The Inspiration Within
Walking around the aisles, my neck was cramping from constantly having to look side to side at all the rad booths. It was overwhelming to the point I had to take breaks before continuing my journey. There were so many varieties of vintage styles and the crowd was very colorful, it felt like I transported back into time. The crowd was full of different cultures, but nobody loves American vintage, workwear, and raw denim as much as the Japanese do. They sure do their homework when it comes dressing accurately to time periods and styles.
As for the vendors and their booths, each booth had it's own personality, like you just stepped into another world every 10 feet. Some were simple and clean, others were very intricate and heavily furnished with much detail. Even with all the different styles, they all streamed together - that's the spirit of Inspiration LA!
These are some of my personal favorite booths and vendors from the show. Met a lot of great people and creative minds. Looking forward to being part of the experience again next year.
All the way from London, Lewis Leathers was stationed at the front of the exhibit and had an impressive line of motorcycle jackets all made in England.
The Levi's Vintage booth was also making a huge appearance at the front of the exhibit, wouldn't expect anything less from these denim mastodons.
Vintage Productions from Huntington Beach was in heavy rotation selling a heavily stocked inventory of high end militia gear.
Wesco Boots, from Oregon had a very clean and refined booth that coincided perfectly with their neighbors from the same state...
...Dehen Knitting Co.!
They had their 2015 collection on display which I'm really looking forward to with their line of varsity jackets. Pictures don't serve these pieces justice, the quality and craftsmanship matches the simplicity and heritage of this brand.
Ouigi (BK Circus) and Jim (Dehen) having a chat during the show. These gentlemen are taking the pages out of a history book and bringing them back to life with their visions. Excited to see these great minds discussing the future of this industry.
Really digging the PF Flyers booth, oozing with American heritage with traditional pendants and a custom soapbox race car made by the good people at Break & Rumble.
The next booth took me a while to take in and appreciate the beautiful pieces on display. The details were uncanny and each in a dramatic standstill of emotion. Hats off to Jeff Decker, bronze sculptor and historian!
Look familiar? RWB had the same piece on display at our booth, brilliant work!
All the way from Tokyo, Button Works had quite the collection of vintage brass buttons, each with a different story to tell. So much detail in their work!
Next stop was a booth by the boys at Railcar Finegoods from Monrovia which was close to my old neighborhood. Met Steve Dang, the head of these operations, and a young entrepreneur with a vision and untouchable skill in making raw denim. Their signature continuous stitch is what makes their products so well made yet affordable. Venturing off into male grooming products, their brand is constantly expanding and reinventing themselves.
These bags are very limited because the material they're made from old Japanese sails that aren't wax coated so the canvas is very durable. Once the last line of bags are sold, these cannot be reproduced ever again. Jerome was very acknowledgeable and helpful explaining the history of these bags - awesome products with an interesting history.
Reminiscing about my younger days wearing streetwear, X-Large reminds me of the good ol' days skimming through my Samurai and Ollie magazines. As there 25th year anniversary approaches, they had 25 years of their shirt designs on display along with milestone collaborations on the table.
The man behind the momentous event, always rocking a huge smile and a nod of respect, Rin Tanaka. Thanks to enthusiasts and pioneers like Rin, this culture can thrive and build. Until next year!