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Rhea Cortado

Stories by Rhea

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From Real World Wearables to Targeted Messaging, Challenging Assumptions at West L.A. Tech Conference


Retailers and brands put their heads together at the Fashion Digital Conference, held at the Olympic Collection and Banquet Center in West Los Angeles on May 19 to dig deeper for answers of how to improve their apparel businesses with technology.

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Fashionable Fitness Gear for the Active Minimalist

Olympia Activewear

A fan of minimalist home design and fashion, designer Kaili Lickle was turned off by standard offerings of highlighter-hued tank tops and complicated leggings she saw when shopping for activewear clothes.

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Artisan-Driven Boutique Production in Coastal Mexico

The Quality Skills Center

It was never Amber Sellers’ dream to have her own accessories and apparel factory—until she discovered what she could do with it.

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SIMA Image Awards

Surf Industry

Surf Industry Manufacturer’s Association (SIMA) hosted its Image Awards on Feb. 13 at The City National Grove of Anaheim.

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Capturing the Style of the Endless Summer

2014 Waterwear

The reintroduction of vintage surf brands seeks to recapture the excitement of surfing's apparel pioneers.

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Stone + Cloth: From Kilimanjaro to Downtown Los Angeles

Stone + Cloth

Matthew Clough's hike up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania inspired the mission for his accessories company.

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Business-to-Business Technology Solutions for Fashion Are Gaining Traction


Walk down the trade-show aisles 10 years ago, and most likely every desk had a stack of paper order forms. Today, it’s more common to see customers tapping an iPad to take notes and place orders through an application such as NuOrder.

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Jacob Davis: Denim From Street to Stage

Jacob Davis

Their double lives give them added insight into menswear market research.

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Vans Expands Boardshorts Program

Vans Boardshorts

Vans hopes its loyal shoe fans will become boardshorts fans too.

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Tortoise Jeans: Getting More Wash Using Less Water

Tortoise Jeans

Tortoise uses an ozone process to alter the jean’s color

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Iron & Resin: American Ingenuity

Denim Report

Thomas Hill’s and Jackson Chandler’s goals

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A.N.D. Jeans: Sean Barron Takes Denim Back to Raw

A.N.D. Jeans

Sean Barron has figured out

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The Modern Version of a Vintage Brand

New Resources

More and more frequently, brands are looking backwards in their history to move their inspiration forward. Designer Jason Bleick rediscovered the famed surf brand Hang Ten on the racks at Kohl’s.

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The House That Surf and Skate T-shirts Built


When Brian Hirth started screen-printing in 1977, T-shirts were not the fashion item they are today—but “a walking billboard” for a restaurant or other local business.

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Pose Lets Users Search and Shop on Its Social-Media Platform


Fashion bloggers who post photos of their daily outfits on social-media platforms may earn a ton of “likes”

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Aloha Sunday: Dressed in Sunday's Best


Kahana Kalama opened the shop Aloha Sunday in San Diego to give boys a selection of gentlemanly yet rebelliously cool and upgraded products that were not their father’s trouser brands or shave creams.

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SIMA Image Awards Salutes Breakout Brands

Surf Industry Honors

The Surf Industry Manufacturer’s Association (SIMA) Image Awards is like the Academy Awards for the surf set, in which industry peers vote on last year’s breakthrough performances and visionary directors.

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Fashion Film

FASHION FILM from Matthew Frost on Vimeo. Fashion people are the best at making fun of themselves. Lizzy Caplan stars as the charmed ingenue in “Fashion Film” by fictional boyfriend Matthew Frost. So many quotable...

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Freedom Artists: Wearable Art on a Tee

Designer Profile

Imagine going to a cool art-gallery opening—except instead of canvases and glossy prints hanging on the walls of a white room, it’s T-shirts with the photographs, paintings, illustrations and collages printed on them.

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Catch Surf: Bringing Back Classic Surf-Lifestyle Clothing


It’s like a Hollywood surf movie. New Yorker, skater and occasional seasonal surfer George Arzente moves to Southern California and his dreams of fun in the sun are shattered by the diehard locals.

