2020 has been equally as rough as it has been eye-opening. And through the albeit crappy times, there have been some truly “silver lining” aspects to come out of it all. One of which is the discovery of so many local brands in such a short period of time. Within the past few months, I have been somewhat forced to be more conscious of how and where I spend my money. It has always been a pillar of my brand to highlight and support local LA businesses and brands. But 2020 has been the year of putting extra emphasis on doing so personally.
Between COVID and the BLM movement, I have focused my efforts even more on the LA community and ways in which to support our small local businesses. In doing so, I have discovered SO many incredible brands and have never felt more in tune with my purpose or proud of the Los Angeles community. I’ve always known LA to be a city full of creatives. And even though I’ve made LA my career for the past 7 years, it’s so inspiring to think that there are STILL new brands/creators to discover and fall in love with all the time.
So, with that said, I am so excited to share with you a few of the based in LA / made in LA brands I have come to discover this year so far. The shopping and collecting have just begun. And I can’t wait to continue on my search, representing LA to an even greater degree, and start dressing/spending more consciously! Shall we?!
MY 10 FAVORITE LA-BASED BRAND DISCOVERIES OF 2020
If there’s one brand that screams “vacation” and “summertime” right now, it’s FKSP! (Which was introduced to me by the lovely Yvette Corrine.) FKSP (Folake Kuye Style Pantry) is a Nigerian, women-owned business. They specialize in beautifully crafting some of the most fun, feminine, and accessible pieces for the everyday woman. AND, everything is ethically made in Los Angeles to boot. You are going to absolutely fall head over heels in love once you see the collections. The most recent of which officially launched today! I got so many compliments on the yellow skirt I got (see photo above). I am debating on which piece from the new collection I want next. Instagram: @shopfksp
I was actually introduced to Aquarius Cocktail (AqC) earlier this year and took a couple of their absolutely stunning silk pieces with me to Mexico City (ahhh… memories.) AqC is made in LA all the way and mixes “luxury with spunk”. They make beautiful silk skirts, chic tie-dye pieces, one of a kind vintage scarf tank tops, and so much more. They’re a little rock n roll and a little lady like, thus this is a brand after my own heart and COMPLETELY made for the casual cool LA fashionista. | Instagram: @aquariuscocktail
JungleGurl is a men and women’s clothing line that mixes fun and casual island wear with hip and cool streetwear. Most of the pieces have a gorgeous tropical print. And designer Natalie Golonka draws inspiration from surf culture and Hawaiian island vibe. At JungleGurl you can peruse everything from swimwear, bomber jackets, track pants, swim trunks, coverups, to now masks and bandanas. I have my eye on those Kilikopela Shorts as seen on my GF and friend of the brand Grasie Mercedes! | Instagram: @jungle__gurl
I’d actually been familiar with the brand name, Pistola Denim. But until a few weeks ago when I purchased my first of now three jumpsuits that they’re actually made and based in LA! To say I am obsessed with Pistola would be an understatement. I put on the first jumpsuit I bought and IMMEDIATELY bought two more. Because if there’s anything COVID has taught me, besides “spend your money more wisely”, it’s that comfort is king. These jumpsuits are not only absolutely adorable but they are, in fact, insanely comfortable. Aka the appropriate public alternative to sweats. Pistola makes a whole lot more than these jumpsuits I’ve gone bananas for. And someday when I have money again I’ll invest in other items! But until then, you’ll pretty much exclusively see me in my jumpsuits. | Instagram: @pistoladenim
Megan Renee was one of the contestants on the most recent season of Making The Cut on Amazon Prime. And she is an INCREDIBLY talented local designer here in LA. I was introduced to her in doing my research of Black-owned businesses in LA and she had a number of fans mention her work to me, and I instantly fell in love with her creations. She has this chartreuse set with a wide leg pant and a geometric top that I have officially died and gone to heaven over. (It’s sold out in my size but I’ve found another set while I secretly wait. And hope that more of those pieces will be made!) Megan Renee seems to love classic silhouettes with a twist, and that is why I love her. | Instagram: @shop_meganrenee
“For the elegant street girl – made in Los Angeles.” I was introduced to Local European on my quest to discover Black-owned businesses and brands in LA and it has got to be one of the coolest, chicest brands in LA period. They have some great loungewear pieces at the moment, but they also have great basic tops, SUPER chic cargo pants (very a-la-Gwen-Stefani IMO), and a number of other beautiful neutral pieces. | Instagram: @localeuropean
Maybe Next Year is very near and dear to my heart because it’s a passion project from one of my best friends, Laura Stafford (who is a graphic designer by trade). If you’re following me on social you’ve likely seen me in any one of my MAYBE NEXT YEAR sweatshirts. I wear them on the daily. Right now the shop has sweatshirts, baseball hats, t-shirts, and stickers. They’re THE items of 2020 IMO – they’re funny, they’re cute, and most importantly – comfy. (Hot tip: I cropped my sweatshirts for summer!) | Instagram: @maybenextyear.jpeg
The Line By K is one of those brands I am like “HOWWWW AM I JUST NOW FINDING OUT ABOUT THEM.” They’re a gorgeous, simplistic, neutral-toned brand that ethically creates all their garments right here in Los Angeles. All of their pieces feel simple yet a little sexy, and I especially love their current collection of tops, one of which I am waiting to arrive at my house as we speak! | Instagram: @thelinebyk
The silkiest, sexiest, dreamiest, fun, and colorful brand out there right now I swear! I would kill to be in any single one of their disco-inspired pieces. Between the long silk skirts, the wrap tops, the fun feathered pieces, and the GORGEOUS color choices… I want it all. Think Cher Horowitz if she was in her 20’s in 2020 – if you weren’t sold yet then I hope you are now! | Instagram: @rezekstudio
Lykke Wullf (named after designer Jemma Swatek’s mom) is an LA-based brand that marries Scandinavian minimalism with fun and trendy West Coast vibes. Everything is made in small runs with sustainability and community in mind, and as far as I can tell they have quite the fan base. The current collection has a lot of comfortable, functional, and chic pieces, I will always be drawn to a matching set of any kind and I love that that seems to be a typical style of the brands! But for summer 2020, gingham and lemongrass all the way, yes please! (And how cute is that little bag?) | Instagram: @lykkewullf