Woman We Love: Zarina Nares

You would be forgiven for thinking Zarina Nares was a contemporary of Nina Simone or Ella Fitzgerald. After all, the quality of her voice is of a different era — a gorgeous, throaty warble meant for listening to on a crackly vinyl or through the haze of a dark, smoky club. Nevermind the fact that she is only 21 years old. Songs to Sway To, the New York-born, Los Angeles-based musician’s new EP, is a timeless piece of work that at once haunts, rouses, and delights. The sometimes-model — who’s arresting gaze and pillowy lips have bewitched designers like Maria Stanley and Desiree Klein  — just wants to move you.

“I have just these very distinct memories of seeing someone perform or hearing someone, and going, ‘I want to do that,’ because it would just make me feel a certain way,” she says. “I want to do that to somebody else.” Meet Zarina.

WHAT WAS INSPIRING YOU WHEN WRITING SONGS TO SWAY TO? I guess they’re all sort of love-inspired, but I don’t think they talk directly about a specific romantic relationship, more just about different feelings in love and then different feelings that come with that. “Playboy”’s a bit cheeky, I think. It’s kind of about being a young girl in LA and dealing with older men who think it’s appropriate to treat you in a way that I don’t think is appropriate. And I usually, probably once a month, will write a song about that type of situation, because I feel like it’s something that comes with living in LA and being a young woman, which is unfortunate. And then the other songs are really just about being in love and the different ways that we feel that. You know, being in love is not necessarily always a happy feeling, but it isn’t necessarily being heartbreak either.

LOVE IS ONE OF THOSE EMOTIONS THAT NEVER SEEMS TO HAVE A STRAIGHT ANSWER. Right, yeah. And it seems like with every experience with love you still don’t understand it, you know? It’s in a way it just can’t really be learned or taught. I feel like every experience with love is like a new experience, no matter what relationship you’re in, whether it’s a friendship or with a family member. It’s just always weird and confusing. And so I think that’s why so many musicians write about that. They say ‘love-crazy’ or ‘love makes you crazy,’ but it’s true, it makes you do so many weird things and act in such weird ways and so I think just writing about that, especially as a young girl experiencing a lot of feeling for the first time, writing about that is just a way of making sense of all of that.

BLUES IS A GOOD GENRE FOR THAT, TOO. DO YOU REMEMBER THE MOMENT YOU FIRST REALLY RESONATED WITH IT? There was a clear moment in my life when my idea of music sort of shifted. I was a musical theatre kid. Like, super not cool. I thought I was put on this earth to play Sandy in Grease, was doing classical vocal training, and studying opera. And then in an English class, in sophomore year of high school, we were studying poetry and my teacher opened one of the lessons playing “You Don’t Know What Love Is” by Billie Holiday. And that was just a complete shift for me. I remember crying in class and it was the first time, I think, that I felt truly affected by a song. And that sort of opened up this whole new world of music and what music’s purpose is.

YOU’VE GOT SOME GREAT COVERS ON YOUR SOUNDCLOUD: “(SITTIN’ ON) THE DOCK OF THE BAY” BY OTIS REDDING, “YOU KEEP ME HANGIN’ ON,” BY THE SUPREMES. WHAT IS IT ABOUT SOULFUL MUSIC THAT YOU’RE DRAWN TO? I think what is so special about jazz and blues and soul is — it’s so hard to describe — but I genuinely feel something inside me light up. It’s just magical and it feels like there’s just this connection that I have with the music. I mean, I can dance to other stuff and enjoy listening to other music, but it’s just something about soulful music. It’s just so honest, it pushes every single button inside me. And I think also I’m a very sensitive person. I feel a lot and I react very strongly to things that happen to me in my life, just in general, so I think that’s just the type of music that comes naturally with that, in a way. I just remember there’s been so many points in my life where I have just these very distinct memories of seeing someone perform or hearing someone, and going, ‘I want to do that,’ because it would just make me feel a certain way. It was powerful. And I would be like, ‘I want to do that to somebody else.’ I just think that’s the music that feels natural to me and I could eventually make someone else look at me and go, ‘Wow, I want to be able to do that.’

YOU POSTED A BEAUTIFUL PHOTO ON INSTAGRAM ON FATHER’S DAY OF YOUR DAD [JAMES NARES] BUSKING IN CENTRAL PARK IN THE ‘70S. WITH HIM BEING AN ARTIST AND A MUSICIAN, DID HE PLAY A BIG ROLE IN ENCOURAGING YOU CREATIVELY? Yes. Without a doubt. Both my parents, really, but my dad was constantly encouraging myself and my sister to be expressing ourselves, and creating things, and doing things that made us happy. He’s an extremely supportive person. He moved to New York City when he was just under 20, I think, in the ‘70s, from England, and just started painting and working on his artwork. And so I think he’s just very understanding of that feeling and that necessity for me, because that’s what I did — I moved to Los Angeles when I was 17 to pursue music and so, in a way, I feel like I’m following in his footsteps.

YOUR MOM DID BEAUTY CREATIVE DIRECTION FOR BRANDS LIKE CHANEL, TOO. WERE YOU CONSTANTLY SURROUNDED BY MUSIC, ART AND FASHION GROWING UP? Yeah. I had a very unusual upbringing. It feels completely normal to me, but yeah, you know, I grew up in New York City, which already is kind of an interesting place to grow up for that reason. There’s just so much going on, all the time. We grew up living with my mom in Tribeca, my dad lived in Chelsea, but he would come over every night for dinner. Tons and tons of fashion photography books lining all the walls. Just anyone you could possible think of, my mother has their book. And then magazines everywhere. At one point, I think we had every Vogue from 1990 to 2010, or something. Vogue, and W and Harper’s Bazaar, and Interview — just tons of magazines everywhere. And then my dad, always coming around and taking us to his studio, and we would go to gallery openings on Thursday nights in Chelsea. I was saying to someone the other day, ‘I grew up running around gallery openings from the moment I could walk to, by the time I was 10, eating snacks after school in an advertising focus group about what the next Calvin Klein fragrance should be named.’ So it was just a lot of creativity around me at all times. And, truthfully, it just seemed normal. But now, I consider myself very lucky and really grateful to have been given the life that I’ve been given.

