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.
Melding vintage glamour with modern razzle-dazzle, the owner-designer trio at Fox, Vixen & Co. transforms antique jewelry into new wearable art. Instead of letting customers dip their hands in a mixture of tar and gold tooth fillings, the crew uses heirloom jewels to create sparkling finger baubles ($19–$39). Though handy for luring admiring looks, a textured hammered-steel cuff ($24) can also be used to detain midnight refrigerator raiders. After browsing Chanda earrings ($20), customizable glass-bead necklaces ($65 for a 60” strand) and dental grills, tooth fairies, and other gift seekers may collect faux-croc wallets ($16–$19) in a taupe-satin Clover handbag ($54).
Established in 1912, King Jewelers has proudly styled jewelry and timepiece aficionados from around the world. A pioneer among independent couture jewelers, King Jewelers has built an outstanding reputation steeped in quality, value and first-class customer service.
Since first stumbling upon them as a child in Colorado, Susan Russell has been enthralled with rocks and fossils. The law offices she found herself in for the first 23 years of adulthood, however, were a far cry from the natural surroundings that first catalyzed her imaginative passion. "I wanted to get back to doing something more creative with the remainder of my years," she told The Tennessean in 2010, which is why she supplemented her daytime gig with classes in metalworking, silversmithing, and repurposing tin cans into airplane propellers. By congregating jewelry designers, glass blowers, potters, and painters, Susan has fulfilled her creative ambition at Atelier, where the artisanal ensemble handcrafts original, oft-customized jewelry and art from real gemstones, exotic pearls, and hand-forged sterling, silver, and gold. Each craftsperson builds their designs around the natural materials personally selected by Susan, ensuring that their pieces emphasize the color and attributes of their coral, fossil, tiger eye, or Peruvian opal centers. The store, voted Nashville's Best Jewelry Store by Nashville Scene readers in 2011, ships every creation in a covered and cotton-filled box that you can gift without additional wrapping to an important person or mannequin in your life.
Selecting an engagement ring can be very stressful, especially when you have a salesman badgering you or equally as bad, ignoring you. Village Jewelers attempts to take some of the pressure off by keeping its engagement rings, bridal sets, and diamond earrings in wide-open cases that allow you to reach inside and shop at your leisure. It takes even more of the pressure off by offering free ring sizings, engravings, cleanings, and inspections for life. And if you ever want to upgrade your diamond ring, Village Jewelers let's you apply your original purchase price toward the purchase of a more valuable diamond.
A family owned business inspired by a centuries-old love story, Village Jewelers also offers free prong replacement or re-tipping, free rhodium plating for white gold, and free watch batteries for select customers. Plus, an experienced gemologist is on-site to answer any of your questions about the diamonds.