Hi There, so glad you decided to come back and join us, we love our Wednesday meetings too. Emily is traveling so I wanted sneak in and give you a little background on me, where La Detresse came from, and what the creative process looks and feels like for me.
LA has been my home for over 10 years but as a California girl at heart, I’m really from Virginia and proud of my status as a East Coaster. I moved here right out of college, however since my father moved here when I was about 6 LA wasn’t far from feeling like home.
As a kid I was always a bit quirky, I was the one dressed in camo tights and overalls with sparkly sneakers and pigtails when my friends were wearing sweater sets, Northfacevests and bows; I stood out, to say the least. My school was small, located right next to the CIA and for our 8th grade graduation our principal gave a speech about each of us, I distinctly remember her saying that she knew she would see me on the pages of Vogue. At the time, I wanted to be a lawyer so this was flattering but not exactly what Imagined for my life, word to the wise your 8th grade principal might know more than you think.
I fought my love of fashion for years studying Political Science and International relations, and finally after closing the art gallery I was running decided to work in a retail store. This was fluke, I wanted a job and was only intending on doing this to make money. This job turned into styling and personal shopping and I had found my true love for fashion! But I wanted more, I wanted to do something different, I wanted something I could put my stamp on.
La Detresse was a dream, truly a dream I had one night after working a long day and doing inventory in the store where I worked. I saw that there were so many lines that focused on a leather jacket, or the jean and the jean jacket fell to the wayside. So I thought, WTF, who doesn’t love a denim jacket, it’s such a great way to pull together a look even when the look is casual. After many months marinating on the process, I’m a procrastinator who needs a push, I finally approached my friend Emily about working together. She woke up the next morning and I think we were in factories that week. Little known fact: The original idea for La Detresse was reconstructed vintage denim, don’t worry this idea is not dead, but at the time we decided we wanted to try our hand at designing the line from scratch. We were in warehouses sorting through thousands of vintage jackets daily, meeting with manufacturers who couldn’t conceptualize our vision. The road wasn’t exactly rising up to meet us, but we kept going, that’s what I love about us, we have fought through difficulties and really found our passion and our voice and we are great partners. I love you EM!
So, here we are, years later with a full line that we adore. How does it get made? Well….one of the things that I love about La Detresse is that it is fully hand made, hand distressed, hand dyed, hand printed and sourced in Los Angeles. Every piece is unique and is totally yours. I love the idea that you and your best friend could buy the same pieces but they will never be the same. Who hasn’t walked up to a dinner and you and your friend are wearing the same shirt or jacket, I know its happens to me all the time, this way you can at least have something that is uniquely yours.
The Acid Drop is a perfect example of “the process” the idea born out of the weird thoughts in my head, something my manufacturer was like… really are you sure…Acid Wash?! I really wanted to see if it could be done and look as cool as I saw it, and I wanted to use graphics, something we had never done before. We gave people something new and fun, which in the end was our ultimate goal. It took a lot of back and forth, 5 different styles that we changed, fixed, colors, graphics, designs and finally our favorites the “break through”, “university” and “licked it” and of course two jackets! No matter what we do always comes back tothe denim jacket. I’m so excited to see something that lived completely in my brain, be worn and loved by people. That is, I think, living the dream, seeing the fruits of the labor Emily and I have put in over the last few years, worn by people and really appreciated. WE appreciate you guys! It was all a dream, but now it’s our entire reality, thank you for helping to grant it.
See you Next Wednesday at 5:30