HOW DO YOU THINK THAT ENVIRONMENT SHAPED YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS STYLE? I think growing up with a mother who works in fashion, we were always pretty up to date on what was cool or trendy and what not. But, I think also my parents are both just, like, effortlessly cool-looking people. And while they’re stylish in their own ways, they’re very much individuals, and I think that’s really what’s shaped my style. I wear what makes me feel good and my mom would always say, ‘If you feel good in your outfit, you’ll have a great day.’ She loves to wear Chanel. She’d always be in her Chanel mini-dresses and I think I have that in my mind, always. And I find that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started dressing more and more like my mother. My mother walks into a room and generally stands out. In New York, where everyone wears black, my mom would always be in a hot pink mini-dress or something. And gold jewelry.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Well, a friend said this once to me and I like it: a modern-day Edie Sedgwick, maybe? I like something that I can wear during the day and then go to a party as well and it still kind of works. But, yeah, I guess fun and colorful. Mismatchy. Lots of prints and patterns.

DO YOU THINK WORKING IN BOTH FASHION AND MUSIC WILL LEND A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE TO EACH OTHER? I think that the two worlds are very different, but I think they both help one another. A lot of people will ask if music has helped build confidence for modeling, which I think is so funny, because I’m like, ‘no, it’s the complete opposite.’ Modeling has completely built confidence in music, because modeling is like playing house for a living. It’s just getting to play pretend, which is so fun — you get to dress up and be a new person each job, depending on that magazine or whichever clothing company. And music is really just the complete opposite. It’s everything stripped away and it’s just myself not getting to pretend to be anybody else. I think both things are slowly helping me build more confidence in myself, which is good, and I think as one thing helping the other — I hope that modeling helps music more. My goal, really, is to one day just get to be a musician. Modeling is very fun, but music is really just what I know in my heart I’m meant to do.

FINALLY, WHAT’S BEST SONG TO SWAY TO AND THE PERFECT OUTFIT TO SWAY IN? [giggles] It would have to be “You and Me” by Penny & the Quarters. And perfect outfit to sway in… Gosh. I would say a mini red dress. Nothing body con, ever, if you’re planning on swaying. I mean, no body con in general.

zarinanares.com

By Yasmine Shemesh.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Woman We Love: Hannah Anderson

We discovered Hannah Anderson, the way most of our girl crushes occur, through a winding Instagram rabbit hole. After scrolling through her feed of colorful snaps, endless OOTDs and professional-quality selfies, we knew it was true love. Her style had us hooked. But then, we discovered her voice. Hannah is actually an amazing singer who also knows her way around the guitar and piano. Her dreamy sound and powerful lyrics will have you enchanted within seconds. And don’t be surprised when all sorts of feels come rushing in because that’s just what Hannah’s music has the power to do. Here, we chat with her about style, creative expression and being an artist in LA. If you’re not already on the ‘gram stealing style inspo from Hannah while blasting her Soundcloud, then you most definitely will be after this.

Listen to Hannah Anderson as you read along.

https://soundcloud.com/hannahanderson

SO WE’RE KIND OF OBSESSED WITH YOUR STYLE. HAVE YOU ALWAYS HAD A LOVE FOR FASHION? Too kind. Thank you! I have always loved to express myself through my clothing. I remember when I was really little I would cry if my mom tried to dress me. I’ve always had a very clear vision of what I want on my body.

IT CLEARLY COMES SO NATURALLY TO YOU. IS STYLE SOMETHING YOU USE AS A TOOL TO EXPRESS YOURSELF? OR JUST A FUN PART OF YOUR DAY? Getting dressed really is an event in and of itself. It’s both a tool of expression and a fun part of the day. It’s how you present yourself to the world and it’s how you feel about yourself.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Constant shape-shifter and fabulous tomboy.

WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT? High-waisted trousers, a t-shirt and sneakers.

LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR REAL SUPERPOWER: YOUR VOICE. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CREATING MUSIC? I’ve always loved singing and I had my first “performance” when I was nine at my older sister’s Quinceanera (15th birthday party). I started writing my own music at 16. Music is my most powerful form of expression and my most personal and sacred form of expression. I’ve had a really hard time sharing my music because I’ve honestly been terrified to. I am also very excited to see the music I’m working on now as a complete project!

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCES? Honestly, my list of musical influences is impossible to write down because it’s endless. A few things that inspire me are people that are kind and true. I like to surround myself with people who are undeniably themselves because that requires honesty in myself. Love and tragedy, the most extremes in life, that’s what I’m really inspired by.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST? I love being an artist because as an artist you feel everything very deeply. I’m already someone with very extreme emotions and so it’s nice to be able to have an outlet, whether that be through music, what I wear, a painting, etc. I love being able to translate my emotions to something physical and through that have the ability to directly affect people.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST IN LOS ANGELES? HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED THERE? I won’t say being an artist in LA is my favorite. It’s cool because there’s a lot of people doing what you’re doing, but then that’s also a negative because it feels more like a sport and everyone is competing. Being able to find/know yourself and find a good flow with solid people is key. I’m originally from Houston, Texas and just moved here to LA about year ago. There’s still a lot I’m adjusting to! I really am starting to enjoy being here more everyday!

YOUR TOP THREE SONGS ON REPEAT RIGHT NOW? Last Dance by Rhye, Still Feel Like Your Man by John Mayer, Mistress by Nicholas Jaar.

TELL US SOMETHING NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU. I’m one of the most introverted-extroverts ever. I LOVE being around people but almost 90 percent of the time I would rather be home, by myself, or with those I love. I’m also a very good cook. If I wasn’t pursuing music I would probably want to be a chef!

Shop Hannah’s Puma kicks here >

Follow @hannahandersonn

hannahanderson.net

Vintage Shopping with Virginia Calderon in Los Angeles

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Virginia Calderon has explored every inch of the city to find the best (and we’re sure some of the worst) places to shop vintage. A fashion consultant and soon to be purveyor of her own shoe label, Virginia’s style has always been inspired by old family photo albums and vintage magazines. So searching for hidden treasures is just part of her regular shopping game. Of course as a self-described vintage denim hoarder, it’s probably safe to say it’s more of an obsession. Today, Virginia sums up her style as “French tomboy with a hint of Japanese minimalist grandma”. We couldn’t love it – or her – more.

