Laura Austin

LA Men’s Market: Rejuvenating Downtown LA

13 October 2014, 22.51 | Posted in Event, Fashion, Interview | No comments »

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Walking around most parts of downtown Los Angeles 5 years ago wouldn’t have been a pretty sight. Bums owned the streets, the smell of urine filled the air, and storefronts were either vacant or not worth going into. Walk to some of those same areas today and something different fills the air, a renewed energy to bring those streets back to life. More and more respected restaurants, hotels and brands are setting up shop, making downtown a much more appealing place to eat, shop, and live. The LA Men’s Market is apart of that movement as they focus on building the menswear landscape in the area. With the start of their second event on October 13, 2014, we reached out to the founder of LA Men’s Market, Kellen Roland, to learn at little more about this relatively new tradeshow and what is happening in downtown Los Angeles…

First of all… give us a brief overview of what LA Men’s Market is:

LA Men’s Market is a curated & intimate collection of the top menswear brands coming together in Downtown Los Angeles to showcase their latest wares to industry leading buyers on a local, national & international level. There is a key focus on building the menswear market in Los Angeles and Downtown specifically as the cities evolves.

Has the event grown much from where it started in October 2013?

Yes.  We have grown and evolved.  This show we have industry leading brands from lifestyle, contemporary, action sports, street wear and the sneaker market.  Buyers are in for a treat.  Additionally, The presentation of the show has been ramped up significantly.  When you arrive to DTLA you will feel the presence of LAMM.

The event has grown in many different ways since its inception. The quality and attention to detail has really been elevated and all brands and buyers who are present next week will see incredible signage in and around the building bringing attention to the fact those in attendance truly make-up the majority of all business done in the top retailers across the US. Downtown LA has also grown in terms of its offerings for food, shopping & general cultural experiences making for an exceptional landscape within which to do business.

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There seems to be a lot changing in Los Angeles, particularly downtown. What do you think is changing and how do you feel these changes are affecting the menswear market in LA?

Downtown Los Angeles is growing and maturing at an exponential rate. Four our five years ago, walking around outside of our building would have been a terrible experience. In just the past year we’ve seen the best of the best from the restaurant, retail & hotel spaces open up shop right downtown. Industry leaders including Acne, Ace Hotel, APC, Tanner Goods, Urban Outfitters, Juice Served Here, Stumptown and a slew of others are planting their flags. These and future developments, including a relocation of Tom Ford’s Fall 2015 runway show from London to Los Angeles, are a direct reflection of the evolution of DTLA and proof that it is America’s next great city.

Being someone who works with, and sees a lot of brands on a daily basis… are there any trends you think brands are gravitating towards right now or is everyone kind of doing their own thing?

Trends are a funny thing with a somewhat negative connotation, as they tend to come and go with brands jumping on and off the bandwagon. Rather than speaking on trends, I am happy to see a renewed focus on quality products made from the best materials available.  Sportswear and functionality has also become a staple within the realm of men’s fashion with the consumer looking for something that not only looks good but also maintains a purpose within their life. When all is said and done, once the public has a desired look in mind it becomes the job of the retailer to offer those garments while staying true to their personal DNA.

What makes LA Men’s Market different from other trade shows like Agenda and Capsule?

First and foremost Agenda & Capsule are beyond important to our industry and have been the vehicle for success for a plethora of the great brands we see in the market today. We are the only show to call downtown Los Angeles home and maintain a specific focus on the stereotypically “smaller” seasons being Summer & Holiday. We offer an opportunity for the best retailers, brands & media in Southern California and beyond to get together and do business in an intimate and inspiring setting.

Do you have plans or expectations of what you would like to this event become?

The expectation is quite simply to create the best environment for business to be accomplished in an enjoyable and efficient manner. The brands, showrooms & retailers already exist; we are just connecting the dots and bringing everyone together in our backyard.

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JBL Launches Synchros S700 Headphone

06 November 2013, 05.58 | Posted in Event, Music, Product | No comments »

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Last week I made my way over to the W Hotel for the kickoff of JBL’s “Dare To Listen” series and the launch party of their latest and greatest headphone, the Synchros S700. Aside from enjoying this party hosted by producer Jermaine Dupri on the rooftop of one of Hollywood’s iconic hotels… I was able to get my hands on and learn more about the reason why we were all there… the headphones. Without going into too much technical jargon these headphones feature JBL’s new LiveStage™ digital signal processing technology, resulting in a sound that that is more true to life giving you a sense of spatial presence. If even that was too technical for you I’ll just leave it at they are damn nice headphones. They just released them to the public and you can grab yourself a pair right here. See more of my photos from the event after the jump.

