Zack Lugo: Creating Runaway Kid Apparel, & His Journey with TikTok

Interview by: Olivia Tindall from HAZZE MEDIA Photography: Jewel Fiorillo from HAZZE MEDIA
Stylist: Sky JT Naval
HMUA: Marina Migliaccio

Zack Lugo is our cover story for March 2022! Read about his journey creating his very own brand & TikTok success!



Olivia

So, thank you for sitting down with me for this interview for HAZZE MEDIA. So I'm just gonna ask you a few questions. One, what inspired you to start your clothing line, Runaway Kid Apparel? Like, what was the vision behind starting that?


Zack

So as a kid, like, I was always looking up to people, like with fashion, and baggy clothes were really cool to me. Like being a skater like, I grew up being a skater and baggy clothes, and I just like, always wanted to start my own horn line and kind of like, mix it together, and tell a story with whatever line that I drop or send a message. But that's kind of like where it all started is through skateboarding honestly.


Olivia

So you want to like like emulate the skateboard[ing] vibe.


Zack

Yeah, like kind of this skateboarding style. And maybe high fashion.


Olivia

See where that goes. So it's my understanding, the motto of it is, "hate is ugly".


Zack

Yes. The first line.


Olivia

Okay, so what was the inspo? Is there a personal story behind that?


Zack

So some of you know, if you do TikTok or if you look through the comments, on some videos, it can be kind of toxic. And so I like a message that "hate is ugly" like spreads [are] kind of like, everyone's beautiful, but like spreading hate is ugly. And that's like the first line that I wanted to drop because everyone gets hate and it's like, it's gross.


Olivia

Yeah. Talk is toxic sometimes.


Zack

Yeah, very.


Olivia

What's your ultimate goal? If you see far years down the line, what's your like, ideal spot you want Runaway Kid to be in.


Zack

So I want it to be like one of one-pieces, I think that'd be really cool. Like a person combined like a shirt. Like this is one of one like handmade, super sick. So basically, there's some different than I want it to be different and want it to stand out.





Olivia

How did you get started on Tik Tok?


Zack

Like I said, starting skating, I was always making skate videos. And that was like, my childhood dream was to become a professional skater and started a few skate videos posting on Tik Tok and did horrible. So I was like, Okay, I have to figure something out. And at the time, like through the For You pages, you see dancing, dancing, dancing, so I started doing dancing, I started doing POVs, which is the point of view from someone else's perspective. And I don't know, I just literally tried everything. See, I feel like TikTok dances are fire. And I grew up in Idaho, so I was always bored. There's nothing to do. Literally. Small town.


Olivia

So you just picked that up. And yeah, take off from there.


Zack

Yeah, I just had fun with it. And I didn't do it to like, get views I just did it to have fun. I think that's what helped me grow.


Olivia

Yep, totally. So since then, you've obviously gained a large following of 11 million followers cumulative across social media, which is insane. So what is that like for you? Like, how do you balance that kind of lifestyle with your personal private life?


Zack

If you like a look through my page, I don't really post anything like personal. To be honest, especially with me and Emma, we kept it offline for like six months. And I think it was like the healthiest thing we could do for our relationship. I don't know I just keep my circle small. I only really posted like my true friends and like family like Trey and John, nuts. That's really it, I don't really do much. I'm not like into controversy. I don't start drama.


Olivia

Yeah, that's why I was gonna say, thinking about it's like how you navigate a romantic relationship with someone else who also has a big following. But I guess you kind of answered like, you kept it private for the first few months. And then now that you guys are public, is it at all different?


Zack

No, we still try not to, like mix work with our relationship. We do posts here and there. But as like, if you check, like we really don't post together that much, which I think is I think it's important, but, yeah, we keep it personal on our own side. And then we don't let TikTok like get into our lives as much as other people.


Olivia

So you really don't make like TikTok videos together?


Zack

We do here and there when like it's like a fun, cute trend, whatever, some dance videos but we really kind of just do our own thing. But off-camera we're like, really close.


Olivia

For those that don't know you or like haven't followed you. What do you want them to see or notice about your brands?


Zack

So, straight from the start, like it's always been a broad amount of like content like you don't see just one really like one thing on my account. I've always tried to keep it that way. So I don't really have like a main niche, but I really just do everything. You see like one day I'll be modeling, the other day I'll be dancing, like the other day I'll be gaming, another day I'm opening Pokemon cards, like, I'm just...


Olivia

Just doing your thing.


Zack

Yeah, basically.


Olivia

Cool. So what would you say is like your ultimate career-driven goal.


Zack

So that's hard because I've only really been in LA for like, close to two years. And I know that seems like a lot, but it's really not. I'm still testing the waters with tons of stuff. Like, I love to do modeling. But I know there's a lot of other stuff I want to try like acting. So I don't really want to put a stamp on my career. Like, I want to do this, because I really just want to do everything and whatever makes you happy really.


Olivia

You don't just want to like commit to one thing, right?


Zack

There's a couple of things. I always want to keep dancing. I want to keep skating, I want to pursue more Pokemon stuff because that makes me feel like a kid again. It's awesome. And yeah, modeling is amazing. Makes me happy. So I mean, whatever makes me happy I'm just going to keep doing.


Olivia

So if you could pick one, TikToker, like someone that you look up to or like your TikTok idols, do you think of one person? Who would it be?


Zack

Oh, that's hard. You'd probably be one of my good friends Jean. It's crazy, like, so me and my cousin Trey, back when I like had like 30,000 followers, because Trey's family's, my cousin, and we used to learn Jean's dances, like back in Idaho. And I think that's so crazy. Because now me Jean are like best friends. And like he's been grinding for a long time. And I think he deserves so much better. He's only at like, 8 million followers. But like, he's been doing it for so long. But I'd say, Jean, for sure. He worked hard.


Olivia

So you guys or family? You just started making videos together? And ike took off from there.


Zack

Yeah. So I mean, I moved to LA around two years ago, I moved here with like, 1.5 million followers. I grew insanely. When I first came out here like the first three months, I had 3 million. And I went back home one time, and I knew Trey was making little TikTok videos on his account. And I could tell he could like kind of, kind of dance a little bit. And I was like we should make a couple of videos when I'm back in Utah, or wherever back in the hometown. And he's like, okay, that and then just took off. And I was like, bro, like, this could be insane. And, like, I happened, manifested it and we blew up.


Olivia

So he moved out here with you?


Zack

Yeah. So he started coming out here because he was 12 at the time. He started coming out here like, randomly for like a week, because he's a child.


Olivia

Yeah, he's like a little kid.


Zack

Yeah, but he's so mature for his age. He hangs out with like, 18-year-olds when he skates because he's a skater too. He just skates with older people. So we just started dancing together. And like 30 million views, I'm like are you kidding me? Yeah. We get a lot of hate too that's why but that's fine. It helps the views. Yeah.


Olivia

For sure. Well, thanks for sitting with me and answering my questions


Zack

Always, Thank you for having me.