Being the sweetheart that she is, Virginia took us along for a day of shopping in LA, stopping by our mutual friends at the boutique NONNA, to give us a peek into her world of vintage on the west coast.

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WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER A LOVE FOR VINTAGE? I fell in love with vintage when going through old family photo albums and magazines in high school. I would cut up the photographs (sorry mom), vintage magazines and make collages of the pieces I loved. This was before Pinterest. Then I would go searching for the item. I fell in love with the search of vintage treasures. When I found this paisley print dress that I adored, I was hooked.

WHY DO YOU SHOP VINTAGE? I believe vintage creates sustainability in fashion. The quality and craftsmanship of vintage wares is simply amazing. I love how you can have unique and beautiful pieces that no one else has. It’s fun to use your imagination and creativity when styling yourself. I like to have fun with it and vintage allows me to do that.

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WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST VINTAGE SCORE TO DATE? I would have to say it’s a toss up between a pair of $3 orange tab Levis I found with the most amazing wash and a vintage Chanel bracelet I found for $20 was pretty incredible. If I had to decide between the two I would lean towards the Levis because I am a lover of denim.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE NEW TO VINTAGE SHOPPING? My advice would be don’t care about size or label. Don’t get hung up if you have to size up from your usual size. Finding that great fit is everything and searching through vintage is an adventure on its own.

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WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 TIPS FOR FINDING THAT PERFECT VINTAGE PIECE?

1) Again, don’t get stuck on the sizing. Honestly ignore sizing on labels. Sizing labels on vintage rarely match current sizing, so try pieces on. You may be a size 6 and need a 10 vintage. Or even higher, depending what era it’s from.

2) Double check that all fastenings are working. Make sure that no buttons are missing and the zippers are working properly. This may sound like common sense but a lot of vintage can have small issues that make them difficult to salvage.

3) Hold garments to the light to see if there are any holes or rips. Sometimes these can be fixed and other times it’s not worth it.

WHO DO YOU LOOK AT FOR INSPIRATION WHEN SHOPPING FOR VINTAGE? I look to my friends, strangers at coffee shops, films, and old family photos for inspiration. Sometimes it can be in the oddest photo or most unique place you wouldn’t expect so I’m always looking. Inspiration is everywhere.

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DO YOU THINK VINTAGE SHOPPING IN LA IS DIFFERENT THAN IN OTHER CITIES? I think Los Angeles has a mind of its own and plays a big part in vintage fashion. LA’s weather also encourages beautiful vintage 24/7 due to its incredible sunny days and refreshing nights. There are also just a limitless amount of amazingly cute vintage stores hidden in every corner. I also love how estate sales in LA generate many hidden gems. Los Angeles in a nutshell is a diverse, culture enrich city that is full of unique pieces that are all available at your fingertips.

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Follow Virginia for style inspo on the daily @_chicadero

Photos by Kourtney Jackson

The Women Behind Objects Without Meaning’s Fall 2016 Campaign

Taking turns behind the camera and in front of it, Los Angeles creatives Kourtney Jackson and Kaitlynn Lucas are the women behind Objects Without Meaning’s recent campaigns and our latest obsession. With the perfect sunlight casting shadows and the fluid movement of the clothes, this duo has mastered the art of a photograph that puts the clothes in a beautiful light while at the same time making you feel like you could totally be friends with the person wearing them. Obviously we had to find out more.

HOW DID YOU FIRST START WORKING WITH OBJECTS WITHOUT MEANING?

KAITLYNN: I first started working with Objects after being approached by Erlin and Alex to model for their website. I’ve been collaborating with the brand ever since!

KOURTNEY: Well, as the Art Director in recent years for a couple different LA retailers, I’ve also been involved with seasonal buying. So I actually first worked with Objects Without Meaning from a buying perspective, which is very different from our recent collaborations!

HOW DID YOU GUYS MEET?

KL: I actually met Kourtney through my boyfriend, David! They had worked together in previous years.

KJ: Kaitlynn and I met in person the day we had our first shoot together for Objects. But I already knew I liked her because she is dating my past intern turned-assistant turned-good friend.

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Kaitlynn Lucas in Fall 2016

TELL US ABOUT THE CREATIVE COMMUNITY IN LOS ANGELES.

KL: It’s such an inspiring community. I’ve only been exposed to a small part of it, but the people I’ve met and come in contact with over the past few months are doing some really incredible things. I feel like the appreciation for creativity and artistry is only increasing. It’s a really great time to be a creative person.

KJ: I’ve found the creative community in Los Angeles to be pretty fluid. There’s a lot of collaboration, exchange of ideas, and familiar faces once you’re engaged with it. I feel like we (LA creatives) have high standards for our own work, but we want to see each other succeed. There’s definitely forward momentum when we support each other’s creative endeavors.

IF YOU HAD TO PICK, BEHIND THE CAMERA OR IN FRONT?

KL: Behind — I’m so shy!

KJ: So hard to choose! For me, being in front is much more fun. But being behind the camera can be more rewarding because (let’s be honest) I love directing the creative vision.

HOW DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR PROJECTS?

KL: I really can’t force it. That’s been my biggest challenge with art school and creating in general. I’m constantly writing things in my notebook that resonate with me – whether it be a passage from a book I’m reading, a line from a song, a scene in a film. I also love reading art history essays and criticism. Rosalind Krauss is my favorite.

KJ: I often find inspiration from studying artists I respect that practice the same discipline. For photography projects, I look to people like Wolfgang Tillmans, Viviene Sassen, Irving Penn, etc. Watching experimental old cinema really inspires me as well!

TELL US SOMETHING PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU.

KL: I love to make music. I play guitar and sing. I grew up in choir and did musicals through community theater. Lately I haven’t been as involved in music as I’d like to be, but I’m hoping to pick it back up again when I’m finished with school.

KJ: I actually have a minor in Biblical Studies.

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Kourtney Jackson in Spring 2016

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PIECES FROM THE FALL COLLECTION?

