Championing a ‘90s-inspired blue and yellow Supreme hoodie and Dime collaboration Vans, agribusiness senior Tiffany Parra has created a project that seamlessly braids together quality food, streetwear and a community with a passion for both. Streetwear is defined as “casual clothing of a style worn especially by members of various urban subcultures,” according to Oxford Dictionary. However, Parra’s collaboration partner business alumni Eric Tang, explains that streetwear embodies more than just clothing.
“Streetwear to me is more than just clothes, it’s an attitude,” Tang said. “Those people who are big in streetwear didn’t get there by worrying about what others thought. They wear what they want when they want; I respect that.”
Tang and Parra run an Instagram account, @flexwithfood, that features people flexing, or showing off, their favorite streetwear while enjoying delicious food. In the age of foodie Instagrams and marketing through social media, the birth of @flexwithfood is a reflection of millenial culture. It rises above the tangle of superfluous content on social media and serves to inspire and uplift users.
Parra aims to create a collective of people who appreciate the culture of streetwear and the cultivation of fine cuisine by featuring user-generated and original content.
“I want to emphasize the fact that it’s about creating a community,” Parra said. “The amount of people that are direct messaging us their photos of them flexing with food is growing, and that is a big part of it. Having people do it themselves is huge because, at the end of the day, it’s creating that community of people that see the vision and want to be a part of it. That’s super key.”
Starting as an ordinary foodie with an account showcasing good grub, Parra discussed how the concept for @flexwithfood came into existence. When Parra and Tang received responses to photos of their food on their own personal social media accounts, they were inspired to create a food Instagram.
“The way food is portrayed on Instagram is just so, like, lethargic. Like, it’s not artistic, it’s not appealing, it’s just kind of like ‘oh let’s put a seven-decker cheeseburger together,” Parra said.
Parra and Tang decided to combine their shared passions for food and streetwear into one artistic platform. Parra said her enthusiasm for streetwear comes from Tang, but her enthrallment with sneakers stems from watching Complex Sneaker Shopping, a YouTube series where artists and athletes go to the best sneaker stores.
“I just love it because there’s so much culture, and from a marketing perspective, there’s new things happening everyday, different campaigns, different ideas … Basically sneaker culture and rap culture and streetwear are all of one and so you really can’t have one without the other, and so I listen to rap and I spend a copious amount of time on YouTube watching rapper [s’] interviews and they’re always reppin’ streetwear,” Parra said.
Showing a careful eye for collaborations between streetwear and potential prime eateries, Parra is making progress towards solidifying their brand and has locked down space in the Hatchery, part of Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She has also just added a graphic designer and two models to their @flexwithfood team, which she explained as being a game changer.
“I’m happy with where it’s at, but it’s gonna be great, especially keep an eye out for the next one to two months because content is definitely going to change in a more artistic direction, more graphically appealing in trying to make it more than just an Instagram account,” Parra said.
Tang and Parra put out content on Instagram every two to three days and feature other Instagrammers flexing regularly with food. Business junior Casey Tolentino shared her experience modeling for @flexwithfood.
“In Madrid, we did a photoshoot and paired her thrifted ski camo pants with a Supreme F&F box logo tee while I held a bubble waffle ice cream cone — the most ‘hypebae’ I’ve ever felt. I’m looking forward to curating more content with her in the future,” Tolentino said.
Ultimately, Parra’s goals reach beyond the social media realm, but the foundation of their brand is being created through Instagram.
“It’s more of a movement, honestly. I’m trying to make a community,” Parra said.“I’m trying to make this movement about fashion and food and kind of create this combination of two things that are not connected right now but should be, because it’s just two leisurely activities that people our age like to take part in … I’m trying to make [@] flexwithfood viral!”