Yulexis Argota’s is a story of suffering and redemption, of obstinacy and desire. Above all, it is a story of love and family, one of those you would gladly tell your children in front of the fireplace on Christmas Eve.

Once upon a time, there was a boy born in a beautiful island, Cuba. He was very poor and that is why he had to leave home and his family in search of a better life.

It was 1998 when Yulexis arrived in the United States with his mother and his elder brother. He was nine years old, had no clothes and nothing to eat but he had a huge talent for arts and the support of those dear to him.

Unfortunately, the precarious economic conditions forced him to put aside his passion. Yulexis studied jurisprudence and started a business in agriculture. The conquered stability reawakened in him the ancient flame (actually never dormant).

He found in fashion the right channel in which to convey creativity and aesthetic sense. He risked everything and moved to New York where he founded the brand that still bears his name, YULEXIS: a mix of traditional European-inspired craftsmanship and modernity without frills.


Hello Yulexis! When and how did your interest in fashion start?

As long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with dressing nice and different. I hated that everyone looked the same and loved that I could say a lot about myself without speaking a word by the clothes I wore. As a kid it was a constant fight with my mother, to get earrings, to wear a shirt that was way too big or to wear a tux when everyone was wearing t-shirts. As an artist and art lover, the biggest form of art and self-expression has always been Fashion.


Three most relevant moment of your life and career.

 Coming to the USA with my mom and brother. Life changed for me completely but my mom gave me the opportunity to follow my dreams.

Starting my first business and learning things by doing instead of theory and books. Dropping out of my MBA program as I saw all the business flaws in all the theories they teach in school, as I had real-world experience.

Launching my brand and officially focusing on my art.


Your personal story is really strong and moving. Would you like to tell us something about?

Yes. Always use all of your hardships as motivation and see the beauty in all of life’s moments good or bad because even the worst moments have the biggest lessons and our personal stories make us who we are. You are unique for everything you have ever been through; so don’t ever try to be like anyone else or hide who you truly are. There is beauty in every aspect of life—learn to see it and use it to create beautiful things that others can enjoy! Use your past as inspiration and never forget where you came from. Be grateful for your early day supporters because trust me there aren’t many.


Why create your own brand? What is Yulexis?

Because I truly feel that in the times we live in no-one cares about quality, creativity or art anymore. The internet has ruined the creative thought process, musicians don’t play instruments anymore, movie stunts are done with computers and people don’t think because machines and the internet do it for us. We have become lazy and greedy as a society and everything is too attainable. Nothing has true meaning anymore and everyone makes things to sell and become instantly rich. People are obsessed with money, I want to remind people of the incredible beauty art and love to have. No-one acts with passion and love anymore. This is why I created YULEXIS a brand that is ME, a representation of the way I see the world, my values and my love for true art and creativity. I want to take fashion back to the days of Coco Chanel or Hubert de Givenchy when fashion was another art form not a way to sell T-shirts and be “hyped”. I want for people to feel beautiful when they wear YULEXIS, as said by Christian Dior about his brand and to know that they own a garment that is a masterpiece filled with meaning and inspiration. Look deep into my pieces and analyze them, you will see the message behind every single piece.

Who do you think about when you create your items?

Ah, LIFE. I think about all the beauty that surrounds us, I think about all the people who are fighting to change the world and about my memories, experiences and how similar they are to others experiences and how I want people to feel that nostalgic connection when they see my clothes. In the last collection I was walking to a meeting in lower Manhattan and saw a street food cart and I thought to myself “wow, this is a man who is working selling hot dogs to support a family so his kids can be doctors or lawyers or maybe artists but if he works hard enough one day he will own 10 street carts and be able to travel the world” and this is how I came up with “my rags to riches silk shirt”. I am inspired by the human experience.

Art had an important rule in your life as well. How do fashion and art mix in Yulexis?

To me, fashion is another way of expressing the way I see the world. I use fashion, not as a business, it’s not about the money, I could care less about making a penny but truly to me fashion is wearable art. As a kid I used Fashion to express who I was, now I use it so that I can connect with the world and give them pieces of art that they can wear. Fashion is art for me and my goal is not only to mix it but to make it another medium of art. I sketch every single garment I make and the feeling that I get doing that is the same as when I paint a massive oil or acrylic canvas.

What is the message you want to launch through your collections?

Positivity, elegance, luxury, and inspiration. All beautiful messages nothing negative. Recently our culture has become obsessed with drugs and many designers are referencing the drug culture because it’s “cool” and it sells. With the mental health epidemic our youth is suffering from and the many recent overdoses, I want to change that narrative and make people feel like rock stars for creating ART not living a life of self-harm. Positivity and LOVE are my main goals in every collection. I want every kid or adult that looks at my brand to understand that life is beautiful and they too can do whatever they want!


Havana, the city where you were born, and New York, the city where you founded your company: how much inspiration do you take from them in your daily work?

Basically all my inspiration. I saw a lot of poverty growing up in Havana and I lived through it. I had no food or clothing, so the fact that now I can make my own clothing and other people can wear it is surreal. My mom and brother saved my life and I don’t take that for granted. I want the kids in Cuba, Mexico, Africa, and North Korea or anywhere in the World where they aren’t allowed to follow their dreams and live a life of happiness to have the same opportunities I have had. New York city is full of exceptional beings and its filled with people from all these places I mentioned and more who move there “to make it”. Walking around NYC will give you the feeling that you too can make it and all this transfers into my art and garments with every piece.

Would you go back to Cuba today?

Hardest question of the entire interview… I would love to see my land, where I was born, where I grew up and to see those run-down streets that aren’t as cool to me as they are for tourists. It’s very sad that such a beautiful country is so run down. Tourists enjoy the fact that time basically stopped in Cuba from the cars to the architecture but to me, it causes great pain that so many people born just like me didn’t have the opportunity to progress just because of where they were born and no-one gets to choose who they are born to and where.

In simple terms the answer is yes, I would love to go as it will be an incredible source of inspiration for me and it will revive beautiful memories but at the same time it pains me to look at kids just like me who can’t get out. Maybe I will go when I have more resources to be able to help my people.


As always, our last question… According to you, what is really FUCKING YOUNG!?

Haha, I honestly love this question!!! Made me laugh, but it actually is a very deep question… Being young is a state of mind and we should all remain FUCKING YOUNG, we should all remain curious and ambitious about life just like when we were children. When we were FUCKING YOUNG, we dreamed big and weren’t afraid, the whole World was at our hands and we were filled with purity and love. Our imaginations were free to create and in our minds, we could be anything. Like my favorite artist and biggest inspiration Pablo Picasso famously said “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” We should always remain curious, stay hungry and foolish like Steve Jobs said and remain FUCKING YOUNG!