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.
For more than a quarter-century, Merry Richards Jewelers' experienced gem gurus have helped patrons repair beloved baubles and add pizzazz to their soul vessels with a number of high-fashion ornaments including diamonds, pearls, and heirloom-quality watches. Snatch up elegant trinkets from designers such as Dolceoro (starting at $175) and Andréa Candela (starting at $200), who skillfully craft silver jewelry that sparkles brighter than a constellation made of neon beer signs. Lau International fashion jewelry gives wearers virtual access to catwalks and dogstands all around the globe (starting at $125), and dress-shirt sleeves looking to tame split, flat ends can find solace with a pair of classy cuff links (starting at $300).
Family owned, James & Williams Jewelers has been ornamenting fingers, wrists, lobes, and necks with designer and handmade jewelry since 1962. Charles Krypell's round-weave sterling-silver pendant hangs simply from a piece of black cord ($300), and the Honora diamond-and-pearl drop earrings dangle like ripe, freshwater oyster-formed berries upon a stem of 14K white gold ($275). Engagement ringsmiths include Simon G., Peter Storm, and Bez Ambar, with Scott Kay also lending his metal mettle to the men's cobalt wedding band ($290) and other masculine finger belts.
Established by a flaxen-haired pair of jewelry designers, Team Blonde tenders eye-catching creations among a host of attractive boutique items and spa services. The studio houses beads and baubles ideal for making earrings, bracelets, or a whimsical Eye of Agamotto. Spirited crafters can choose to create either a beaded bracelet or three pairs of earrings, after which a Team Blonde jewelry guru will add clasps and ear wires to each matchless masterpiece. Classes are kept to the intimate size of 5–10 adornment artists to allow for individualized attention and to avoid impinging upon the endangered earring's delicate ecosystem.
The three generations of diamond doyens at Martin & Martin, Inc. have paired patrons with jewelry, timepieces, and other finery since 1950, dealing directly with foreign suppliers and diamond cutters in locales such as Israel, Hong Kong, Australia, and Belgium. Exchange vows with a selection of bridal jewelry, including the 16-diamond, 18-karat white-gold wedding ring ($500), or apologize to fingers for hours wasted wrestling pickle jars with a white gold ruby ring ($500). A rectangular white dial graces the face of Movado's ladies' Esperanza watch ($657), and an 18-inch strand of multicolor Chinese freshwater peals ($500) complements bare necks or upscale car antennas.