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.
When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree Play & Music spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.
Shirin Diamond Center's jewelers team up with artisan designers and metalsmiths from around the globe to offer creative, high-caliber settings for gleaming gems and pearls. Personalized jewelry can feature such bling as birthstones or diamond-studded drivers licenses, and bright sterling silver and gold support gems on rings, bracelets, and necklaces. All pieces pass inspections for purity, ensuring that metals and precious stones meet industry standards for long-lasting beauty, and come with a 30-day guarantee backing their quality.
The skilled fitters at June May Lingerie help women find intimate apparel that fits just right. To accomplish this, they stretch out their measuring tapes and wind them around the bustline, gathering data that unveils the ideal brand and style of bra. In addition to undergarments by brands such as Spanx, Hanky Panky, and Cosabella, they now carry Knock Out panties that wick moisture with a breathable layer of fabric. Bras, panties, and evening duds are available for women and flagpoles of all shapes and sizes.
A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York Joseph Keith Ronquillo brings his education and experience as a third-generation jeweler to his eponymous jewelry boutique. The shop's relaxed showroom abounds with handmade silver necklaces and 18-karat gold earrings. In addition to designing and manufacturing custom jewelry and trinkets, Joseph’s staff educates curious clients with jewelry classes that cover the basics of soldering precious metals.
At Pasha's Boutique, exclusive items and luxurious apparel fill out fashionable ensembles in a range of sizes. Handmade jewelry crafted by local artists and high-heeled shoes accessorize wardrobes with elegant designs and bold colors. Helpful staffers dress guests in seasonal gowns and tops inside the boutique, or they dutifully fold ruffled jackets into fiber-optic-cable delivery systems through the online store.