Anibal Marin, CEO of Auxiliare: A Conversation with The Peak Lapel
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Anibal Marin, founder and inventor of Auxilry and CEO of Auxiliare International LLC. I have been a menswear design consultant/product developer for over 15 years and now run my own accessories company Auxiliare International LLC. The company was created based on the core product I invented called Auxilry. What is Auxilry?…. it is a timeless line of interchangeable shirt buttons that allows you to customize your shirts and outfits in seconds with no sewing necessary! All items I created out of the need and frustration of problems with wearing dress shirts.
Where can people follow your work online?
How did you first get into men’s style/clothing/fashion and when did you decide to turn it into something more than just a hobby?
I have been a menswear designer in the industry for over 15 years. I have always studied fashion at design schools and at one point even had my own menswear line. Interestingly enough, it always wasn't so. I actually began my career in publishing and advertising. In 2001 I lost my publishing job and answered a job for T-shirt designer. I figured I had studied fashion and had serious computer skills, which at the time was scarce in the apparel industry. The rest is history. I made a killing merging my computer, advertising, and fashion skills. Since then I have worked with many of the top brands and managed to be a solo-prenuer for quite some time.
What is your hair styling routine, if any? What products do you use and why?
For many years of my life, I used to blow dry my hair and use L'Oreal's Melting Gel. As I have gotten older (and in order to switch things up while going easy on my hair and preserving it as much as possible), I now sport a comb over with a part and use absolutely no hair styling products at all. I am very happy with this and feel that in many ways it actually has helped my hair by going easier on it with fewer chemicals.
What is your EDC (“Every Day Carry”), and why? Where do you keep which items? What do you never leave home without?
My EDC survival carry kit usually consists of multiple items. I generally keep a multi-tool keychain, a flat comb, business cards, and earphones in my jacket and blazer pockets. The earphones are for the soundtrack of my life, my flat comb is to make sure my hair is always in place, and business cards for any opportunity that comes my way! Another EDC is my messenger bag, which generally houses my laptop, notepad, spare mobile phone battery and a stainless steel whisky flask, for those nights of long evening get-togethers.
How would you describe your personal style?
At the core of my style I tend to like more modern/slick styling and brands such as Armani, Theory, Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Kooples, etc. But by all means this does not mean I don’t like to dress more traditional or with traditional items. At times, I have fun and go through phases of wearing simpler, more traditional, classic items as well. I see it at sort of a refreshing of the creative spirit. So, in all, I prefer a more modern look for every day, refreshed by occasionally switching into classic styles. And for casual, I say I do prefer a rock, industrial G-star type of look, mixed in with basics.
What is your go-to outfit?
I love suit separates and all the details and combinations I can create with them. I am not a big full classic suit kind of guy. Other than formal settings I feel suit separates shows a guy who has taken the time to fully pay attention to details and expression. Not just the normal guy who goes to the tailor and gets everything done for them, looking like every other guy. Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful to see a nicely fitted tailored suit, but it's equally as great when the man is able to add his own custom touches. Something unique, not like every other guy!
What is the biggest splurge style item you own and why?
Blazers, dress shirts, and shirt buttons, I love, love, love!
What is your favorite style purchase of the last year and why?
A blazer with tonal satin trim.
Suede mocassin shoes that didn't last long!
What is your morning routine? Nighttime routine?
For my morning routine I tend to steer clear of checking my phone and watching any negative news. I put on music with inspirational vibes to get the day going along with my everyday shave routine. As for the night, I like to use facial moisturizer before bed and also view an hour of television which is the only television I watch. I do check social media before going to bed, but place it far away from my bed, in order to deter the need for checking it constantly. I believe we have become too dependent on checking our phones and whenever possible it is best to disconnect as much as possible.
What is one style rule you think more guys should be breaking?
I believe more guys should be adding a touch more details to their outfits. Such as pop colored socks, embroideries, colored or highly detailed shirt and suit buttons, pop colored buttonholes, and great matching jewelry and accessories. This is one of the main reasons I created the interchangeable shirt buttons.
On the flip side, what is one style mistake you see (even some otherwise well-dressed guys) commonly making?
Not distinguishing themselves enough. We all dress nicely to get noticed and be remembered, while feeling confident. In a conference of over 300 guys wearing suits, if you are wearing the same thing, you are not really that memorable — at least in impression and appearance. I am also not saying you need to wear a purple suit, but details do go a long way. A small decorative pin, a colored button-hole on a peaked lapel jacket, or so on, would standout just perfectly. It will tell me that you pay attention to details and have a sense of awareness, not just following the boring herd.
What book have you gifted most often?
I have to say quite a few. The top three would be: Rich Dad Poor Dad, Tax Wealth, and Play Bigger!
How often do you read, and what kind of books?
I generally listen to audiobooks using Audible, because I don't have the time to read books. I listen to an average of 4-5 books a month and can't stop! Knowledge is so addicting and really changes your life. I prefer audiobooks overall. It has changed my experience greatly; where it used to take me a month to read a book because of distractions, timing, etc., I can now absorb books while I work, travel, and so forth. It's the only way I can get through 5-7 books a month!
What is your overall media consumption like?
Like many folks I occasionally scroll through social media. I want movies to be more of a part of my life, but haven't had the time to make it a ritual. I feel the right movies truly invoke creativity. YouTube I generally use for listening to music and I barely watch TV because I am always working.
How do you balance all that while staying productive?
I tend to put myself in the zone. Everyone’s “zone” is different, of course. But I tend to write a small, quick list of what needs to be done for that day, and try to attack that list ASAP. I always need to have music playing, preferably music with no words for better concentration.
I try my best to keep many applications in the background closed, especially social media, and then attack my work. Part of staying productive is the mere awareness that you are being distracted. If I catch myself watching a prank video, the important thing is to catch myself and stop it at 30 seconds, rather than to keep watching the full 7 minutes. It's important to analyze what value is being provided at the time of your distraction.
I keep the end result I want, and that feeling of my ultimate goal, in sight and then attack my work in smaller steps. Knowing that action creates reaction and if I simply do nothing, nothing will happen is a big motivator for me.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to be more productive?
Learn to notice and realize when you are being distracted. Then consider the value that this distraction is providing as opposed to what you could be doing and have the will power to stop.