Go West (Coast)
Modern California Style and the Designers Defining It
There's a heat wave raging throughout most of the country right now, but in Southern California, the climate remains blissfully temperate. Warm, sunny days and cool, breezy nights—it's a duality that matches a culture that's at once urbane and yet incredibly relaxed. A decade ago, "LA style" could've been considered an oxymoron, but today, brands are making a name for themselves in the jaded fashion industry for being quintessentially California. That is to say, stylish and well-made, but don't take themselves too seriously. We checked in with a few to talk about how their personal style influences their brand.
I'm all for keeping things really simple. Clothes that are not just comfortable but well-fitted and functional too. They should get better with age. I think you should be able to pass things you love down to your kids. Our dad really raised us to be practical and thoughtful about your presentation. Especially if you want to be taken seriously in the work world. But you also want to be true to where you're from.
Raan & Shea Parton
A rugged, utilitarian aesthetic with a touch of prep and a focus on social responsibility.
I think the common denominator in everything we're drawn to is this uncompromising sense of product integrity. Traditionally, West Coast menswear could be considered a bit sloppy. We wanted to bring these effortless essentials you can interchange and wear in and out of any situation. You can't go wrong with a great pair of jeans or an oxford shirt and chinos. They've made up this great American wardrobe for decades. It's not nearly as formal as the East coast where it's clearly, 'work' and 'weekend.' Here, there's a much more an easy blend of the two.
Handmade shoes that mix old world craftsmanship with a modern, masculine sensibility.
We don't really follow tradition in California. If I'm meeting a client, I'll dress up, but it's still jeans, paired with a deconstructed blazer, maybe an oxford shirt and a tie. Then I'll pair it with some beat up boots. If you look at our shoes, there's not the traditional shapes of European shoes. It's a bit of a Western shape—the toe comes up like a boot—there's a rugged, American craftsmanship to them. They're completely handmade, so there's a certain perfect imperfection to them. West coast style is not about perfection, it's about looking good but looking relaxed.
An understated line of ultra-soft, washed pieces that look sharp but feel slouchy.
My style really revolves around classic American vintage. It's simple and easy to the point of almost being minimal. Today's a departure—nine times out of ten, I'm in blue jeans and some sort of white tee with sneakers. Growing up, my style was motivated by my interests. I was a skater and your jeans were what protected your legs. They'd get the coolest vintage-esque look because they'd be washed and scraped up from falling off your board. You'd get some holes in your knees and eventually, they became the perfect shorts for summer. When you grow up in California, there are all these different elements and influences that become part of your everyday style. You go down to Mexico and come back with a Baja hoodie and then incorporate it into your wardrobe. That's still what I do now with NSF.
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