IN THE SECOND YEAR OF MY LIFE IN LOS ANGELES, I caught myself on one funny thought: somewhere in early June, I was leaving my apartment in the morning wearing a light dress. In the exact moment of stepping out, I was sharply pierced by a thought: is it summer all around the world already? It is definitely summer in LA. Where did winter go this year? How did I miss it? After all, according to the calendar, between off-season months and summer, there should be winter. Everyone had it. I saw it on Instagram. I was 100% sure. And I got lost in my thoughts for a good 5-7 minutes thinking about it.
During my years in Chicago, I was so used to wrapping myself in layers of warm clothing every year from early September until late May or even the middle of June. It was kind of a matter of fact. Winter in Chicago is much colder than in my hometown in Russia, by the way. And here is the main confusion: I jumped out of my hoodie and an unbuttoned coat complete with a beanie (a Californian must-have accessory) into a dress. No warm boots, wool hats, or thermal underwear. It is a rather strange feeling to live in permanent summer with short breaks in the off-season. But I will not argue, the feeling is very pleasant.
It is no coincidence why the shores of California are called the Best Coast. California has amazing nature from snow-capped mountains on one side to sunny beaches on another. It has creative minds and relaxed-yet-progressive vibes all round. Angelenos have a unique mix of the great taste of style and desire and opportunities to create. And they do it!
ANGELENOS STYLE THEIR WARDROBE with a full set of so-called “every-occasion” accessories and they build amazing brands which are also sustainable. Additionally, year by year, more and more existing local brands switch to more sustainable ways of producing. All kinds of ethically sourced materials, including eco-conscious cellulose acetate and fully recyclable packaging, limited long-lasting pieces or pieces made from scratch to order, charity donations – all of these qualities become a must when it comes to sustainable conscious brands. And it makes the accessories no less than wearable art. So here we are: let me share with you my list of all-season, local, eco-accessories from Los Angeles.
Handmade Unisex Sunglasses
LET’S START FROM THE MUST-HAVE when you are in sunny California – sunglasses. Not just a regular pretty pair of sunglasses but handcrafted sunglasses made from plant-based products.
AKILA is an independent eyewear brand based in Los Angeles whose aesthetic and philosophy I absolutely adore. Their frames are handmade from eco-conscious cellulose acetate which means that the final product is biodegradable and renewable. It takes almost two months to complete a pair and requires nearly 100 steps from start to finish.
AKILA offers a handful of unisex frame styles in various colors at “anti-industry” pricing, but each release is incredibly limited. Moreover, the company collaborates with independent artists and brands to bring new ideas to market. Currently, you can catch your pair from their latest collaboration with Nagel Estate and Grateful Dead.
ADDITIONALLY, AS PART OF THEIR ECO-FRIENDLY PROCESSES AKILA plants a tree for each pair of glasses sold on their website in partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects. You can learn more about the work being done and how you can help via link. And last but not least, AKILA will take care of your old AKILA glasses by repairing and donating them for reuse. In return, they will pay you and send you a discount code for a new pair! Just send your pair to them and get an amazing bonus!
One-of-a-Kind Handcrafted Hats
TO BE QUITE HONEST, the very first Teressa Foglia Hat Studio and Shop was opened in New York, not in Los Angeles. Two years later, Teressa, the owner, and the hat maker, opened the second location in Malibu Village. And it is the spot where you most likely will have a chance to meet Teressa personally.
A TERESSA FOGLIA HAT is the most unique and outstanding piece you could have in your wardrobe. Each hat is made to measure and is only a one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art. Custom hat orders usually take 3-4 weeks. Teressa uses the highest quality of ethically sourced materials, and no two hats are ever created the same.
“Designed to last forever, consciously sourced fur felts and Ecuadorian/Panama straws are used with handmade leather sweatbands, silk interior liners and vintage trimmings from around the world. Using antique tools, I sand the fur to perfection and add fire to distress and polish, making this hat the most cherished in your collection.”
Teressa draws inspiration from travels around the globe. And every Foglia hat has its own soul by virtue of a touch from the past, whether it is a piece of decoration from a local Californian market or vintage silks found on a flea bazaar in France hand-embroidered or painted on-site, often by Teressa’s creative partner, artist Tyler Hays Wild.
