LA ROXX TALKS MUSIC, SERVING SEX APPEAL, AND HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR
There are many things you can deny that are still true no matter what; that climate change is real, Trump is racist, fashion and music need one another to exist. The latter holds it's own though, especially in the city of angels, where entertainment and style are nearly one in the same. Fashion is alchemy; allowing a visual personification of something better, something new, something different. And for musicians especially, this glamour can help usher in a new era, a transformation from the outside in. When a brand find its muse in an artist and the admiration is mutual, nearly anything is possible.
The style alchemists doing this work know the power in striking clothing. Take it from LA Roxx, the fashion house with roots in '80s Hollywood, where the name of the game was custom pieces for musicians looking to up the fashion ante. Founded by the Rahim brothers, the house is now helmed by Sharon Rahim, the youngest, who's carried the family legacy to include a ready to wear line started earlier this year. Now the brand dresses everyone from Sza and Charli XCX to Beyonce, in looks like vibrant red vinyl jackets and holographic translucent blue track suits. Easy on the eyes while still packing a seductive punch, the line is streetwear with a diamond sharp edge.
FASHION IS DYING talked to Sharon about the history of the brand, why fashion is power, and what's next for the label.
FASHION IS DYING: I love that your brand is so visually stunning and impactful — you’re loud, and I love it. How would you describe your DNA in terms of aesthetic and message?
LA ROXX: L.A. Roxx was born in the mid 80's on Hollywood Blvd in a time when Rock n' Roll was at its prime. We're talking about the MTV days, the days everyone wanting to be a rockstar with the long hair, heroin chic aesthetic, and "fuck you" attitude. L.A. Roxx had to grow up quick to stay up with demand and back in the days a lot of what we did was very experimental. We listened to what our clients wanted and then just took it a step further, making visually stunning statement pieces.
FID: I have to ask — how does LA influence the brand, if at all?
LR: LA was and still is the most relevant place to be for music and entertainment, and as of the last 10 years, fashion. The brand is influenced by the climate, attitude, and open mindedness that you encounter mostly on the west coast and maybe New York. It seems like you're always late in LA. That might be because of how big LA is or because of the traffic, but I feel like that is part of the culture here, especially now with how fast trends change. Didn't someone once say, “you're only as good as your last design" or something like that? It's kinda true, especially with social media playing a large roll in how people do business now. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you better be good or you're gonna get cut out, fast.
FID: I love that you work so much with interesting materials like vinyl and organza. There’s something kinky and sexy about the brand. How do you want the wearer to feel in your clothes?
LR: I want my client to feel the most confident they can; clothing plays a big role in that whether you want to believe it or not. It's a fact. It's a psychological thing. If you feel good in what you are wearing, you can literally psych yourself out to believe that you can do anything.
FID: Do you have any strange rituals or processes you do when you’re conceptualizing and creating your new collection?
LR: I pace around a lot when conceptualizing. My attention span isnt the greatest and I constantly find myself all over the place. Luckily we are forming a strong team that pulls me in almost every time I start to go off the deep end.
FID: Who are your current muses? What’s inspiring you?
LR: Everyone on our instagram page. Our clients are our muses. They're all different but the same. They get it. We love them and we tailor our looks around them but with our aesthetic in mind. They're doing all the hard work. We just try and make it a little easier for them.
FID: Is fashion dying?
LR: No, I think its shifting as it does every 20 years or so. People think it's a seasonal thing. Not really, maybe the colors and materials change, but the styles repeat less often. We are in this new kinda limbo state again, though, and I'm excited.
The first time I experienced this shift was in the mid 90's, after the Rock n' Roll era sorta died and grunge took over, we were in this weird limbo state where fashion and music started redefining itself. Fashion and music was looking different. More sexy, tighter clothes, less clothes, kinda this weird lingerie/stripper vibe was starting to emerge. Madonna, Gwen Stefani, The Spice Girls, then later to Britney Spears, Cristina Aguilera, Lil Kim, and Destiny's Child. The discovery of stretch and almost stripper like clothing were shocking people and catching the most headlines, that's kind of where I started. I was a lot younger than my brothers who started L.A. Roxx. I kinda caught the tail end of the rock era and by the time I was 16 and working in my bro's shop, I was fully immersed in that new sexy genre. That shift is happening again. Stay tuned
FID: Do you have a favorite piece or set?
LR: Not in particular, we are so used to making new things everyday, that as soon as I say to myself thats my favorite, I'm onto something else for another client that is my (new) favorite.
FID: What’s next?
LR: Tour, film, and music videos, custom clothing for clients, our new collection and concepts, and hopefully a vacation in between there somewhere.
Don't forget to follow LA Roxx on Instagram to keep up with their latest.
Portrait of Sharon by Justin Quebral.