Los Angeles Magazine called Pocket Square Clothing “the king of the Made In L.A. accessories scene.” The brand was started in 2011 by two UCLA graduates who set out to just make interesting things. Andrew Cheung and Rodolfo Ramirez are the founders, and they speak about clothing the “gentleman of today” in this interview from the Downtown Los Angeles Fashion District near their new flagship store.
Sara Angelucci is the woman behind Armature, a Los Angeles-based clothing and jewelry brand. She makes and sells zeitgeist-inspired pieces both ready to wear and unique in the Venice area near the beach. Despite having her work dangling from the ears and necks of some of the most beautiful people in Hollywood, the designer is surprisingly low key in this revealing interview about her approach to her sometimes strikingly original work. THe interview also covers Sara’s personal take on having her work copied by others and the nature of manufacturing artisan jewelry in Los Angeles.
“Right now I feel like the best way to make the most out of my margins is to sell it myself online.” – Sara Angelucci
“Los Angeles is basically one of the largest cities that all of America does garment production in, so we have a lot of vendors that have buttons, trims, whatever. So, technically if you have a wholesale license and you Google deep enough you can find it.” – Christine Ko
This interview with Los Angeles-based Venia Collection designers Christine Ko and Keeter Ly involves a lot of tech talk. The sustainability-focused brand, which sells to fashion-forward knowledge workers around the world, spends a lot of energy on R&D. They sourced fish leather from Canada, hang out with the Silicon Valley crowd, and are part of the group developing the Neue VR marketplace and its proposed shoppable immersive online experiences. A fascinating conversation with two designers who aren’t afraid to try new things.
Husband and wife design team Anthony Cucculelli and Anna Rose Shaheen met while working for Diane von Furstenberg, and then moved to Italy together, where they worked for major houses such as Emilio Pucci and Roberto Cavalli. They now have their own custom demi-couture clothing line, Cucculelli Shaheen, which employs advanced fitting technologies.
Guest co-host Gretchen Harnick (Parsons) joins for this interview which delves into the differences between working with large American and Italian houses and doing business independently in New York.
“In Italy, if you dream it you can do it, and there is a team to make it happen. Whereas, I think sometimes the challenge in New York is you can dream it but you have to figure out how to make it happen. But it goes both ways because if you can figure out how to make it happen you can do it. Whereas, I think in Italy it’s not so easy for young designers to get off the ground, up and running.” – Anna Rose Shaheen
“Each dress has its own palette. That’s the amazing thing. Instead of doing our palette for the collection, we really think about what’s the palette for each piece, and how does each piece sit next to each other.” – Anthony Cucculelli
“It’s a very exciting time in fashion right now. It’s exciting because anyone that has a passion to start a clothing line– ten years or so ago you would have to go overseas, you would have to get big production, you would have to get into all the big box retailers, if you couldn’t get into them you weren’t selling– now with the advent of the Internet and we can sell online, there are so many brands that are strictly online. So, you could literally draw a sketch of an idea you have, or as long as you could convey your message to a production house in America, anything could be done. The production that we can make in America is amazing, and we’re all previewed to a free brand name that no one knows about, it’s called Made In USA. Made In USA is a great brand name. It’s the same if you and I go buy a suit and it’s Made In Italy. We’re like, ‘oh, it’s great quality.’ That quality still exists in America, so if people want to get into the business, just put your heart into it. Don’t spend a dollar to save ten cents. Do your development– do everything– correctly. Launch it with a small collection, and as long as you are willing to put your efforts into it, people are willing to buy it. Made In America is having a huge comeback. We have a lot of clients who are growing.” – Adam Khoda
Adam Khoda is a long-time garment manufacturer, president of The Elite Fashion Group and founder of veterans-support brand Never Forgotten Apparel. He fled Iran with his family at age 11 and came to the USA when he was still fairly young. He is very proud to be an American citizen and cares a great deal about Made In USA. Adam coordinates factories for both overseas and Made In USA production, but as you’ll hear in this interview he has a definite preference between those two options.
This interview is part of a Los Angeles Fashion mini-series.