LA is consistently putting itself on the high fashion map with designers, celebrities, and bloggers reinforcing its status as a fashionable destination. Also, it rivals New York City in terms of local production. Once known as just a jeans city, the brands that thrive here have expanded this base while still keeping true to the casual cool, quintessentially American vibe that marks California culture.
Every millennial girl living in LA has gone through a phase where they only dressed in Brandy clothing from head to toe. True to their flair for basics, nearly all the clothes come in a ‘one size fits all’ style but are extremely soft and stretchy – perfect for those laid-back beach vibes. The boutique brand got so popular in Southern California that PacSun has actually started carrying their clothing in chain stores across the nation.
Owned by J. Crew, billions have been invested in developing this signature LA brand. Their strong suit lies in their high-quality denim line, calling Los Angeles the world capital for jeans, and they have denim design studios across the city. Their products manage to be both trendy and classic at the same time, making them a staple at an affordable price.
In opposition to fast fashion practices used by retailers such as Forever 21 and Zara, Reformation seeks to create one-of-a-kind pieces from repurposed clothing and materials. Every collection is unique and limited, giving their go-to dresses a vintage feel that customers can’t find anywhere else. They also track the environmental impact of everything they make and use only recycled materials for their packaging – truly trying to reform the way we think about fashion in the future.
One of the most chill swimwear brands around that highlight the simplicity of high-quality swimwear, Vitamin A’s designer Amahlia Stevens is a true California babe from Laguna Beach. She created the ‘California Cut’ that is signature to the brand and is even committed to sustainable fashion by using fabrics and production methods that are eco-friendly. Celebrities took notice, and it has become a famous favorite for swimwear.
Project Social T
Masters of the basic t-shirt and tank, these cult hits have been featured at Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters alike. Their project is simple – to make comfortable, retro women’s clothing at reasonable prices. Everything they make is Americana-inspired, produced in the US, and crafted out of super gorgeous materials.
Despite its up and downs, this company started selling blank t-shirts and such wholesale to printers, which explains the blank slate hipster look that popularized their clothing. They have been producing factories in downtown LA since its inception and pride themselves on being one of the few US garment exporters. The people that work in these massive factories are among the highest paid in the global industry, as the retailer refuses to take labor to foreign countries for reduced rates.
Pronounced, ‘Ruka,’ which is supposed to represent the Greek word for clothes, this conceptual streetwear brand was started by a native Hawaiian and is now based in Costa Mesa. They are closely tied to skate, surf, and street culture and support local artists in Los Angeles at the KNOWN Gallery. The company also puts its money where its mouth is and sponsors many artists and athletes involved in the sports that inspire their clothing style.