Retail Happenings: The guy who brought you Alternative Apparel creates new gender-neutral clothing and body-care line
Here’s a quick look at what’s happening on the Los Angeles-area style scene: The bodysuit is back; a fashion couple has rebranded; there’s a new (and mostly) gender-neutral fashion label on the block; and the woman who made many of Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits is back in the news.
Women who were building careers in the 1980s will remember the Donna Karan bodysuit, a comfy number that stayed snug under jeans and skirts. Good American, a denim-focused brand co-founded by Khloé Kardashian and Emma Grede, recently rolled out its own line of bodysuits designed for sizes up to 2X.
“They’re a staple of Khloé’s wardrobe,” said Grede from London (days before she planned to relocate to Los Angeles). “The bodysuit is a versatile garment that got lost.”
The Good American versions come in 11 black and nude styles. New selections will be added monthly. So look for reds and pinks in the future. Current styles range from a simple, V-necked, long-sleeve bodysuit to one with a sprinkling of crystals over a sheer nude bust. The bodysuits are made in compression fabrics for a flattering fit.
The line, priced from $129 to $189, will be sold in 120 Nordstrom stores later this year and is currently available at www.goodamerican.com.
Bucks & Does, the multi-brand boutique founded in 2013 by husband and wife Laura and Jason O’Dell, has had a face-lift. The couple has expanded its store, renamed it the Odells, and added surprises, including a 16-foot yurt on the back patio.
“We outgrew our space,” said Laura O’Dell of the former 600-square-foot location, which is now 2,000 square feet. “We expanded the back and built beautiful fitting rooms.”
The store sells men’s, women’s and children’s clothes, some accessories and homeware items. Momentum has been driven by the couple’s namesake brand, which makes easy-wear pieces including a wide-legged jumpsuit and breezy pyramid dress, adding to top-selling brands Mother (women’s denim apparel), Christy Dawn (women’s dresses, outerwear, accessories and more) and Wolverine (boots for men). The yurt is the venue for the Tomas Vu surfboard project, an exhibition that runs through Aug. 13, in which the New York designer is showcasing his boards (priced at $10,000 a pop). Generally items in the store are around $200 to $400.
The Odells, 3906 Sunset Blvd., L.A., (323) 515-7385. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, theodellsshop.com.
It took a brain hemorrhage 18 months ago and his subsequent recovery to set Greg Alterman, co-founder of Juice Served Here and founder of Alternative Apparel, on the course to create m/f people, a streamlined and mostly gender-neutral fashion line that takes the guesswork out of getting dressed.
“People tend to do the same things every day, use the same products, and I realized there should be a cohesive brand that is about the essentials,” he said.
Last month, Alterman started m/f people with apparel, Peruvian pima cotton tees in neutral shades such as black, gray and white ($48), and skin- and body-care items (starting at $6 for lip balm) such as body scrubs, charcoal toothpaste and shampoo.
On m/f people’s website, the clothing includes polo shirts, sweatpants and shirts, hoodies and Henleys for men, and tank tops, lounge pants and cropped tees for women, as well as a section of the aforementioned genderless items, which make up 65% of the label’s apparel and all of its skin- and body-care products.
“I may do something really exciting and add a navy,” Alterman joked. “My customer isn’t about color. He or she is about taking the minimal approach.”
Susanna Beverly Hills
Susanna Chung Forest is used to working with the some of the world’s most prominent and wealthiest women (Hillary Clinton, Fortune 500 chief executives and Saudi royals). But the designer is expanding her range. Last month, she launched her custom-made Mother of the Bride collection of elegant dresses in jewel colors as well as her version of a sweatshirt and sweatpants with her Luxury Travel collection.
“My customers are the 1%,” Chung Forest said. “They are conservative and elegant, at least in their 40s. I doubt anyone younger would understand.”
She is now creating pieces for the mom who does school drop-offs before hitting her Pilates class or a Birkin-carrying woman-on-the-go looking for something to throw on before a long flight. Her travel-ready sweatpants and sweatshirts are made from Ottoman jersey and cost about $4,000 per set; Mother of the Bride dresses start at $5,000.
328 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, by appointment, (310) 276-7510, susannabh.com.
Already a subscriber? Thank you for your support. If you are not, please consider subscribing today. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 99 cents for the first four weeks.
For fashion news, follow us at @latimesimage on Twitter.