MADE IN LOS ANGELES
THE ERA Debut Collection Aims to Change FestivalFashion Perceptions
Drawing from his previous experiences in the entertainment space, Henry Viens created THE ERA to provide a sustainable and luxurious collection of pieces for the music-festivals crowd.
Chief brand officer of THE ERA, Viens began his career at William Morris Endeavor in the music division as well as the celebrity-endorsements and commercial division. At the agency, he would work on fashion co-branding opportunities for Lollapalooza and other major international music festivals. Viens also worked at Bolthouse Productions on coveted parties outside of Coachella such as Neon Carnival.
The collection features core pieces such as the Alien graphic T-shirt, a fan favorite of the brand, and the Gold Story top, which exemplifies the brand’s focus on luxury and features gold-plated trim details to elevate the piece beyond a simple blank garment. The collection also features short- and long-sleeve T-shirts, hoodies, crewnecks, sweatpants and other bottoms. While the brand offers men’s and women’s categories, each garment produced by THE ERA is gender neutral and can be worn however by whomever.
“Gold Story was something that I came up with because I’m someone who dresses very simply and I wanted a simple item that you can wear out to a nice dinner, and we used these gold-plated grommets and aglets to really elevate these pieces so it wasn’t just a blank garment. The quality is the most important part of this brand because all our garments are really meant to last. You can wash them, go out in them, and you’re going to have a piece of THE ERA in your closet for a long time,” Viens said.
Viens mentioned the debut collection was inspired by things that were personal to him in addition to the things that take him back to his previous career in entertainment such as the graphic tees, which feature cover art from a variety of pop and rock bands including Duran Duran and Def Leppard.
“When we were first working with the design team, we really wanted to test out different aesthetics to see what would resonate the most with the consumer,” Viens said. “I incorporated things that are very personal to me in the collection; for example, I grew up playing tennis my whole life, so we have the Palm Springs Tennis Club crewneck, which features beautiful embroidery. I also have a background in nightlife, so some of the graphics, such as the Alien and the Trips R’ Us were brought about through vintage music flyers for underground raves in Europe and New York. I also wanted to stay true to Los Angeles, which is why I chose to shoot the first campaign at the Hollywood Castle.”
THE ERA has its own completely vertical factory, allowing the brand to produce garments in a more sustainable and efficient way as well as to pivot to the ever-changing demands of the consumer. Each item is made in Los Angeles using recycled and organic cottons, and the graphic tees are print-on-demand, reducing the amount of waste created. The brand also repurposes excess fabric and uses it for samples and parts of the development process.
Viens wanted to release THE ERA’s first collection around Coachella and the festival season as it was such a big part of his career. He also wanted to launch his brand as an alternative to fast fashion and festival outfits that are only worn once or twice, with THE ERA meant to be a staple in closets for more than just festival season.
“It disappoints me to see a lot of fast fashion and seeing people buy something and wear it one time, and that goes back to the ethos of THE ERA, which is something you’re going to have for a very long time, and I think that THE ERA is adaptable for any situation whether its festival season or another event that doesn’t relate to music and then you can wear it year after year at your festival. Whether it’s a specific event or just at your hotel, the purpose of THE ERA is to be timeless,” Viens said.
The brand has collaborations upcoming with other people and brands that highlight and promote the combination of sustainability, luxury and quality. The launch of THE ERA featured an exclusive collaboration with model and recording artist Shaun Ross, who sold a limited-edition T-shirt on his first North American concert tour, further combining the elements of Vien’s career in entertainment with his brand.
Photos courtesy of THE ERA.