Antonio Centeno’s story begins in a trailer park in West Texas where he grew up. When he left Texas to attend Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa no one would have guessed he would end up founding two companies and affecting the way men dress around the world.
With a few exceptions, the people who lived in the trailer park where Antonio grew up did not seem to care about the appearance of their property or their clothing. In contrast an aunt of Antonio’s kept herself, her trailer, and her car neat and clean. She taught him that even though he might not have expensive things, he should always put his best foot forward. The people Antonio came to respect were the people who took care of their belongings regardless of price.
Just before graduation from Cornell College he joined the Marine Corps, following the example of other family members who had served in various branches of the military. The Marines is considered by many to be the premiere branch of the U.S. military, and Antonio saw it as a challenge. The Corps had a significant impact on him; he even says that the Marines formed the person is today. He was humbled yet encouraged to constantly seek ways to improve himself. As an officer in the Corps Antonio learned what it meant to be a servant leader whose purpose was to support for the ground troops. This instilled in Antonio a desire to help others.
After leaving the Marines Antonio lived in the Ukraine for a couple of years. While there he ran a nonprofit organization that provided services to orphans. It became clear that the nonprofit was not going to survive, but Antonio had learned that he knew nothing about business.
An Idea Is Born
While still in the Ukraine, Antonio searched for a suit for an interview. He discovered that he could not find one that fit in the Ukraine. He tried to find one online, but was disappointed with the quality and fit. During his search he realized that he knew how to wear a uniform, but knew nothing about how to wear a suit. He met with custom clothiers and discovered that the industry was dominated by people without formal education in fashion who were making good money; and an idea began to grow. Continue reading IIP020: From USA Marines To World Leading Style Expert For Men