My Los Angeles Adventures

by - Friday, June 23, 2017

We are back our fellow Fashionistas and Fashionistos with a brand new series about our summer adventures called The Adventures of a Fashionista (or Fashionisto). I will be starting this series with my recent trip to the City of Angeles. I just got back from my Los Angeles Study Away Tour exploring the fashion industry on the West Coast. My trip was (not to be dramatic) life-changing, because of the connections I've made, life-long friendships that have blossomed, and the person I have become. 

Day 1

We started the trip at the AG Jeans Factory. We learned how they make their jeans, which is done right in the heart of Los Angeles. The company has a very laid-back vibe with It-Girl Alexa Chung as the face of their recent campaign. I had never been inside a company's headquarters before, so seeing the production of jeans from the fabric in the warehouse to marketing on the design floor was incredible. Next, was lunch on the rooftop of the Standard Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. I highly recommend for the views and especially their fries. Our last location was Melrose Avenue. My friends Addy, Cydney, Paige, and I decided to see how many walls we could get our pictures taken in front of before we had to leave. We managed four walls within the span of fewer than ten blocks. 

Day 2

On Day 2, we started our day in the gardens of the Getty Center. I felt as if I had landed in a magical secret garden because everywhere I looked I was surrounded by flowers. We then proceeded to have lunch at the Grove, which is a major shopping mall in Los Angeles. I couldn't help but purchase some macaroons before heading to Avec Les Filles. If I could choose any company I wanted to work for Avec Les Filles would be at the top of my list. Founder Joyce Azria, daughter of Max Azria the founder of BCBG Max Azria, has created such a beautiful company that feels real and completely down-to-earth. Avec Les Filles is inspired by a laid-back California style with French roots. Joyce and her team were kind enough to take time out of their day to sit down to do a brief Q&A session. We discussed their advice on breaking into the fashion industry and how to stay there. One of their biggest pieces of advice was to "work hard and stay humble".

Day 3

We woke up early and headed out of Los Angeles to Pasadena, where we met up with the costume designer and makeup artist from Once Upon a Time. They shared some advice with us on how to make it in their industry and talked with us about their time working on Once Upon a Time. I loved looking at all of Eduardo Castro's illustrations for the show, they were amazing. We then headed back into the city for lunch at In-N-Out, which is a West Coast right of passage. Our last stop was to the office of Mark Zunino, an American couture designer who outfits celebrities for Hollywood events and creates one-of-a-kind wedding dresses. His office was glamourous and I didn't want to leave. They showed us their showroom with their latest collection, their fitting room, sewing room, and Mark's office where he was busy drawing gorgeous fashion illustrations for his customer.

Day 4

We began our day at the newest art gallery to hit Los Angeles. The Marciano Brother's Art Foundation gallery is a much talked about art gallery located inside an old Masonic temple. The Marciano Brothers are the founders of Guess Jeans, which has recently fallen into some hard financial times. Their art gallery was marvelous with work from some of the hottest contemporary artists. I loved this "America America" sign by Glenn Ligon. Then we headed up to the Hollywood Hills to visit the house of multi-millionaire James Goldstein. The house was built with views in mind, which is why most of the house is made of glass, with an infinity tennis court overlooking Los Angeles, and personal club (Club James which was the location of Rihanna's birthday party) with a whole wall of windows overlooking the city. After taking a glimpse at the high life, we headed down to Rodeo Drive to see where the residents of Beverly Hills like to spend their cold hard cash. I loved walking into some of my favorite designer's stores just to browse their latest collections. Rodeo Drive has my heart! 

Day 5

Our final day in LA started at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), which is the fashion school of Los Angeles with alumni such as blogger and Youtuber Chriselle Lim, reality TV star and designer Lauren Conrad, and fashion designer Monique Lhuillier. We were introduced to the range of classes FIDM offers to students, and they are one of the only schools in the United States with a bachelor's program in social media. Then we headed to the meatpacking area of Los Angeles to visit the headquarters of BCBG Max Azria. We sat down with creative director, Bernd Kroeber, who answered our questions about the company, how they got their start, and internship advice. I asked him what was his favorite part of his job. He replied that he loved bringing a story to life through his latest collection. Our last stop on our trip was the Broad Museum and Frank Gehry's Disney Concert Hall. What a wonderful last day in Los Angeles!

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