With a post name like “the Story of the Custom Shirt” readers must be dying for the story (does anyone read this?). Anyway, the whole story about Unique L.A. is that there were more custom t-shirts than any other item.
The event even displayed the not-so-custom I ❤ NY shirt, that makes no sense for LA and I really hope wasn’t selling for very much. I believe you can get them on the street in NY for pretty cheap, or online for even cheaper. Again, there were handbags, some real nice artisan hats, fancy gift cards, but most booths that catered to men really went after the “art shirt.” The only joy found in this fact manifested with $5 custom “art shirt” for sale by the Los Angeles-based company Sub_Urban Riot (get it Suburban, sub-urban). Finally in this sea of expensiveness (yes everything at the event was pricey) a deal screamed out “buy!”
What a popular idea that works, sell stuff cheap. Marketplace by American Public Media keeps proclaiming that the 2010 holiday season is the year of the shopper bargain. Not from any generosity on the part of retailers, but because that is what shoppers want this year and to sell you have to deliver.
Sub_Urban delivered. With their website claiming that they use organic cotton, and the booth attendant nervously explaining that all of their t-shirts have the Made in USA (if not Made in L.A.) label, $5 truly is a steal. His nervousness makes me nervous about the claim though (maybe they are ripping off American Apparel??). With a good quality shirt the t’s make a great gift!
Too many t-shirts! Of note, the custom shirts by Detroit Sprinkles captured a dying era and look pretty cool. The owners make the shirts in their Venice Beach garage and sell them on Abbott Kinney (of course), among other places. They are Detroit transplants. What does the Statue of Liberty say, “Give me your tired, your poor …”
Leaving the t-shirt behind the next beautiful shinning star of the event upcycles (we just learned this word) fabulous gifts out of recyclable and non-recyclable trash. At first it sounds gross, but in actuality the stuff was creative and fresh. For example, old NYC subway metro cards that became the cover for creative address books. The address book pages were created from junk mail / direct mailers, using the already printed fields for your name, etc.
Make Shop Live created a use for the most hated thing in L.A. the Blogs mailbox (maybe I can get my junk mail sent to them?). Other great creations include Tecate beer can Christmas tree decorations in the form of reindeer; and multi-level ashtrays made from old vinyl, though the owners of the booth claimed the ashtrays were jewelry trays, ha! They sold desk organizers re-purposed form old cardboard.
Trash bins also made from the same type of cardboard laminating, and other neat stuff (see pics below). L.A. the Blog gives a big thumbs up to Make Shop Live, and appreciates them teaching our publication about upcycling.
Now let’s get to everyone’s favorite site Look at this fucking hipster and get into just how un-hipster Unique L.A. turned out. The event shoppers themselves were a real let down. Of the few definite hipsters around, the camera phone that snapped all our pictures doesn’t do moving targets very well so few of these gems in the crowd got snapped up. The most eye-catching trend pointed towards decorated lace sweater wear in natural colors with art-deco flavor patters.
Other than that just your everyday person cruising the myriad maze of funky indie fashion and trends. The story ends with a packed elevator down to the street level, goodbye penthouse on the 13th floor and goodbye Unique L.A. If you look at the pics below you can see some of the favorite stuff that made up the day. Oh and on the way out the DJ, she posed for a pic, pretended to scratch records. We love you DJ lady!!!!