It is safe to say that traditionally, NYC is regarded as America’s fashion capital — and ranked fourth in the world according to GLM — with New York Fashion Week and the heritage that stems from SoHo cementing that status. With that said, and as fashion in general becomes ever-prevalent throughout mainstream audiences — with niche, in-the-know brands now becoming more accessible than ever before thanks to social media and today’s ease of communication — the rest of the world is grappling at the chance to show off what creativity it has to offer. That competition is definitely happening within the United States, and the challenger is most definitely Los Angeles.
The city comes with incomparable influencers like Kanye West at the forefront of representing L.A.’s fashion frontier, and the likes of Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God, John Elliott and Chris Stamp’s Stampd right by his side to push the like-minded aesthetic that’s undoubtedly significant in today’s fashion scene. Then there are the Golf Wangs, the Anti Social Social Clubs, and the Brain Deads that travel on their own tracks but are equally carrying Los Angeles up with them. Let’s not forget about the transplants that decided to move to the city of lost angels from across the way, some even coming from the great New York itself – Magasin’s Josh Peskowitz, Publish’s Alex James (originally from New Jersey) and The Blind Barber’s Josh Laub to name a few.
Maybe it’s the sun, the surf and In-N-Out that has attracted an influx of the fashion-conscious to the West Coast. In fact, that has a lot to do with it. We learned that L.A.’s weather and energy works well when it comes to working alongside the fashion seasons, and it’s location and space gives it the advantage of true American-made factories accounting for better quality in products. To explore further, we grabbed the opportunity at Downtown Los Angeles’ only menswear trade show: LA Men’s Market (with its next show happening on October 18 and 19), where pooled together are brands and buyers from across the nation, and managed to sit down with a selected list of representatives to gain insight into their thoughts and observations on the current fashion landscape from both L.A. and NYC — why people are moving west, what elements make L.A.’s stylistic aesthetics worth competing against, and whether or not we should even be comparing the two cities in the first place.