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Minimale Animale: Dare to Bare

Visual Tease

"I love that the one-pieces are the sexiest," says Cassandra Kellogg about her swimwear collection, Minimale Animale. "There's just something about being just barely covered in the right places that I think is really sexy.

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Making the Cut in Downtown LA


By the time the designer of Lolli swimwear, Vy Nguyen, arrived at J. & J. Cutting & Marking Inc. with her samples, she had already produced with two different swim manufacturers in Los Angeles but was “unhappy with the quality.” Lolli is known for cutesy oversized bows and ruffle adornments that are tempered by skimpy, seamless lines and complicated cutout shapes.

Tradesmen and The General Store open in Venice

A pair of beautifully-designed stores have opened on a part of Lincoln Blvd. in Venice block that was previously naked of any cutting-edge retail: Tradesmen, stocked with classic, “easy, well-made masculine” clothes that will transform boys into handsome men; and The General Store a...

Surfers Get Sentimental: 2012 SIMA Waterman’s Ball

The SIMA Waterman’s Ball brings out a different side of surfers—they put on suits and they get sentimental. The annual fundraiser held at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Nigel pushed the final tally past $6 million raised for the SIMA Environmental Fund over the course of its 23 year history. During the silent auction...

First Launch LA Show Takes Off

In its first edition, the Launch LA trade show made good on its promise to showcase young and new brands chosen with a curated eye. For many exhibitors, it was their first trade show ever. The heavy ...

Aussie Lorna Jane is Expanding in California

Lorna Jane Clarkson had the chance to cash out her fashionable fitness clothing company of 120 stores in Australia. Clarkson said she passed, “I hope it doesn’t sound cliche. I really want to inspire women.” The founder was in Los...

Shop Trucks To Park Downtown

Now that the market has swelled to a whole traffic jam of shopping trucks, they have collectively organized into tidy parking lot parties like their food truck siblings. The next event featuring Shop Truck LA, Le Fashion Truck, BNIB, Rolling...

Quiksilver Opens New Women's store in Malibu Lumber Yard

Women ruled the wooden deck of the Malibu Lumber Yard during the Quiksilver store opening party on Tuesday. Inside the first flagship store for the women’s division of the brand, customers could see a deeper look into...

Thursday Friday, Everyday Totes

You can tell that the two friends behind Thursday Friday bags, Roni Brunn and Olena Sholomytska are smart. Not only are the canvas tote bags clever (printed with trompe-l’oeil images of iconic designer satchels), they can also articulate their origin story with...

Sean Woolsey: T-shirts to Lighting

Back in 2005, we did a story about Sean Woolsey's t-shirt line Status Foe, here. He had a cool graphic eye and placed prints in a way that more interesting than just a center logo. He called V-necks before they were a commonplace...

Anymatic Expands Its Made-to-Order Printing Technology


Anymatic founder William Cawley knew it was possible to simply transfer an image onto a piece of fabric through sublimation printing and then cut that fabric to make a pair of boardshorts. The trick ...

R.B. of McD Launch Party at I.Bazaar

R.B. of McD founder John McDavid Lehman III (pictured) is “a sucker” for L.A. Mill Coffee’s orange-infused cappuccino (to wind-up) and Black Black Old Rasputin beer with iced coffee (to wind-down). In the organic way that things happen in Los Angeles, Lehman’s posh R.B. of...

The West is Dead at What Goes Around Comes Around

Will Cheng (pictured left) and Kaelen McCrane (right) are very normal guys. “I love looking at this stuff,” said Will of the rare loud vintage for sale at What Goes Around Comes Around on March 13, where they showed their line, The West is Dead. “But I...

Monrow: Classics Perfected, Made in L.A.

At the heart of Monrow is a killer-fitting sweatpant. Otis College of Art and Design classmates Michelle Wenke and Megan George launched Monrow’s clean, sophisticate...