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Ben Rayner Photo Show

04 April 2013, 02.41 | Posted in Art, Event, Photography | No comments »

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On Thursday, April 4th Alexis Gross & The Gallery next to The Burgundy Room will present 1000, a solo photo exhibition by photographer Ben Rayner. 1000 is an explosion of sorts of Rayner’s brain, with the exhibition aptly featuring 1000 photos spanning the past ten years of Rayner’s subjects covering the walls. A sensory overload of good times, faces, places, objects and dogs- a life collage.

Ben Rayner is a british photographer based in New York. Rayner has had solo exhibitions in New York, London, and Tokyo and has released two monographs of his work “Powerballads” in 2010 and “(Un)Familiar” in 2012 as well as numerous zines such as “Hello Buddy” which was entirely dedicated to dogs. Rayner has shot for magazines such as Vogue, Vice, Dazed and Confused as well as the likes of Nike, Converse, and Adidas.

I don’t think I’d be alone in saying that Ben Rayner is one of London’s finest portrait photographers. A plethora of great talent has stood in front of his lens, from Alexa Chung, to Wolfgang Tilmans, and if it’s good enough for them, it most certainly is for me. Some great editorial features too that shouldn’t be missed, including work for Vice, Vogue and Wonderland.” Alex Bec – It’s Nice That.

The Gallery Next To The Burgundy Room Opening Reception Thursday April 4th 8pm-Mindnight

1621 North Cahuenga Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90028

Everyone’s A Photographer: Opening Party Recap

06 November 2012, 11.25 | Posted in Art, Party, Photography | No comments »

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Full house at Lomography’s space right on Santa Monica Blvd.

Friday, November 2nd I had the privilege of hosting a group photo show titled “Everyone’s A Photographer” at the Lomography Gallery Store in Los Angeles as the winner of their “Win Your Dream Space” competition. Long story short, Lomography offered up their different gallery stores all over the world to whoever came up with the best idea how to utilize each space for an entire month. And I was lucky enough to win their LA location with this photo show I dreamed up involving a group of California-based friends that I have personally been influenced by creatively.

Click more to see the rest of the recap & photos.

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Flat425: A Peek At Chad Muska’s “Deconstructionism”

19 July 2012, 07.32 | Posted in Art, Skateboarding | 3 comments »

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The other night I had the chance to get a sneak peek at Chad Muska’s new Los Angeles art space, Flat425, which is currently functioning as Muska’s studio and a showcase for his latest body of work titled “Deconstructionism”. As the name suggests, all the pieces are based around breaking down materials and reconstructing them to create something new. Which seems to reflect what Muska is going through in his own life. For example one of the pieces is six months worth of shredded information dumped on a canvas and soaked in resin. It is a work in progress in which new pieces are constantly being added, and well… probably destroyed. If you happen to be in the LA area and would like to take a look for yourself you can make an appointment at info@flat425.com. To keep track of what is currently happening inside the studio you can check out the Flat425 Facebook page or Chad Muska’s page.

More photos after the jump…

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Arcade Fire: Los Angeles

09 October 2010, 08.01 | Posted in Music, Photography | 1 comment »

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Thursday October, 7th 7:30 PM- I’m relaxing at home watching a movie under the impression I’m going to have a mellow night to myself.
Thursday October, 7th 7:40 PM- I’m in my car in a mad dash towards LA to make it to an Arcade Fire show.

The other night my friend Adam called me up last second letting me know he had an extra photo pass to the Arcade Fire show at the Shrine Theater in Los Angeles. Considering this was a show that sold out in a matter of minutes, and I had the opportunity for a free pass to see it front and center I couldn’t say no. You only live once right? Arcade Fire put on an amazing live show, if you ever have the opportunity to see them live… do it. More photos after the jump.

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LA Night: Corey Smith

13 May 2010, 08.57 | Posted in Photography, Random | 1 comment »

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Over the weekend I made a stop at Corey Smith’s house up in LA. His living room is a photographer’s dream come true, a built in seamless. So we spent the night messing around shooting photos. More shots after the jump.

Check out some of Corey’s photos from the night on his photo blog.

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