LA Weekly’s annual fashion issue is on stands now, and the paper explores the question, ‘Does LA Have a Fashion Identity?‘ We certainly think so.
For all of the LA style archetypes described in the article – the rocker vampire, the Morrissey, the scarecrow, the skateboarding surfer – the throughline is a great pair of jeans. Writer Gendy Alimurung relays how the average LA resident “hikes and has a dog and eats well” to get that perfect LA body; nothing shows off a great body like a pair of jeans and the right tee.
It’s the confusion about LA’s fashion identity referred to in this piece that gives LA a reputation for being one of worst dressed cities in the US. We think publications like GQ that make this claim are missing the point. LA is stuck taking the blame for the overembellished Ed Hardy look you can find on Melrose Avenue because he happened to set up shop here, but this is not an acceptable look for the majority of Angelenos. Rather, the constant here in LA, jeans, has become an increasingly central piece of a fashion forward equation, which is why you see everyone from Kate Middleton to Emanuelle Alt in the latest rise, and an army of denim bloggers behind them sharing each and every look.
There’s no dispute that New York is the hub of fashion, but the best denim in the world comes from LA. Any brand that wants to compete in premium denim has to have a presence in LA to develop the most current washes and fits and understand how people are wearing denim right now. New York-based brands like Theory, Ralph Lauren, and Johann Lindeberg’s BLK DNM have all crossed the country to develop their denim offering, and San Francisco-based Levi’s produces all of their premium lines out of LA. Even apparel behemoth GAP recently splurged on a 5,400 sq ft. design space called the Pico Creative Loft to house its 1969 denim line, and better position itself to compete with LA’s luxury denim makers.
The article gets closest to the mark when it says “Los Angeles is casual”. We’ll take it a step further, and say Los Angeles is denim, because no fabric exudes “casual” quite like denim.