Like any self-respecting Texan, Paul Hotze has plenty of pride for his home state. His Paris, Texas Apparel Co. line of ties, polos and easy-wearing T-shirts are clever odes to all things Texas like The Alamo, armadillos and margaritas, but the appeal tends to shrink the farther one strays from the Lone Star State.
"I really like the guayaberas, and think they have legs. I thought it was easy, fun American version of a guayabera."
Enter San Cristobel, a guayabera collection that reflects the craftsmanship and history of the classic shirt in a modern way. Hotze buys his fabric in New York, but to maintain the guayabera’s authenticity, has the button down shirts made in Yucatan.
“My Paris, Texas has been a sweet regional brand, but it didn’t translate outside of Texas,” Hotze says. “I really like the guayaberas, and think they have legs. I thought it was easy, fun American version of a guayabera.”
He recently unveiled his San Cristobel line at a block party complete with a Spanish guitarist, cocktails, twinkling white lights and comfy white sofas. The event was casual, fun and colorful, much like the San Cristobel line. Hotze is literally taking San Cristobel on the road in a gleaming refurbished AirStream trailer outfitted with a full bar and cozy seating area. The selection of San Cristobel guayaberas are game day ready in burnt orange, maroon, purple and red, and Hotze is wisely holding trunk shows at colleges across the state.
He’s also keying in on the shirts southern appeal, adding gingham and seersucker fabrics to the collection. Details like intricate embroidery add an element of luxury and pastel colors translate well for vacation and beachside weddings.
A marketing and advertising guy, Hotze’s foray into fashion was spurred by his personal interest, but now that the company is up and running, Hotze is all systems go. He routinely travels to Yucatan to check on the manufacturing and is brainstorming new ways to grow the brand based on living a life filled with travel and adventure.
“I love this lifestyle and think this brand can really engage with people,” Hotze says.
The ready-to-wear shirts range from small to extra extra large and retail for $150.