LA's Growing Fashion Scene
LA's Growing Fashion Scene
It all started in 2012, when Hedi Slimane took Saint Laurent's design studio from the Rues de Paris to the City of Angels. Slimane brought his rock aesthetic to LA, inspiring a new generation of designers. In the last 5 years, we've seen a ton of designers come out of California, or move there to pursue their work as fashion designers. Ofcourse there are big names that have come out of LA in recent years, such as John Elliott or Jerry Lorenzo, but they aren't the only ones making noise.
Take Henry Alexander, founder of Enfants Riches Deprimes. The designer released his first collection for FW 15, and has built a large following since. Known for their black and white graphic t-shirts and patches, the brand takes a lot of inspiration from the punk scene, which Slimane is also commonly associated with, as he truly brought the punk rock aesthetic to the runway. Comparisons could also be drawn between the lookbooks of the label and Slimane's punk documentary photography. But this could all be a coincidence, as in general Henry Alexander has been very explicit about his influences, referencing various painters such as Robert Motherwell, various American punk artists and Japanese fashion greats Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto. Overall, the designer has described his brand as a conflict of his punk influences and his wealthy upbringing.
For LA based designer Rhuigi Villaseñor it all started when Kendrick Lamar wore his bandana t-shirt. He has since released various projects but is about to release his first full collection for AW 17 titled Motorphysco. Born in the Philippines, the designer moved to California at a young age. Growing up in the US, he often couldn't afford the clothes he wanted and started making them, ditching school to take pattern making classes. After Kendricks original co-sign, the likes of ASAP Rocky and Kevin Durant have worn his pieces. The leather jackets, vintage-esque t-shirts, flannels and distressed jeans are all pieces that fit into Hedi's rock aesthetic. Rhude is growing quickly, as they are now carried by major retailers like SSense and Barneys.
On a smaller level, we have designers such as Jakob Hetzer, or Reece Cooper, that have moved to LA from Germany and the UK respectively to work on their labels. For more on Jakob Hetzer, read our recent article on him by Nathan Perez. On the other hand, Reece Cooper has released various projects, such as his recent Summer School project, which featured various graphic t-shirts, a painters coat and reconstructed vintage college sweat-shirts or his Water is more Precious than Gold, where he released a hoodie in order to raise money for the recent water crisis in Flint Michigan. Alongside these two, there are various young designers who they hang out with. Part of this crew is Whessly Wheeler, who has recently released his first collection for his brand Esuri. For more on them check out Fashion Moves Forwards recent interview with him. Other brands that are the product of members of this group are Bond, REV LA, and Lumieres by Kai.
All of these brands have started within the last couple of years or have moved to LA recently. In the US, New York has always been the most important city for fashion, where as the West Coast was known for it's movie stars. It's obvious that Hedi inluenced this, as almost all of these brand's aesthetic could be compared to his designs, but this new surge of designers choosing to make LA there home are the ones moving LA's fashion scene forward.