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Inspiration LA Vol. 2: We Insist

February 5, 2011

Got my press pass, so I’ll be there on Saturday, taking it all in. The latest press release promises quite a lineup of little brands and some big brands as well:

There are a host of companies from around the globe that resurrect vintage work wear clothing (some specializing in denim only) from 1800s to ‘60s, taking the best of the construction techniques to create their own lines. Such is the case of Japanese exhibitors The Flat Head, Stevenson Overall Co., Felco, The Real McCoys, and Standard California, as well as Blue Blanket Jeans (Italy), Rising Sun (Pasadena, CA)—to name a few.

Other exhibitors such as Heller’s Café’s (Seattle, WA) have garnered a cult-like following among heritage-obsessed shoppers on the hunt for authentic, turn-of-the-century clothing. Founder Larry McKaughan’s clothing is often used for ‘inspiration’ for companies like J. Crew, and in fact, they launched an exclusive Heller’s Cafe online-shop of one-of-a-kind pieces on their website—that are replicated from the original vintage pieces from McKaughan’s personal archive of Americana heritage/work wear/etc.

NOTE: (Hellers Café was the focus of Rin Tanaka’s 12th book in his “My Freedamn” series—titled “King of Vintage: Vol. 1” and the first of his curated vintage collection series tomes. This year’s second curated collection is “Queen of Vintage: Vol. 2” showcasing Long Beach’s Kathleen Schaaf’s eclectic collections (she owns Meow Vintage in Retro Row on 4th Street!)

Top-end denim brands Wrangler and Levi’s will be on hand, showcasing their vintage denim lines. Wrangler Blue Bell features products that merge the vintage vibe with archival Wrangler designs. (Blue Bell refers to the company that first created Wrangler Jeans in mid-40s.) Levi’s XX Brand is their ‘vintage’ line. (“XX” is an abbreviation for “extra extra strong”, an industry reference to the exceptional quality denim used by the company when they created the world’s first pair of jeans in 1873.)

For those elusive, hard-to-find vintage items, check out Goodbye Heart and Baz Brothers Vintage.

A range of artists will showcase their work, including surf artists Andy Davis and Taylor Warren, sculptor and historian Jeff Decker famed for his bronze sculptures of vintage motorcycles, vintage inspired metal/furniture artists, Iron & Duck, and leather artist Robert Warner, whose clothing and accessories merge fashion and art!


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