October 3, 2023

In our Associate Spotlight series, we are highlighting associates across the company who are shaping our community and who embody our Centric Brands philosophy every day. 

Meet Mario Diaz, Senior Designer for Buffalo Jeans. In his interview, Mario shares his journey into fashion design, how he built his own business venture, Stadia Athleticwear, and the milestones he’s achieved at Centric Brands. 

Tell us about a professional success story that you’re proud of.

After graduating from LaSalle College, I meticulously mapped out achievable career milestones and objectives. Among these aspirations, one goal stood out – the opportunity to design for a celebrity. Fortunately, fate smiled upon me, and I had the privilege of creating for Justin Timberlake. However, success goes beyond just seizing opportunities; it lies in the joy of going to work each morning. This is the feeling I experience every day as a member of the remarkable Centric team. It’s worth noting that working for Buffalo Jeans has always held a special place on my career goals list!

What do you think is the most important skill a successful professional need to have?

I would say every professional needs to have these three skills to be successful:

  1. Effective communication is paramount in our field, given our frequent interactions with individuals from diverse linguistic backgrounds where English may not be their first language. The ability to convey our ideas accurately is a fundamental requirement.
  2. Problem-solving skills are of utmost importance since we frequently encounter situations that demand identifying the root causes of problems to devise effective solutions.
  3. Drive and determination are, without a doubt, the most critical skills, as they are the driving force behind realizing one’s goals.

How did you become passionate about your career choice/this career path?

That’s a funny story, I was on a path to becoming an accountant, diligently pursuing my studies at Concordia University while holding a part-time position as a junior accountant at a firm. My duties included bookkeeping for a clothing company called Eviva & CaleGon Vos Gout, conveniently located just a stone’s throw away from the Buffalo office. One fateful day, while at the office, I ventured into the storage room out of curiosity and began examining a few clothing pieces that caught my eye. At that precise moment, I unearthed a genuine interest in fashion, realizing that accounting was not sparking my creative passions. With newfound clarity, I boldly decided to end my workday and resign from my accounting job.

Describe a project or initiative you initiated that required significant innovation or creativity?

In 2011, I embarked on a transformative journey by launching my brand, Stadia Athleticwear, in collaboration with an old friend. Having achieved most of my career objectives, I boldly decided to explore the world of entrepreneurship, enrolling in a two-year government program focused on “Launching a Business.”  This project ignited my entrepreneurial spirit and granted me a profound education in diverse aspects seldom encountered in our industry. I delved into the intricacies of sales, sourcing, production, marketing, and exportation, among other facets of business management. Starting a business provided invaluable personal growth opportunities, teaching me to balance my work and personal life with greater efficiency and skill.