I’ve been down here in Los Angeles CA for almost 2 weeks now, and am loving it. I’ve met some of the most artistic and interesting people. I met a real OG (Original Gangster), who has long since retired and evolved from that lifestyle. I’ll leave him unnamed to respect his privacy. He came into the shop around 4pm the other day and visited with us until 9:30pm (we close at 7pm). He was completely enamored with the Ito designs, enough so that he brought his media person back the following day to film and do a promotion of the shop! He was debating in the shop either to keep me to himself or share me with his celebrity friends. But he decided to share me, “your designs are art, and people need to see this”. I was very thankful. If your reading this “Mr.C”, Thank You!
While he was at the shop, he shared his life story with me, the good and the bad and that Fashion always wad a passion in his life. Looking at the old pictures of himself sporting designer fashion was like a history book of fashion from the 70’s-90’s - it was a real treat to see again. His dangerous upbringing afforded him things that most adults could not afford, like Gucci, LV, custom coats, etc. As he explained he bought things of “quality and originality”. He does not understand today’s youth who stand in line to buy a pair of unoriginal Air Jordan shoes that everybody has, simply based on marketing and hype. His point really resonated with me. Many retail shop owners now complain about the “Amazon effect” that has slowed down their businesses. On a larger point, I believe that many people do not go out shopping anymore because there are fewer and fewer unique or interesting shops left. For example, in the San Francisco Bay Area, the most expensive city in the United States, there are only 2 shops the I consider in the area of Avant-Garde. With the extreme and rising cost of real-estate, most small and unique, non-corporate fashion shops, find it impossible to exist. As these shops leave, so does the uniqueness of that neighborhood and the enthusiasm for people to go out and shop.
Next blog: A plausible solution.
This is my OG. I love you Julian (my son)