We had the good fortune of connecting with Charlie Le and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charlie, we’d love to hear more about your end-goal, professionally.
Starting CROSSxOVER has been years in the making. My career was extensively in the advertising and marketing world for the last 16 years. It was the pandemic that forced me to turn the chapter on that career and move on to pursuing this street culture media company for good.
Without getting too much into the weeds, my endgame is to create a media hub for the city of Houston. I’d like CROSSxOVER to be the Nike for Portland. Amazon for Seattle. CNN for Atlanta. A company that is synonymous with the city itself. With the help of industry colleagues, we would build a self-sustaining creative economy that helps keep wicked cool talent here in the city from streetwear, art, music, gaming and sports worlds. That is what I’d like to be remembered for.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It definitely hasn’t been easy. There’s been countless starts, stops, hiccups, and everything in between. To get to this point where we’re discussing potential projects with big names in culture is nothing short of exciting, but we’ve been bruised and battered along the way. To quote the great Matisyahu, “I’ve been blessed but I’ve been tossed around the sea” is something I can definitely relate to. Creating a business is a meandering journey and you need patience and perseverance to make it to the other side.
Something I’ve learned along the way for my business is that culture is a word often overused. People throw it around like it’s a light switch to be turned on and off when it’s convenient for them. But the way I see culture is different. It’s not about cool offices or free lunch during work hours, it’s how we learn about each other. Today, curation has become the fuel of modern street culture and CROSSxOVER is in the business of culture curation. This creative label is the “New Black” for bringing uncommon brands, trendsetters, artists and other creatives together to make new things. “Trend” is now the social currency that’s most valuable.
It’s this insight that will help set us apart to become the choice of a new generation. What I will be most proud of, is if we can create a platform that is the premier launchpad for new things, new products, new emerging artists, musicians and experiences around the world with headquarters in Houston and Hong Kong.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a very dangerous question. I’m not one to mince words when it comes to “cool” things. I love sports, coffee bars, etc. but most cities have that. I’ve lived in other U.S. cities before and nothing has quite lived up to the flavors of Houston in terms of food. Irma’s in East Downtown is some of the best molé I’ve ever had and I love Aga’s in the Stafford area for Indian food. Confucius Seafood Restaurant is great place for lobster, Mein and House of Bowls are great for Cantonese food, with Tiger Den great for the ramen lovers. For drinks, I’m grabbing some cocktails in Montrose at The Flat or Anvil and at Nancy’s Hustle in the downtown area. I wish the art museums in town got way more love than what’s usually given, but the Menil and Contemporary Art Museum are dope. I’d even say venturing out to Galveston is not a bad idea – it used to be dirty and unkept but the city has done a great job cleaning up the beach. I’d take them around to poetry slams by Outspoken Bean or an emcee battle.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to give my brothers from another mother, Alvin Lim and Junya Kaneko some love. They’ve re-energized me when I was burnt out but stoked the fires once more. I also have to give props to Kenneth Joseph, who’s been a solid, loyal friend willing to talk CROSSxOVER to anyone and everyone. David Robinson Jr. and Nick Rathod are gentleman of the highest order and deserve some praise for helping me along the way. Former NBA player Kevin Willis is someone I’m proud to call a friend and who is not only a sick fashion designer, he’s been an indispensable advisor. Finally, Lynn Birdwell is a fellow Houstonian who believes in the mission and is willing to go to battle with me to get things accomplished.