The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
Sweating by oneself in a gym or underground elliptical bunker can cause blinding rage or the common cold. Work out with pals in the sunshine at the beautiful Exploratorium near the Palace of Fine Arts during five fitness classes with Basic Training. Basic Training's instructors mix strength, cardio, speed, and power into their workouts, and then add heaping tablespoons of friendship and fun to cook up muscle-building, calorie-burning, full-body chemical reactions of delicious fitness.
Since opening in 2006, French Lingerie Outlet has expanded their online collection to include more than 500 types of intimate apparel. With new styles delivered daily, the easy-to-navigate store caters to a wide assortment of shapes and sizes, stocking bras that range from 32A–42DDD and clothing that runs up to XXL. Even though their endless collections of Parisian-inspired undergarments flaunt flattering prices, they don’t skimp on quality. Sensual teddies and chemises enswathe bodies in expertly crafted satin and lace fabrics, and top-shelf panties cover derrières in styles such as the boyshort, brief, and thong. The lingerie shop even boasts a collection of hosiery, which customers can use to sheath legs or obscure faces for midnight fridge raids.
A white sail propels a 50-foot sailing catamaran out into Biscayne Bay. The wind-powered watercraft belongs to Playtime Watersports, whose captains narrate ocean sailing tours or host private and corporate events as sunsets paint the sky. Elsewhere on the bay, wave runners and pontoon boats—two of Playtime Watersports' other rental watercraft options—churn up water as they drag race with thrill-seeking dolphins.
Despite its name, Playtime Watersports doesn't limit itself to on-water revelry. The staff hosts corporate outings such as Beach Olympics, with events including beach volleyball, sand sculpting, and scavenger hunts.
The family-owned downtown boutique has been outfitting the area with luxury accessories for the past 31 years. Splurge on a Lucien Piccard watch (starting at $200), try on a new pair of Prada or Ferragamo shades (starting at $260), or pick up a pair of cubic-zirconium earrings ($200). Ely-M also stocks one-of-a-kind jewelry, pieces by Lalique and Jay Strongwater, and Movado watches. This Groupon is applicable toward any merchandise excluding Cartier, Tag Heuer, and Mont Blanc.
Though his family has been making jewelry since 1890, three generations back, Jimmy Quiroga truly fell in love with jewelry while marveling at art in museums across Europe. Now a jewelry designer while his wife runs the business side, Jimmy balances modern trends and Caribbean influences with the timeless beauty found in those museums. His necklaces, rings, and bracelets outfit sterling silver or 14-karat gold with pearls, diamonds, and brilliant gemstones such as turquoise, topaz, citrine, and sorcerer's stones. The vivid colors of his work mirror the tropical, festive atmosphere of Miami, which the Quiroga family has called home since the 1960s. Found on shelves in Macy's and Bloomingdale's, as well as in the couple's showroom, the statement pieces have found their way into the wardrobes of celebs such as Gloria Estefan, Shannen Doherty, and Flo Rida. In addition to decorating the community, the company is devoted to giving back. Its social calendar is booked with charity events that support causes such as Alonzo Mourning's Overtown Youth Center, the Miami Children's Hospital, and Jackson Memorial Hospital's Guardian Angels.