Interview: Operation Chiin Chilla (OCC) – Gene Contreras

1. What is the start-up story behind OCC?

Well basically when i found my self in my new home (Shanghai), i realized how cool and international it was. So i really wanted to be a part of it in the most interesting of ways.

So i went about playing around with drawing and ideas for a fashion brand, since it thought i would be real cool to capture the cities vibe it kept on giving me and attracting.

I wanted to make something I would want to rep and say was from Shanghai, and my friends back home would probably think was rad.


2. OCC, What are three words that best define it?

China Original, Sexy & Cool lol


3. What are you working on lately?

If i let that out, we’d have to make you disappear


4. What are some recent achievements you guys would like to share?

Our quality is at top brands in the world level


5. What’s something that’s always running on your minds?

Team Goals


6. How do you spend your downtime?

I like to play a lot of basketball if there is a good bunch of friends down and a nice courts 
available. Eating Dong Bei Cai (Chinese North Eastern Food). Going to lit parties, and just hanging around, see whats 
good in the city or just around.


7. What would you guys spend a million dollars on?

Hahaha, that’s easy, but ill show you when we get it



8. What three pieces of advice would you all give to others when it comes to life and business?

Persistence, and realize that shits not always going to go as planned. And importantly 
to always just keep it authentic, and always hustle hustle hustle, and add another 
HUSTLE on top


9. What’s one thing you struggle most when building your own brand?

Honestly i never even think about that. I just let the dominoes fall where they be, and 
stay in line which who i am. Where my inspiration comes from, and keep working on that. Keep getting good at that. The rest can be what it is. Let people decide, they will always have their own opinions anyways.


10. What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?

In the beginning manufacturing was really really tough. I failed a lot of time with this. Which really crushed us a lot. Financially and creatively. But we got through it so… Its in the past


11. What’s a typical day in your life like?

A lot of hectic a lot of smiles


12. What’s one of the highlighting moment in your career? Why is it so?

Just getting acceptance from our customers, when we drop collections watching the 
items move and seeing them around the city, and beyond. Getting good feedback from our clientele and online circle. Its quite nice, as we,re an independent brand, and we don’t do much advertising. As regular fashion houses do.


13. What stops you from throwing in the towel and giving up during those frustrating days of being in this industry?

I absolutely love what i do. And i see a clear end vision with it all. Plus i gotta wear clothes, so might as well make some of it myself. Its kinda a skill you know.


14. Biggest risk ever taken?

My first mass production. That can be kinda scary, but yet exciting at the same time. Its like feeding the beast when you see all the machines moving, and printing, sewing. Its my favorite part actually


15. Who has influenced you most and been your greatest inspiration?

Absolutely my friends around me, family afar, local culture and just this cities over voice that i always felt in my ear. Its take time to get it right, but i hear something coming.


16. How do you go about marketing your business or yourself?

What has been your most successful form of marketing?Just keep doing what were doing.


17. How do you plan to grow your brand/business further?

Our quality again. Best way is when people wear your brand like every time they go out. 
At events and cool parties


18. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

From big to small business, i understand the grind. So any of the brand of businesses we 
or i use on a daily or any basis i really respect


19. How do you achieve balance in your life?

A lot of tea and hot water


20. What is the definition of success for you all, and how much of it do you think you guys have achieved?

I think we are at about 5% maybe less. Lets see what the next 5 years brings


21. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?

Successful, doing rad and bad shit.


22. What’s the first thing you guys would say to the world if all attention was on you now?



Connect with Operation ChiinChilla (OCC)


Instagram: @operationchiinchilla


Written by allurre

Founder of StreetwearTalk and RECQUIXIT, Videographer, Producer, Serial Entrepreneur.

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