From the world-famous Rodeo Drive to the Fashion District just a few miles from USC, Los Angeles is filled with iconic storefronts that are prominent within the global fashion scene. Just take a walk down Sunset Boulevard or even through campus, and you will see L.A. fashion culture reflected through vintage threads, trendy streetwear or authentic Gucci grandeur. The powerhouses of luxury attire are already widely known, but there are also plenty of lesser-known, start-up brands in Los Angeles worth watching.
Chief among these up-and-comers are three local fashion lines — , and — that are emerging onto the scene and have serious potential to gain exposure not just in L.A., but also across the US.
Created by Roski School of Fine Arts alumna Michelle Hanabusa, Uprising is a self-described minimal, streetwear-inspired brand that transforms the everyday white t-shirt into a garment for all occasions. The brand initially launched at the end of 2016.
“We came up with Uprising from scratch,” Hanabusa said. “We came up with thread and new fabrics that we could do all in house.”
Heavily influenced by her Japanese heritage and the streetwear aesthetic of L.A., she wanted to make simple athletic wear that could be worn throughout the day but also has, in her own words, “the cool factor of being made in America.”
The name Uprising came from the idea of empowering and uplifting others, and the brand even has a #uprisers section on its website that features people who are making their dreams come true. On May 2, Uprising will launch the #AmericanMade social media campaign, designed to promote unity through a silent demonstration via Instagram posts that celebrate America and the people who are living out their American-made dreams. Uprising is even selling t-shirts specifically for the movement.
Another rising clothing line is Everybody.World. Founded by Iris Alonzo and Carolina Crespo, it strives to produce clothes that are as “ethical and earth friendly as possible,” according to its site.
Abiding by a worker-friendly motto, the brand comprises pieces made by Everybody.World themselves or by what the company calls “everyday extraordinary people.” Contributors include anyone from a 76-year-old man who plays chess in the park to a four-year-old child. The only requirement for contributors is that they are not trained designers, allowing each collaborator to bring their own distinct flair to the table.
Everybody.World’s signature Trash Tee is another first of its kind made of 100 percent recycled cotton. The brand is working its hardest to create more textiles using this 100 percent recycled cotton yarn in an effort to promote textile sustainability and cut down on the typically towering amounts of manufacturing waste. The Trash Tee and other pieces can be found on Everybody.World’s website or at their Informal Shop at The Standard in Downtown.
Based just down the street in South L.A., Los Angeles Apparel is another conscious clothing brand that places a high value on domestic manufacturing. Everything is produced right here in Los Angeles — from the dye to the labels to the clothes themselves. Los Angeles Apparel was started by Dov Charney, the former CEO of American Apparel. Alice, a graphic designer for the brand, said that Los Angeles Apparel is a “… continuation of the vision [they]’ve been building for three decades.” Based in L.A., the brand “… is focused on the city and the personalities of small neighborhoods within the city.” Los Angeles Apparel is community-based, and even prints small biographies of the worker that made each specific piece on their labels.
Los Angeles Apparel is striving to make “relevant, iconic clothing,” while still paying each worker a living wage. With L.A. being a cultural hotspot and manufacturing hub, Alice states that the city allows the brand “… to bring culture, creative people and manufacturing” all into their company. Because they produce all their clothes here, they have “… a greater control of our workers’ well being, our products quality as well as a quick turn over and being able to react to trends.” Currently, Los Angeles Apparel is focusing on gaining more exposure for its garments, providing more jobs in the U.S. and expanding its products for the summer. Though they do not yet have a brick and mortar store, pieces can be found online.