KL: The knife pleat dress because it’s so simple and elegant and flattering on pretty much everyone. I also really love the mock neck shirts. The silhouette is so classy.

KJ: Easy. The cashmere sweater and pant set are so sophisticated and comfortable. It feels like the set is ushering in a renaissance for luxurious loungewear.

For more with these rad women, visit kaitlynnlucas.com and kourtneyjackson.com.

Meet The Designer: Objects Without Meaning

It may be called Objects Without Meaning, but this California-based label maintains a seriously meaningful sense of style within each and every piece. Designer Alexandra Michelle founded the line in 2011, choosing to work out of Los Angeles specifically after she spent time living in other major cities and had moved from her home in Australia. Today she’s at the helm of one of the most influential brands in LA’s new-found fashion capital status. Using clean lines, loose silhouettes and luxurious fabrics like linen and silk, Alexandra creates a laid-back aesthetic that makes a statement whether you’re wearing it while on duty at the office or sneaking ice cream on the weekend. Here, the designer shares her artistic philosophy and the things that continue to inspire her.

Shop Objects Without Meaning >

More women we love in Los Angeles

Alternate title: Who to follow in Instagram ASAP.

JEANNETTE LEE

photographer Jeannette Lee - GarmentoryFun fact: this Instagram star on the rise is actually a full-time third grade teacher. You’ll also find her at General Store in Venice on Sundays. Saturdays, we expect, are saved for her sanity. But we’re pretty happy that photography is something she does for fun. “People think I’m crazy for working so much, but it allows me to feed the creative part of me,” she explains. “That’s what’s so special about LA. There’s so much creative energy around me, and I feel lucky to know and be close to makers and creatives doing amazing work out here. It motivates me to create for myself when I can.” Jeannette was born in Los Angeles but raised in Chicago. She moved back two years ago on a whim and hasn’t looked back. While she usually shoots casually, she’s also worked with some of our favorite people like Ilana Kohn, Valerie Quant of LOQ and Haley Boyd of Marais USA. Keep an eye on this feed, she’s just getting started. Follow her @jeannettehlee.

KAITLYNN LUCAS

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An interdisciplinary artist and photographer who has worked with some of our favorite LA brands (her work for Objects Without Meaning can be seen currently in our LA Ladies Sale), Kaitlyn has a knack for making everything from fashion to market fruit to corners of carpeted stairs inspiring. She’s still finishing up her degree in studio art at UCLA but has already done art direction and content creation for some of the most exciting emerging labels on the west coast. Her feed captures a mood and light is pretty much a direct representation of the creative movement in Los Angeles we’re so excited about. Follow her @bouquetofparentheses.

Photo by David Lopez.

ANNIE NGUYEN

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With minimalist vibes, high contrast and a sharp bob, this art director and designer took to Instagram to explore a photography. Born and raised in Honolulu, HI, Annie settled in Los Angeles to begin her career. “I breath minimalism, clean design, black/white with a hint of Klein blue,” she says. “I like things precise, from the slant of a shadow to the angle of my haircut.” Her feed captures a cross-section of the creative world with architecture, interior design, nature featuring prominently alongside the sleek angles of a Maryam Nassir Zadeh slide or a Building Block bag. We’re big fans of the playful side of her work, never taking herself, or the art of minimalism, too seriously. Follow her @annienguyen.

MELISSA SONICO

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Her style is just as supportive of indie boutiques and emerging designers as we are, so it’s no surprise that you’ll find this multi-hyphenate wearing a ton of mutual friends. We love to see how she styles Ace & Jig, First Rite, Calder Blake, REIFhaus, Olderbrother, 7115 by Szeki, and more in the California sunshine. Melissa received her MFA in Fiction from California State and is now a short story and freelance writer, English professor, fashion/lifestyle blogger and first-time mother to her adorable son Harrison. Oh and she also makes jewelry and sells her handcrafted necklaces online and boutiques across the country. As if we needed any more reason to love her: “My inspirations are Joan Didion and Solange.” Follow her @melissasonico.

Have we got you California dreaming yet? Be sure to check out our city guide to Los Angeles for the latest and greatest in the city.

And our LA Ladies Sale is still going strong! Ends June 30 at midnight, so don’t miss out.

The Insider’s Guide to Los Angeles

Let’s be clear: In-N-Out Burger will always be a must in a city guide like this one but we wanted to dig a little deeper. With Los Angeles being such an expansive city it has hidden gems around every corner. So, it’s important to go straight to the experts: the boutiques and designers. We got them to spill on their favorite places to eat, drink and people watch. Get ready to book a trip to LA.

WHERE TO EAT
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Sister restaurant to the renowned Gjelina on Abbott Kinney, Gjusta (above) is first on the list. “It’s unfussy, casual and ridiculously good,” says Valerie Quant of LOQ. “Great for smoked fish, fresh baked sourdough and fresh ginger lemonade.” giu giu‘s Giuliana Raggiani agrees, “It’s just perfect.”

LCD boutique owner Geraldine Chung also loves Gjusta, “incredible vegetables and their specials are fire. Be prepared for mayhem on the weekends!”

Gjusta, 320 Sunset Ave., Venice

“I’m a kitschy kind of person and love experience, so I’m going for Colombo’s Steakhouse in Eagle Rock,” says Paige Smith, one part of the duo behind VereVerto. “There’s live jazz every single night, the food is solid Italian, and the vibe is retro-classic, old Italian with red leather booths and old paintings.”

Colombo’s Italian Steakhouse, 1833 Colorado Boulevard, Eagle Rock

Her partner in crime, Consuela Chozas is a sushi fan. “Hama Sushi in little Tokyo. This place never disappoints.”

Hama Sushi, 347 E 2nd Street, Los Angeles

For pizza, Jessica Taft Langdon of The Palatines says, “Bestia. Because their pizza is the bestia.” Elora Joshi, co-founder of womenswear line Stil., also says Bestia is a no-brainer for dinner. “Order the roasted bone marrow and the casarecce. You’ll need to snag a reservation pretty far in advance but my secret is that they usually have tables available for walk ins as soon as they open for the night.” Noted. 

