Origin Story: Hassan

My story is not as sparkly and interesting as the other guys’.  I was born and grew up in a nice, loving family that was strict and had expectations for me and what my life would be. At the age of eighteen I went off to school, leaving behind the town I had always known, the private school I had always attended and all the people that had become part of my life in one way or another. It was then that a new panorama was opened to me, new people with different cultures and ideas, colorful personalities and creative souls, it was a brand new world and in it I found myself and who I am meant to be. My parents did not approve.

I suspect my real life began the day my parents cut me off, that day I had thought that after nine months of dating, they should meet my then boyfriend. That’s a story for another time, but it turns out that my family wasn’t the loving, open-minded people I thought them to be. When I went back to school, glad for my scholarships and ready to take life by the horns, I deep-dove into my studies; my life was basically a trip from book to book, class to class and I vowed that I would prove them wrong, that I was worth loving, even if they were unable to let go of the person they thought I should be.

For a long time after graduation I worked in IT, then I moved on to website development, enjoying being in front of the computer for hours on end ignoring and avoiding as many people as I could, and then, an ex-classmate asked me to help him set up the audiovisual equipment for some important fashion presentation. I hated the idea of fashion as a whole, in fact, before then I wore mostly whatever was on my bed because I had been too lazy to put away my laundry.

The guy who spoke was charismatic, good looking, intelligent and clearly capable, he was also nice, I knew this because after the presentation he came up to us and thanked us for helping. Jon had been shaking my hand in thanks when Akoni approached and as they started talking about hold music, something that seemed inane to me, whether it should be slow or fast, whether silence is preferable, whether advertising in wait times works, and I spoke up. I remember saying something stupid along the lines of “If you’re trying to get me to buy, don’t. I’m already pissed off I’m on hold, but if you’re trying to give me something, then go ahead, you’re already wasting my time anyway.” I shrugged and went back to my cables, but then Jon put a hand on my shoulder and nodded.

“Why don’t you join us for drinks tonight?” He asked, and let me just say this- I was younger, I was dumb, and I was single, and let’s be honest…Jon is a good looking guy. I wasn’t going to say no. Mind you, now that I know him I would run for the hills, but again, that’s a story for another time. I know, you’re expecting me to tell you that we all became buddies and our friendship grew, but that didn’t happen, in fact, they both forgot I existed and for years I forgot they existed too.

Hassan Fashion Style

About three years ago I decided to delve into App Development because I was bored, and I was lucky enough that my app, created to find legitimate non-profits that use donations for good rather than CEO’s and TV adds really took off. I found myself being invited to events that required I get out of my joggings and into nicer clothing but frankly, it was a pain. I was attending these events and making other apps on the side for fun when about a year and a half ago Jon contacted me, still blissfully unaware that we had ever met and asked me to help with a project of his. It would be called “Spazio Emporio” and it would solve all the wardrobe problems men face when looking for unique clothes in a reasonable budget. It took about ten minutes and the promise of really good New York cheesecake to convince me.

After that, this has been a ride unlike any other, we traveled, I learned all about an industry I’d never imagined myself a part of, and begrudgingly, I even began dressing the part. Five years ago I would not have imagined that people like Jon, Akoni and Antoni would be my closest friends, I would have thought of them as the MVP’s, the leaders, the protagonists of this movie, if you will but it turns out that we work well together, we get along, we enjoy each other’s company, and more than that, we’re doing something great.

I’m sure the four of us have different hopes for this company, but mine is simple, I hope to inspire more men to be themselves, to learn to enjoy fashion and style and if they don’t have one, like I didn’t, to develop one. Self-esteem is a great thing to have in life and I hope Spazio gifts that to men all around the world.