LA Headwear Designer Lands Spot on Zappos’ ‘Emerging Designer’ Showcase

From the 1920s through 1940s, turbans were part of many chic women’s wardrobes. Los Angeles designer Venius Adams developed her update of the turban, and it will be placed on a very 21st-century platform.

Adams was selected to be part of the “Emerging Designer” program by Zappos, the popular e-commerce emporium that is a division of Fortune 500 company Amazon.com.

During this summer, Adams’s burgeoning label, Venius, will get a shop on Zappos’ emerging designer page zappos.com/emerging-designer. The page will offer her latest styles, which range from turbans made with eco-friendly fabrics to headbands and scarves. Her shop is scheduled to debut in mid-July and will remain open until December. If the sales are very good, the shop’s life will be extended, said Michael Evon, a Zappos trend analyst.

Adams got into the turban game in 2009 when she was taking extensions out of her hair and made a turban to cover some bad-hair days. She wore the turban to parties, and people asked her where they could buy it.

The first retailer to offer Venius a platform was the influential GatherLA website. Some of the first boutiques picking up the turbans were yoga studios. They were specifically interested in fabrics made out of natural fibers such as organic cotton, which Adams picked up at Pacific Coast Knitting Inc. in Huntington Park, a little more than a 15-minute drive southeast of downtown LA.

Adams was wearing one of her creations, the “Kennedi Ruffle” turban, when taking on a shift as hostess in Los Angeles fashion-industry watering hole Tiara Café last November. Zappos trend manager Kaya Fesci dropped in for lunch and asked about the turban and then encouraged her to apply to Zappos’ “Emerging Designer” program.

To apply to the program, Adams had to send in line sheets and write a biography of the line. In the following rounds of the application process, she had to submit a video of the Venius label. In March, Zappos employees voted on which designers to place in the program, and she was in, Evon confirmed.

“We want this to be a platform to give that up-and-coming designer a break into the industry,” he said in an email. Zappos requested that she not sell her line at larger retailers while she participates in the “Emerging Designer” program, but retailing her line at boutiques is encouraged by Zappos.

Venius offers 10 styles of turbans, three headband styles and scarves. “I still use classic looks,” she said. “But I changed the fabrication and altered the style.”

Her most popular style is the “Turban Scarf,” which features a scarf-like band of fabric hanging down from the middle of the turban’s back. Her line’s classic/standard scarf features standard earth tones for the yoga crowd, but she also makes the turbans in leopard prints for the fashion people. To raise money for breast-cancer research, she also makes turbans in a pink color. The turbans wholesale for $16 to $35. For more information, contact (213) 222-6072 or visit www.venius.net.