Bestia, 2121 7th Place, Los Angeles

Amara-Kitchen
Photo by @amarakitchen

Ty McBride, designer behind LA-based shoe collective Intentionally Blank, says his “current hot spots are Grand Central Market when with friends from out of town, Amara Kitchen (above) for an off the beaten path breakfast, and Cliff’s Edge when on a Tinder date. The venue is better than the food, but if it seals the deal so what!!!” 

Grand Central Market, 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles

Amara Kitchen519 N Avenue 64, Los Angeles

Cliff’s Edge, 3626 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles

“I can’t decide so I’m going to name two of my favorites,” admits Alexandra Michelle, founder of Objects Without Meaning. “Dinette in Echo Park has the best coffee and avocado toast. You can find me there most Sundays. There’s also Speranza in Silver Lake. Everything on the menu is outstanding and the ambiance is perfect — they have cute little tables hidden behind trees so it’s nice and intimate.”

Dinette, 1608 Sunset Boulevard, Echo Park

Speranza, 2547 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles

Designer Beatrice Valenzuela heads to Officine Brera. “This delicious northern Italian restaurant is a perfect place for a romantic date. They have a saffron risotto that is so good and one of the best wine lists in town. I love the minimal decor and the open space. You know you are nearby when you smell their wood fired oven from a couple blocks away.”

Officine Brera, 1331 E 6th St

When I’m super busy with production deadlines I tend to eat like crap, so during those weeks I go out of my way to make it to Amara Kitchen where I can get a guaranteed healthy and delicious meal,” says Krista Fox, designer of Town Clothes. “They have the best breakfasts and lunches in town served in a lovely and simple atmosphere and you can easily order to go if you’re on the run. I highly recommend ordering their gluten free Oat Blueberry Muffin, I never knew I loved muffins till I tried theirs.”

Amara Kitchen, 519 N Avenue 64

Kitchen-Mouse
Photo by @kitchenmousela

We also had our Fashion Editor-At-Large and LA stylist Sissy Sainte-Marie reveal her go-to spots. “Sorry, I can’t choose just one. The places that cater to healthy eaters – Honey Hi and Kitchen Mouse (above)…. the indoor/outdoor gems – Zinc, Winsome, Momed in Atwater, Topanga Table…. and the old classics like Musso & Franks.”

Honey Hi, 1620 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles

Kitchen Mouse, 5904 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles

Zinc Cafe & Market, 580 Mateo St, Los Angeles

Momed, 3245 Casitas Ave, Los Angeles

Topanga Table, 1861 N Topanga Canyon Blvd, Topanga

Musso & Franks, 6667 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles

“I’d say Botanica Restaurant & Market,” says Andria Crescioni, designer of accessories line Crescioni. “Their food is so fresh and beautiful, it’s exactly what I want to be eating! They have a great wine list too, and I love that you can buy items to take home in the market in the front of the restaurant.”

Botanica Restaurant & Market, 1620 Silver Lake Blvd

And lastly, Elf in Echo Park is a crowd favorite.

“I deeply love eating at Elf in Echo Park, as well as their falafel place counterpart in Atwater, Dune. Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors call out most to me these days,” explains Cecilia Bordarampe of Are Studio. “It also serves a great loose leaf chai that reminds me of the way my mother makes it,” adds Pari Desai. And it’s a fave for Shaina Mote too. “They always have the most exotic playlist and lovely atmosphere. Their dishes are unique and interesting.”

Elf, 2135 Sunset Boulevard, Echo Park

 

WHERE TO DRINK

DinexDesign
Photo by @dinexdesign

“Bar Stella,” says Consuela of the east side favorite (above). “I love the terrace in the summertime, drinking their margarita. The bar is so well done and always has a cool scene.” Valerie agrees. “Bar Stella for an intimate vibes and the Norteño.” And Jessica has her own reasons, “Because I can walk there, and they serve Bison Grass Vodka.”

Jessica has also been recently obsessed with Bar Bandini in Echo Park. “As a fan of old-world natural and orange wines, I love this low-lit romantic spot. The bartenders always have great recommendations for weird wines, which are my favorite!”

Cafe Stella, 3932 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles

Bar Bandini, 2150 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles

1642 is an intimate beer and wine bar in Echo Park that has great live music and is the perfect spot for a date,” reveals Jemma Swatek, designer of Lykke Wullf. “If you go for the music get there early as it fills up quickly! Also, there are free tamales on Thursday nights… what more could you ask for?”

1642, 1642 W Temple St

“This is like choosing a favorite song!” Paige laments. “I’ll give a neighborhood—Arts District. Plenty of gorgeous outdoor seating, and tons of happy hours. Try Pour Haus for affordable, delicious wine, Tony’s for a perfect dive, and Bestia if you’re feeling classy.

Pour Haus, 1820 Industrial St, Los Angeles

Tony’s Saloon, 2017 E 7th St, Los Angeles

Learn more about the up and coming Arts District here.

Gracias-Madre
Photo by @e.spotted

Elora swears by Gracias Madre (above), “they have best mezcal and tequila cocktails and the patio is really nice on warmer nights.” She also loves “the rooftop at the Ace Hotel (below). They have a drink called the Amazing Frozen Drink and it’s essentially an alcoholic slurpee but way better.” Ty agrees, “I love a drink on top of the Ace Hotel. But let’s face it, I am not some classy lady.” He adds in: “My drinking spots are The Eagle LA or the Smog Cutter. I like it dark, dirty and loud.”

Gracias Madre, 8905 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood

Ace Hotel, 929 S Broadway, Los Angeles

Eagle LA, 4219 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles

Smog Cutter, 864 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles

“Sunset Towers – for old school glamour, Tenants of the Trees for fun weekday dranks and dance parties,” says Geraldine. 

Sunset Tower, 8358 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles

Tenants of the Trees, 2808 Hyperion Ave, Los Angeles

Florence Gan, owner of Vamp, has a solid list: Mignon in downtown LA, The Semi-Tropic in Echo Park and Sonny’s Hideaway in Highland Park.

