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Modus Collection

By Rachel Amiralian

Boston is an exciting place for today’s entertainment, music, and fashion industries. Every year, Boston gains more credibility as a place for the limelight. In the past year alone, movies like The Town and The Fighter have been written, produced, and filmed in Boston, giving our city new respect in the film industry. Lounges and restaurants have emerged that offer Boston a New York vibe, giving the city a fresh and new look. A new designer line has also stepped up to the plate, helping Boston give New York a run for its money: Modus Collection Clothing. CEO and founder Santiago Deoleo was born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts. In his main job, he produces the Ramiro and Pebbles Morning Show on JAM’N 94.5, but he strives for Modus Collection to become his primary focus. While radio broadcasting was his initial career choice, fashion has always been his biggest passion.

The name Modus Collection comes from the phrase modus operandi, which means ‘mode of operation.’ Deoleo based his line on designs that he has subconsciously been creating his entire life and that have become his mode of operation. “I wanted a specific trademark, something that when a person looked at one of my shirts, they would know immediately it was a Modus shirt because of that trademark. Chess has been something I have always been a fan of. It is a game that everyone can play, no matter what age, race, or gender…We all are able to play, so we all are able to relate,” Deoleo said. The chess inspiration appears in the form of a chess piece in every garment. Each season, his line of shirts will incorporate the six main chess pieces: pawn, knight, rook, bishop, queen, and king. At times, creating a clothing company was quite stressful for Deoleo; he stated that at certain points, he thought seriously about setting all of his shirts on fire, but his passion for fashion and his desire to create pieces through which others could express themselves kept him going.

Deoleo’s first line, which was released in September 2010, was composed of six men’s t-shirts that are all made from high-quality materials. Every shirt is given a name and a personality: “Clothes aren’t just clothes anymore; we don’t just wear clothes to keep warm; clothes are a way of expressing ourselves.” Deoloeo has embraced this concept. Men’s t-shirts were just the first stop for Modus Collection; after releasing the initial six shirts, Deoleo added hoodies to his line in December and plans to expand to women’s clothing, sweaters, jeans, and accessories. He wants Modus Collection Clothing to be a complete fashion brand and is eager for the next step. Deoleo plans to release new collections every spring and fall, with a minimum of six pieces, and also to launch limited edition apparel and shirts between seasons to keep his company fresh.

Modus Collection is not just your average clothing company. One-of-a-kind designs and signature pieces are not all that Deoleo had in mind when dreaming up his creations. He also wanted a way to give back to the community, and Deoleo prides himself on his involvement with charities. Last January, Modus Collection released a limited edition t-shirt, giving all of the proceeds to the Salem Children’s Charity. Deoleo threw a huge charity event at Murphy’s in Salem, hosted by Ramiro from the Ramiro and Photos by Savas Studios Pebbles Morning Show. Everyone gathered together to support Modus Collection and the Salem’s Children Charity. The night was a success. Thousands of dollars were donated to the charity, and Modus Collection was able to expand its brand.

Although radio and fashion are Deoleo’s career areas, he is a businessman at heart; he has used his position at the radio station to promote his clothing company. Deoleo said that the hardest challenge in the process is getting people to know your clothing is out there and then convincing them to purchase it. However, Deoleo makes that seem easy. Celebrities like the New Boyz, Nelly, Drake, Channing Tatum, and J. Cole all own Modus Collection t-shirts.

Deoleo’s company was built on a dream; hard work, dedication, and passion transformed this dream into a reality. Although the company is still young and there is plenty of work to do, Deoleo’s ambition will most certainly help him grow from producer to fashion mogul. Deoleo hopes to break into international markets like the Japanese fashion industry, but he still wants to remember why he started Modus in the first place: “[I] hope to provide you with a sense of empowerment and a freedom to express yourself, never forgetting that behind every design there is the fun that went into its creation and is now embodied in the piece itself. When you wear a piece of Modus Collection, the fun is now in your hands. Make it your Modus Operandi.”

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