Stila Loves L*Space

It’s supposed to be winter right now in Southern California, though the thermometer has read otherwise lately. When those overcast clouds decide to arrive, the new Stila Loves L*Space makeup palette is a handy cheater trick to getting...

Surf Expo Increases Buyers

ORLANDO, Fla.—Exhibitors at the Jan. 12–14 run of Surf Expo said they were keeping their heads above water and moving forward wi...

Big Surf Expo

photo by Sharif Hassan PhotographyThe numbers are officially in.

Wheelmen & Co. Bikes + Mustaches

Two things that are inexplicably hip and guys are into right now: bikes and mustaches. Based in the Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles, Wheelmen Co has both. Owner Bradford Ryan Riedell (what else could be done with a handsome name like...

All Grown Up at Agenda Long Beach

Overheard in the aisles, Agenda is like the new ASR. The newest edition at the Long Beach Convention Center on January 5-6 showed the breadth of categories that were merchandised roughly by skate, streetwear and surf brands in the cavernous cement floored space. With more space to stretch its limbs, Chris Overholser of Vans said that it was the first time the brand...

Hanger Appeal: Ditto Recyclable Paper Hangers at The Gap

Imagine seeing all these paper hangers, on repeat, at The Gap at The Grove.In the last minute Christmas shopping rush at The Grove, I noticed that The Gap had these cool cardboard hangers made by Ditto throughout the whole store....

Groceries Shopping

Groceries is very ambitious. According to the 20-something-year-old boy founders, they aspire to the environmental responsibility ethos like Patagonia, a vertical production chain like American Apparel and locally sourced...

Insight + Blackbox Distribution Sample Sale

A look from Insight’s Holiday 2011 line.Hello sample sale season for the holidays! For those in the shredders all way south, Blackbox Distribution is cleaning (ware)house in Carlsbad. They will be selling samples, overstock, and limited...

Shopping for Charity, Divine Design

Costume Designer Patricia Field received the Iconic Fashion Visionary award from Darren Star, producer of Sex and the City.As the auctioneer Vanessa Thanos at Divine Design said, you can’t take it with you to the grave. Thankfully for Project...

Welcome Stranger: VSTR Site Launches

Jesse Faen formerly of Insight is now working with VSTR, a new steezy men's brand that's under the big umbrella of Quiksilver, but supposedly operates completely autonomously. VSTR set up rack during the...

Three Stores in One: Undrest Opens on Melrose

Undrest is stretching out its limbs and growing new branches. The brand’s new store on Melrose Ave. (formerly on Robertson Blvd.) is like three mini shops under one roof: the original Undrest lingerie and loungewear; Undrest By The Sea swim and resort...

L'ecole: School's in Session on Melrose

The headmistress, the teacher’s pet, the troublemaker. L’ecole, (meaning “school” in French), has a cheeky uniform for every academic character. The new shop marks Laura Sfez’s resurrection of L’ecole after pausing production for 2 years. But the...

Apolis: Common Gallery Grand Opening

Apolis Film: Behind-the-Scenes, Creating Apolis: Common Gallery from Apolis on Vimeo.Apolis describes its philosophy as a “social enterprise that equips and empowers people through opportunity instead of charity.” Its special projects have provided...

A Lingerie Addicts Support Group Meets at Faire Frou Frou

Faire Frou Frou’s Lingerie Social co-hosted with blogger Treacle aka “The Lingerie Addict” and Claudette bras was indeed a lingerie junkie’s version of an alcoholic’s anonymous gathering. These were the truly obsessed. “Is that Miss...

Opposites Attract

Laverne and Shirley. Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda. Co-designers behind Leyendecker Jessica Moss and Lisa Guajardo are a riot on their YouTube channel. Jessica spits out the shock and awe, “You might see a boob or two today… We got a job to do. So I...

New Face of Freya

Once upon a time, the only choice for full-figured busted girls were the most unsexy straight jacket-like white bras held up by utilitarian thick straps. Not anymore. Freya’s sharp and newly re-launched website highlights the youthful, fun and fashionable face of the...