Mignon, 128 E 6th St

The Semi-Tropic, 1412 Glendale Blvd

Sonny’s Hideaway, 5137 York Blvd

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Photo by @acedtla

“I’m very into iced tea,” says Cecilia. “My favorite is an iced earl grey found at Kitchen Mouse. Also, the HMS Bounty in Korea Town is great. I have a soft spot for nautically-themed spaces with character.” Pari agrees with her last pick. “It’s a bar founded in the ’40s with a special interior that’s unbelievably managed to stay exactly the same.”

HMS Bounty, 3357 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles

“Mignon for wine and good friends,” says Giuliana. And it’s the go-to spot after work in DTLA for Shaina. “Super quaint and cute with a great wine and cheese selection.”

Mignon, 128 E. 6th Street, Los Angeles

“Covell in Los Feliz,” adds Alexandra. “It’s a great wine bar that is super low key. There’s no wine list. The bartenders give you suggestions based on your preferences and they’re always spot on!”

Covell, 4628 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Feliz

For coffee, Kathryn Bentley, owner and designer of Dream Collective, loves Civil Coffee in Highland park. “If I’m going to pay over $5 for a coffee, I want homemade almond milk and a fair trade coffee bean. They also happen to have great pastries and a good breakfast selection.”

Civil Coffee, 5629 N Figueroa St

Jackie Sun, owner of LA boutique Fuggiamo, heads to Giorgi Porgi for her coffee fix. “It’s a bit hidden in DTLA, and once you walk through the living moss tunnel, it feels like you’re in Milan or Tokyo. Instead of ordering from a menu, you simply answer a few questions from the staff, and they make a delicious drink for you. The experience and setting encourage interaction in a way that’s so thoughtful and unique.”

Giorgi Porgi, 137 E 3rd St

Sissy reveals LA’s best secret spot: “Pfff! My house where the Moscow Mules aren’t $18.” But, “otherwise, the build-your-own Bloody Mary bar at Clifton’s Cafeteria is a hoot.”

Clifton’s Cafeteria, 648 S Broadway, Los Angeles

 

WHERE TO PEOPLE WATCH

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Photo by Arcade Original

“Tenants of the Trees,” says Valerie of the Silver Lake cocktail bar (above). “A guilty pleasure for watching people’s dance moves.”

Tentants of the Trees, 2808 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles

“Chateau Marmont,” says Consuela. “It’s just so quintessential entertainment industry hot spot. A cliché but the scene there is just fabulous.”

Chateau Marmont, 8221 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood

And then it’s all about the neighborhoods. “Almost everywhere is good people watching, but I’ll choose the Venice boardwalk,” says Paige. “The most strange and entertaining!” Giuliana recommends Muscle Beach while you’re there.

Stacy Anderson, the designer behind KENT Woman, has a people-watching day planned out that also includes the Venice boardwalk. “Start at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market that happens every Saturday morning, it’s one of my favorites around town for the freshest seasonal fruits, veg and flowers. Then head on over to Venice Beach Boardwalk and skate park–there’s no shortage of characters, sights and sounds!”

Venice Boardwalk, 1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice

Jackie heads to the Venice skate park. “The skaters are mesmerizing to watch, plus the view is hard to beat with the concrete park right on the beach. It feels quintessentially LA.”

“Everywhere, really,” says Cecilia. “It’s fascinating to observe people in moments of unawareness.” Jessica agrees. “This city is filled with characters. Really, any neighborhood is great for people watching. Most people are putting on a show, so if you just settle into the background, and become a bit invisible, you can see amazing things.”

“I love going to the Melrose Place Farmer’s Market for people watching plus there’s a guy who sells wild mushrooms and they are the best mushrooms I’ve ever had,” says Elora. She also adds “the beaches in Malibu if it’s a hot day. You can pack a picnic and relax with a book or be entertained by beach goers, surfers and the occasional dolphin.”

Melrose Place Farmer’s Market, 8400 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles

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Photo by Arcade Original

“I love to people watch at art openings or museums,” says Shaina. “Downtown is a total melting pot and is always interesting.”

Geraldine goes to “Craig’s in West Hollywood – the food is kind of ridiculous but the scene is undeniable: Hollywood moguls and music business heavy hitters every night.”

Craig’s, 8826 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood

“We like to go to The Prince in K Town,” reveals the Lacausa team. “You can cozy up in a big red booth for drinks and snacks and the crowd there will be different every time you go.”

The Prince, 3198 W 7th St

Misa Miyagawa, designer of Botanica Workshop loves to head to, “Echo Park Lake on a sunny weekend afternoon.”

The annual LA Art Book Fair,” is Sissy’s favorite spot, which also ends up being a total stylish scene with such the eclectic group of people.

LA Art Book Fair, 152 N Central Ave, Los Angeles

The team at Alchemy Works heads to the Rose Bowl Flea Market. “It’s once a month and has an eclectic mix of locals and visitors. We always find a few treasures for ourself or the store!”

“I’m the worst when it comes to people watching,” admits Alexandra. “I have no idea! Working in fashion, I’m surrounded by interesting people — I tend to watch stylists, designers, musicians and artists.”

Luckily, there’s plenty to be found on the streets of Los Angeles.

9 women leading the fashion industry in Los Angeles

Forget what you know about Hollywood, California Casual and Rodeo Drive, these nine women are defining what fashion means in Los Angeles. The city has been gaining momentum as a fashion capital for its burgeoning production industry in DTLA, emerging designers refining modern femininity and the long-standing traditions of denim, and neighborhoods like Silver Lake and Echo Park bringing back the city’s indie scene. To celebrate our LA Ladies Sale, we gathered these designers, who also happen to be some of the most inspiring women we know, at a Los Angeles studio to find out the real deal of La La Land and what they love most about their sunny city.

 

CECILIA BORDARAMPE, ARE Studio

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Minimalism in the form of leather goods and apparel established in 2012. Cecilia brought her education in textile arts, photography and art history back home from the Art Institute of Chicago to create a line of distinct but subtle wares that serve as a clean slate for anyone who wears them. Each and every piece is made by hand in Los Angeles using overstock and deadstock materials.

Shop ARE Studio >

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? I grew up in Los Angeles, in the Silver Lake neighborhood. I lived in Chicago while attending art school for a few years, but ultimately decided that Los Angeles was where I wanted to settle.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? I live/work in Highland Park at the moment. I really love having my office/studio at home for the most part, especially considering the inherent comforts, like having my dog around and being able to take a break to lounge in the yard for a while.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? The close proximity to so many varied landscapes is a phenomenal thing.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT LA? The city is rich with history, despite what some may think. Huell Howser knew it.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? Clean lines, simplicity and ease.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? I like to feel comfortable in what I’m wearing, to put it simply, so that could mean any number of things on any given day for me. Mostly, I love wearing oversize button down shirts paired with a good pair of jeans – this always feels very chic to me.

TELL US A FUN FACT! I was a serious tap dancer growing up.

 

GIULIANA RAGGIANI, giu giu

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“Weird, unisexy and nostalgic” is how this designer, newly based in Los Angeles, describes her line of quirky cool knitwear. And that’s exactly why we love it. The Central Saint Martins grad lives and designs by blending the rules of tradition and nostalgia with innovation, humor and creative freedom. Ever evolving, each season never really like the last, we’re always looking forward to what Giuliana has up her ribbed knit sleeve next.

Shop giu giu >

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? Transplant. Moved here exactly one year ago from Brooklyn.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? Live in Venice, split my time working between Venice and DTLA.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? LA gives me the mental space to think creatively, and I’m constantly inspired by the contrast of naivety and seediness.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT LA? That it’s actually the city of Angels. I’ve met some of the most amazing people in the short time i’ve been here.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? My goal is to design mindfully, balancing a sense of nostalgia with innovation and humor. Above all, I think clothing should be a canvas to simply feel comfortable in your own skin, mentally and physically. Engaging your senses through textures and versatility with wear is important to me. Feeling boundless, simple and light.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Comfy ‘n’ caj.

TELL US A FUN FACT! I have a thing for hands.

 

VALERIE QUANT, LOQ

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Alongside her design partner Keren Longkumer, often based at home in Nagaland, Valerie introduced LOQ as a new, modern perspective on the classics of shoe design. The pair met while studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, bonded instantly over their shared perspective and love for shoes, and quickly found a cult following for their footwear.

Shop LOQ >

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? Born and raised in Orange County, went to school in San Francisco and now I’m staying put in LA.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? I work from my home in Venice.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? Because I am near the ocean in Venice I am able to ride my bike to the beach, local restaurants and boutiques – one of the biggest perks of Westside living.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE NEW ABOUT LA? There is so much to discover, I’m constantly surprised about new neighborhoods that I haven’t explored and endless cultural food adventures.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? Redefining classics.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Comfort focused and pared down.

TELL US A FUN FACT! I have a habit of imitating people’s quirks, faces and voices.

 

ALEXANDRA MICHELLE, Objects Without Meaning

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More interested in designing to enhance the wearer, not the object, Alex established the line in 2011 with a keen eye on creating honest, effortless clothing that don’t carry baggage or the expectations of trends. She had worked in various roles in the fashion industry around the world but found home in Los Angeles and launched the line there.

Shop Objects Without Meaning >

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? I’m originally from Australia and moved to the USA about 10 years ago. I lived in New York for four years before settling down in LA to start Objects Without Meaning… best choice I ever made!

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? I live on the east side of Los Angeles in Echo Park and work in the Arts District in DTLA. Echo Park is so diverse and has great energy. I love the cafe’s, restaurant and bars and that everything is walking distance. The Arts District is so inspiring — there are a lot of creative people everywhere. I’m so fortunate to be able to experience both every day.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? I would say the weather. It’s unbelievable how nice weather just makes life easier. My second favorite thing is the people, I love the culture and diversity of Los Angeles.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT LA? The food, art and music scene are amazing. You can go watch a great band, see amazing art and eat great food on any given day!

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? I look at clothing as an empty vessel, a blank slate to be filled by the many experiences and emotions of daily life.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Classic and understated. I’m a uniform wearer. Most days I’m in jeans, a shirt and sneakers. I don’t spend much time getting ready.

TELL US A FUN FACT! I was born in Australia to Argentinian parents, so I speak fluent Spanish (with an Australian accent)!

PARI DESAI

pari-desai-la-ladies-garmentory

This Canadian designer honed her design chops in the storied houses of American sportswear Calvin Klein and A.L.C. before striking out on her own in 2014. So of course her knitwear-focused line finds the perfect balance of upscale luxury and downtown cool. She also happens to be one seriously rad human.

Shop Pari Desai >

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? Born and raised in Toronto, moved to New York to design for TSE and Calvin Klein. Moved to Los Angeles to lead knitwear design at A.L.C., launched my own collection in 2014.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? I live and work in Echo Park.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? Because the weather is so temperate, I love how the boundaries between outdoor and indoor spaces are fluid. This quality and the light make the natural world feel like an essential part of the urban environment.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT LA? There is a vanguard of artists and designers working in Los Angeles right now. In terms of fashion it’s still under the radar but there are a lot of ideas being created here that feel new and relevant to our time.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? Minimal, soulful, a low-key approach to luxury.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? I gravitate toward beautifully made clothes that have the effortlessness of wearing a favorite t-shirt. My uniform is usually neutral but I’ll add unexpected color or texture to bring emotional contrast.

TELL US A FUN FACT! My birthday is New Year’s Eve.

 

SHAINA MOTE

shaina-mote-la-ladies-garmentory

This longtime Los Angeles native spent years in the fashion industry in varying roles of vintage buyer and pattern maker to creative director before launching her own line of versatile, timeless and modern women’s wear in 2012. Emphasizing longevity, superior construction and and impeccable fit, the core of her line is all about those perfect wardrobe staples.

Shop Shaina Mote >

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? I was born and raised in Los Angeles and still live and work here today.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? I live in Highland Park and work in Downtown.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? Diversity – of landscape, people, art, events, beliefs, practices.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT LA? The Valley is amazing and weird and worth the adventure… so many hidden gems.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? I aim to keep my designs versatile, well made and classic with some sort of twist in hopes of creating a piece with lasting impact, interest and relevance.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Woman on a mission! I dress according to my days duties. If my tasks involve dye house trips or factory check ins, I am likely running around town in something casual — probably Levi’s and a crisp poplin top. Design days, I try to dress in a way that inspires me or makes me feel in a creative mood. My wardrobe is mainly comprised of emerging designers’ pieces, friends’ designs or my own work. I love to incorporate other designers work into my world.

TELL US A FUN FACT! I grew up on a ranch in LA and have ridden horses my whole life. I am more at ease with those gentle creatures than perhaps anywhere else on earth.

 

JESSICA TAFT LANGDON, The Palatines

jessica-the-palatines-la-ladies-garmentory

When you spend your formative years as a designer in the studio of Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang and Everlane, you’re bound to learn a thing or two about shoes. Jessica moved westward to Los Angeles as she searched for American production for footwear and found an enclave of talent in Los Angeles that finally inspired her to launch her own line.

Shop The Palatines >

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? Definitely a transplant. I grew up in and around Philadelphia, and lived primarily in NYC (with some time in the Pacific Northwest, and schooling in Italy) before moving here four years ago.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? I live and work in Silver Lake.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? I love the space – the physical space, and the creative space that this city offers. it’s a city where creativity and entrepreneurism are lauded, and with that comes the understanding that mistakes can happen. it’s a city that forgives and allows second chances, so it’s worth taking the risk.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE NEW ABOUT LA? That it’s usually quite cloudy in June.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? I don’t believe that design is particularly philosophical. Our manufacturing, employment and living habits can be based on philosophy, but design is more innate, less intellectual than philosophy. It’s about feelings and relationships, not about rules.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Contrary and constantly changing.

TELL US A FUN FACT! My feet are two different lengths – by almost a half size.

 

CONSUELO CHOZAS AND PAIGE SMITH, VereVerto

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Women have an innate ability to multitask so it’s really no wonder that the handbags created by this gorgeous duo are equally talented. Consuelo and Paige met when Paige had moved to Los Angeles from San Francisco and discovered they were both looking for a truly versatile handbag they couldn’t find. Their minimalist leather wares take you from commuting to lunch to an evening out with a few simple adjustments.

Shop VereVerto >

CONSUELO

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We moved to southern California when I was 4 years old and lived between Newport Beach and Buenos Aires. I came back to LA in 2007 after living in Spain for two years.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? I live in a little pocket of Echo Park called Angeleno Heights. We just moved to our first studio/office this year that is also in Angeleno Heights. I’m pretty lucky because I can walk there from my house and that is a true luxury in LA.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? I love that you can create your own little community within the separate very spread out neighborhoods, and walk to things and bump into friends on the street. All the things I love about European city living can in a much smaller way be replicated in each little neighborhood in LA.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE NEW ABOUT LA? That however spread out and lonely it can seem, it doesn’t have to be that way, and exploring all the unique neighborhoods in LA makes it feel new and rich and exciting always even after nine years of living here.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? Paige and I have always agreed on pairing things down, no excess frills, or loud branding, just the simple beautiful materials that shine on their own.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? I’m pretty classic at times traditional in the way I dress, but love being more daring with my shoes and bags.

TELL US A FUN FACT! I’m obsessed with horses and have been riding since before I could walk. We had a ranch in Argentina when I lived there. And VereVerto works with tanneries that mainly provide leather for the equestrian industry in Spain.

PAIGE

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? I am a transplant from Dallas, Texas. I’ve been living in Los Angeles for six years and before that, in San Francisco for five years.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? I live in Highland Park, and I split time between work in our VereVerto studio in Echo Park and my home studio.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? I landed in LA and fell in love almost immediately. I don’t know if I can choose one thing I love most, but the creative drive here is palpable, there are endless amounts of things to discover, and the weather!

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT LA? You can’t judge LA as one city. For example, Hollywood is not a good barometer for Venice or Arts District or Silver Lake culture. LA, to me, is made up of many different boroughs, and you have to check them all out to find what you like.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? For our handbags, the old tome ‘form follows function’ works well. Our bags are whittled down to clean essentials and utilitarian needs.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? I’ve always relied on the shoes, bags and coats. Muted for the clothing and accents for the accessories.

TELL US A FUN FACT! I am also a sculpture/installation artist.

Shop the LA Ladies Sale this way. And stay tuned for our Los Angeles city guide as the designers weigh in on the best of the best.

 

Photographer: Eddie Chacon, Metropolis of Vice

Stylist: Sissy Sainte-Marie

Special thanks to Kathleen Whitaker for letting us shoot in her beautiful studio space in Los Angeles.

Black Crane Designer Momo Suzuki on the power of simplicity

Designer Momo Suzuki is a woman of many talents. The creative mastermind behind one of our favorite clothing lines, Black Crane, she started out designing accessories. Having lived and worked in Los Angeles for 16 years with her husband and fellow designer, Alexander Yamaguchi, it’s pretty safe to say that creativity is etched into every aspect of her life. Her background in art – she has been painting since she was seven years old – is evident in her brand which is known and loved for its minimalistic pieces inspired by traditional Japanese design with original screen-printed fabrics created by Alexander. We’re basically obsessed, so we couldn’t wait to sit down and chat with Momo about Japanese fashion, what it’s like to work with her husband, and the significance of the name ‘Black Crane’.

HOW DID BLACK CRANE GET STARTED? My husband and I started Black Crane in 2009 because we felt there was not much design that I would like to wear to align my lifestyle. It was quite a natural start since we were already doing a men’s line called Alexander Yamaguchi from 2000.

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Designer Momo Suzuki in studio

Meet the Designers: Keren Longkumer and Valerie Quant of LOQ

Sole mates and BFFs, Keren Longkumer and Valerie Quant approach shoe design with a new, modern perspective on the classics. A boot, a mule or a loafer feel totally fresh in their hands. Hailing from Nagaland and Los Angeles respectively, the duo combines influences from every aspect of their life and always land in minimalism. And we love them for it. Obviously we had to find out more, so we asked and they answered.

Shop LOQ >

HOW DID YOU GUYS MEET? We met at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles during the Footwear Design Program in 2011. We collaborated on a few projects and realized that we had a similar eye for design and the rest is history.