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Summerlin is nice. It’s suburban, and affordable. It’s fairly diverse and well planned. There are little bags for you to take on public streets for picking up after your dog. There is no state income tax.
We didn’t plan to come here. Rather, we were living in West Adams, Los Angeles, fulfilling orders out of a storage unit when the pandemic hit. West Adams is great, but it’s kind of geographically low. We couldn’t see a horizon from anywhere inside our house. I think that’s important, especially when you’re going to be stuck at home. Having a sense of the landscape can be calming.
My parents had lived in Las Vegas for the last 4 years, and my sister and her family for much longer. They were in the process of moving into a new home, and had listed their old house on the market. When our lease in LA expired, we asked if we could move in to the old house. We just wanted to have some kind of extended bubble including them, in order to help with child care while our son's school was closed.
So we’re living here now and have been since June. It’s been fine. It’s great to have space, and a hot tub, and to save money. And what would we be doing in LA anyways?
I feel a little bit weird about the optics. Labucq launched as a Los Angeles-based brand. Designer brands have historically been strongly tied to place. Rag & Bone was very New York (via London). The French houses are irredeemably French, as are the Italian houses Italian. Someone could write a book about the respective national characters of these places through the lens of their fashion (Dior and Dolce would be good archetypal characters).
Are we still an LA brand? Is this an important part of brand lore?
I love LA, but I never felt as connected to it as I did in New York. I spent over three years there, but it was less social than the 14 I spent in New York, as a younger, childless working-girl. Going to fashion shows, going to parties. We also dream about moving to Italy for a bit, being closer to our production, and having our son absorb another language before he gets old enough to where it would become a chore.
We’re anticipating for some kind of housing correction in LA—but it seems slower in coming than in New York, or San Francisco. We’re reading a lot about coastal exodus. This isn’t really what’s driving us, rather it’s the pressures of a two year old business, the desire to have some family time when we’re all shut down.
We don’t know anyone here, really, save family. We don’t do much. Haven’t gone to any restaurants. Haven’t been inside a casino. We’ve had friends from the coasts come through on their way to camp in Utah, or Colorado, and that’s been the most fun we’ve had.
The streets are super-wide and smooth. There are pink and beige gravel inserts bordering every house, the sides of roads, nearly everything. The walls are all stucco, and they’re all pink or beige. A common local font is some kind of stylized south-western thing. I am trying to incorporate some of this vibe into our spring collection. Not like shoes for a desert customer—shoes for Angelenos, New Yorkers, Londoners, Parisians, inspired in some ways by the desert. A palette that harkens the faded desert colors with nods towards southwestern detailing.
I’ve been thinking about Kokopelli, and listening to this mysterious song over and over.