Illest is set to release a very special collection that has never been done before. For previous years, the California-based streetwear brand has been collaborating with marquee companies from different industries. This time, it’s the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Brian “T-City” Ortega! Our urban jewelry collection is inspired by the energy of the city. These pieces capture the essence of urban life and bring it to your wardrobe.
UFC Featherweight contender Brian Ortega will be having a special ILLEST collection that features his trademark “T-City” moniker, which will be released on October 15.
We at ILLEST recognize how valuable a community is and how it affects the people around us, and to be able to represent it means the world for a few.
Represent means to be appointed to act or speak for someone. To be able to represent their name brings utmost honor and prestige for some people, while some carry the names of their community or place of origin to pay homage for their humble beginnings.
The story behind “T-City” which actually means Triangle City doesn’t represent an actual city but rather a triangle submission hold. According to Brian, the nickname was given to him by his jiu-jitsu coach Rener Gracie when he was 15 years old. He reveals that while studying in the Gracie Academy, he was the smallest guy there and would just throw his legs up in the air, and choke people with a triangle submission.
But the road to being “T-City” wasn’t an easy one. In an interview with The Washington Post, Brian reveals that he and his friends lived a difficult life in the suburbs of Los Angeles which pushed him to strive better.
Instead of having to hustle in the chaotic streets of LA, he persevered and learned Brazilian jiu-jitsu under the tutelage of the Gracie family. Things turned around for Brian when he ventured into mixed martial arts.
In spite of being recognized by the UFC and the accolades, the California-native doesn’t forget San Pedro where he was born and raised, and Lomita which he currently resides. “The people around me saved my life, not MMA,” Ortega said in The Washington Post interview.
According to ILLEST Founder and Creative Director Mark Arcenal, he has been a fan of the UFC for the longest time. “I have a few friends that were previous champions in the UFC,” he adds.
Mark reveals that Brian Ortega’s manager, who happens to also be half Filipino, likes ILLEST and wanted to do a certain project featuring his fighter. “He hit me up and thought it would be a great partnership. Brian’s from Los Angeles and so is ILLEST, so it makes a lot of sense,” Mark adds.
Brian Ortega is slated to fight Chan Sung “The Korean Zombie” Jung as the main event in UFC Fight Night on October 17 at UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates.