As a family-run brand, Cota said he would likely be out of business by now if it weren't for the competition show due to the coronavirus pandemic. While he didn't expect to be celebrating the finale episode in sweatpants and with a box of pizza, Cota is grateful for Amazon's platform and the Jonny Cota Studio, where fans can purchase his winning looks.
"It's a really desperate time for the industry, especially for small, independent brands that don't have the capital to float themselves," Cota said.
You may also recognize Cota's name from his brick-and-mortar store, COTA by Skingraft, at The Row in downtown Los Angeles. While they are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cota is excited to continue selling his edgy streetwear at his shop and also support his fellow fashion designers.
"I think that LA is special because LA is effortless and casual," Cota said of his home. "In my designs I try to just bring a little of that causal, effortless vibe into everything we do."
Not only is Cota looking to grow his fashion brand post-pandemic, but he also prioritizes giving back to the community in these tough times. Cota's brand Skingraft teamed up with the Tom of Finland store to launch their mask initiative. For every mask purchased, they will donate one mask to the Los Angeles LGBT Center, providing protection to its dedicated health care staff and homeless youth in need.
"We are working to get out all those masks to customers and we're about to ship our second shipment to the LA LGBT center for the donation," Cota said. "Once all those get shipped we'll offer them again, but right now it is sold out."