to.


YMM: What is your message to the youth?

If you really want to do something, just please do it. I hate seeing my friends have great ideas and they’re scared to do it because they tell themselves “oh it's not gonna work” or “im safer doing this thing instead” “my family wants me to do this instead because they don't think it will work” just keep doing it man. If I managed to get where I’m at just from a random spot in Puerto Rico in the middle of nowhere, and now I’m working with people I’ve wanted to work with my whole life since I was a kid. I think anyone else can, you're born here in the USA you’re already so ahead of so many people you gotta realize you gotta just do it. Another important thing is you really have to put in the work, you have to say you want to do it but you really have to be about it, this shit is really exhausting. When I had my brand I would sleep 3 hours a night my last 2 years of school because I was dming thousands of people almost every single day to check out my brand, you have to have a strong mentality, passion and discipline to do things because at this point with everything we have given to us, like technology and everything, we can really do anything do whatever we want to be.

People just know me for my 3d shit and I don't like that. I’m way more than that. It just frustrates me and people don't know that. I’m not blaming people I’m blaming myself, it's my fault for not doing more and showing my work more. It's something I want to change, working with different fashion houses and meeting new people that do different things and working with people that aren’t in the music scene and stuff like that. Make sure people understand that I’m here to stay and I really really want to change shit up. I mean everyone says they want to change the world but I really want to try and do that as well.

To Keep up to date with Diego Luciano make sure to follow @reduciano on instagram.

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