Elwood Clothing relaunches with first store in Los Angeles' Arts District
Once a brand inspired by the world of skateboarding, Elwood is reborn around a vintage inspiration. The brand has just opened its first space at Al's General Store in the Arts District, the former punk club where David Bowie, Guns 'N' Roses and Nirvana performed in the mid-80's.
The Elwood brand has a long history. Founded in 1996 by Palmer Brown, pro skater Sal Barbier and Luciano Mor, Elwood was a success in its early days, with distribution in the United States, Europe, Japan and Canada, before being caught up in the inexperience of its founders who put an end to their business a few years later.
Relaunched in 2008 in San Diego, Elwood found with its founder Palmer Brown a second youth, developed its own materials, was interested in denim, organic materials, but the commercial success did not come.
Taken over during the 2020 pandemic by Jackson Wirht, owner and CEO, and with creative director Justin Saul, Elwood has been relaunched around a small team, and completely changes the direction of the brand's style. "Growing up in the surf and skate culture of the 90s and 00's, and Elwood being an defunct skate brand, we saw it as the perfect opportunity to re-launch and evolve the brand to assimilate to a more a current aesthetic", says Wirht. "The same way we saw the market and our personal style evolve."
Obsessed with vintage clothing, the new team imagines collections of basic pieces, tees, sweatshirts, crewnecks, pants, jackets, all washed and presented with vintage effects. "We focused on product first", adds Wirht. "Foremost, we noticed that a lot of brands tend to make clothing that fits in with their brand image creating a product that feels more like march vs. something that you can actually wear 3-4 days a week. We sought out to be the most wearable brand in the market, and being LA natives, we tapped into our personal network to garner attention and eyeballs."
In its first store in the Arts District, Elwood chose an esoteric setting, reminiscent of California desert landscapes, where stone blocks, marble and circular tables match the brick walls. In addition to the brand's collections, a selection of accessories from caps to real vintage pieces complete the selection.
The designers hope to open more stores soon and are also counting on wholesale distribution including Nordstrom. "Elwood will always be an online / e-commerce brand first", tells Wirht. "However, now that we feel like we have that established, we are becoming much more agressive on our physical retail strategy. Expect to see a plethora of Elwood pop ups and retail experiences in 2023 and on !"
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