100% Sustainably Made Bandanas
DO YOU KNOW that 90s bandanas are back in style? You can use it as a plain kerchief tied around the hair, a turban, a neckerchief, a face mask, or even a top. You can also make it simpler and just wrap a bandana around your wrist like a cuff bracelet as well as use it as an accessory for your pockets and your bag. A bandana is a super versatile unisex accessory, any way you tie it.
Bandits Bandanas is an artist-driven sustainable-made bandanas brand. It was founded by a couple, Nicole and Connor Humphreys, inspired by the free lifestyle of Bali island in Indonesia. Just imagine a combination of authentic cafes, colorful fabric markets and farms, barefoot entrepreneurs, and incredibly beautiful sunsets.
The brand collaborates with artists all around the world to create unique and limited-run bandanas with never-before-seen designs. The company has created over 40 different bandana styles for any discerning taste. I have no doubt you can find your future favorite fabric accessory in their online store.
ANOTHER REASON I LOVE THE BRAND is that they give back 10% of proceeds to an organization of the artist’s choice. Since the official launch in 2018, they have donated over $70,000 to charities around the world.
Pss, Just remember: bandanas are the multitool of the fashion world.
By Sasha Tattooing
BY SASHATATTOOING IS AN LA-BASED BRAND of hypoallergenic temporary tattoos, organic cosmetics, and accessories launched by adorable award-winning tattoo artist Sasha Masiuk.
I have had a chance to chat with the Art Director of the brand, Yana Grishchuk, on why so many adults choose to cover their bodies with fake tattoos.
“THE PHILOSOPHER CONFUCIUS was against the practice of tattooing because he propagated that the human body is a gift. And we produce a real gift for those who agree with Confucius but still admire the aesthetics of a body inked with flowers, swallows, geometry, or any other type of drawings. Hypoallergenic temporary tattoos are the best alternative if you are not ready for the real thing. They are waterproof and safe for any skin type. They look so real and work perfectly for any party or even on a daily basis. They are safe for kids, however, we design them for adults both women and men.
We create intelligent tattoo designs that look stylish whether you are on vacation or going to a theater premiere. Floral motifs on your neck or shoulder can be much more elegant than a necklace or bright earrings.” – claims Yana.
I personally think that tattoos are a great way to decorate your body. I have some. And until you will be ready (or not) for the real one, you can have a lot of fun playing with patterns and spots on your body.
SELVA IS A TRUE CALIFORNIAN BRAND inspired by the local lifestyle, travels, fashion, and the ocean, of course. The brand was founded by friends who grew up together in SoCal. Each piece is hand-made from scratch to order and every piece is truly unique for every customer. Selva’s style is sharp and modern and at the same time it is recognizable.
“Selva was a concept started on the idea of designing high-quality metal goods that one could wear on an everyday basis for a reasonable price. Offering rugged and clean timeless styles handmade from quality precious metals in Southern California. Crafted and designed for different lifestyles, each piece is simple, yet a staple for the classic modern man and woman.” – Selva website.
Surf and Coffee Shop
MY LIST CANNOT BE COMPLETE without one of the main Californian “accessories” (excuse me for the title) – surfboards! I have for you not only a brand but the whole shop and as a bonus – a coffee shop, located in Newport Beach. This shop is basically a surfer’s heaven: you can go there to pick up and demo your future favorite hand-shaped surfboard, treat yourself to some vintage finds, lush green plants, hand-crafted mugs, and vases made by local ceramicists and surfer-cool apparel, of course, or just fuel up with delicious coffee and relax all day long reading a book.
DayDream is a specialty coffee and surf shop, as well as a cosmic, creative portal, as the owners like to call it. Inside of the portal, you can find a selection of home goods, ethical skin care products, books, vintage items, cool hats, t-shirts and more clothing, and pretty little everyday items that are transformed into art by the intentionality of the makers. The shop is owned by Kyle Kennely and his girlfriend and business partner Becca Mantei.
DAYDREAM SELLS SURFBOARDS MADE BY LOCAL CREATORS like Kris Hall, Christine Brailsford Caro, Andrew Doheny, Troy Elmore, Tyler Warren, Tanner Prairie, Marc Andreini, and many more. Also, you can test ride surfboards with the Surf Club demo program. “In an effort to break down the price tag barrier that comes along with surfboard experimentation, we seek to provide wave sliders looking to experiment with all types of high-quality boards from hulls and logs to bonzers and keel fishes so that they can tap into a style of surfing that suits them best. ” – Becca and Kyle say.