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It’s rare to find a fashion brand doing something completely different or unique at this point in the game, but the buzzy three-month-old Los Angeles-based clothing and lifestyle goods company Everybody has found a way to do just that. At a glance, the offerings (thus far) are pretty minimal — white T-shirts, oversized sweatshirts, etc. — but as you may have heard, it’s the brand’s totally unorthodox design process that sets it apart.
Instead of designing in-house collections, each new Everybody product is a collaboration with a guest contributor; as a result, the stories behind each piece, and of course the pieces themselves, couldn’t be more original.
The label is the brainchild of Iris Alonzo and Carolina Crespo, two alums of American Apparel (Alonzo, the former creative director, was at the company for 11 years, while Crespo, former director of kids and graphics, was there for 15). So far, they’ve produced items dreamed up by writers, photographers, and even the 74-year-old chess enthusiast who has played in the park across the street from Alonzo everyday for nearly ten years, and there are many more new pieces in the pipeline to be released online every few weeks.
Kiki Kudo, New York City-based writer, DJ, and chef, has designed the perfect LBD with pockets and cut-outs (form-fitting and functional!). Art collector and man-about-town Jean Pigozzi dreamed up an eight-foot body pillow shaped like a snake eating a house, rendered in African fabrics. True to its name, just about everyone with good taste and a good idea is fair game as a collaborator for the brand, so long as they’re not an actual fashion designer.
If you happen to be in New York City, the brand has set up an “informal” pop-up shop through February 17th, where you can shop new releases before they’re available online. These include Kiki Kudo’s little black dress (perhaps the best LBD ever, because pockets); Prakash Gokalchand’s perfect shirt; a graphic tee designed by model and Gurls Talk founder Adwoa Aboah; and a unisex workman’s jacket designed by NYC artists Mae Elvis and Kalen. You can also join the team in a handful of daily events, from complimentary astrology readings to bento brunching.
“People seem to be connecting with our general optimistic outlook on life and business,” Alonzo says of the brand’s first foray into IRL retail. “They feel like they get a sense of the people behind each product, which is the whole idea. It's not just one garment, it's about the story behind it."
While it’s not hard to see the footprint of American Apparel within Everybody’s cotton basics, it was the ethical mission of American Apparel that the pair felt strongest about carrying over, according to Alonzo.
Everything made by the company is ethically made in the US, a fact that’s embodied by the brand’s splashy debut piece: a 100 percent recycled cotton T-shirt nicknamed the Trash Tee. “We realized there were billions of pounds of cotton being wasted every year,” Alonzo says. “So we thought, why not take what’s in the landfill and try to clean it and use it instead of throwing it away.”
Available in three different fits, the trash tees are “completely knit, cut, sewn, and dyed in LA,” says Alonzo. “Which means that you have workers who are earning the California minimum wage. That goes for every single thing that we make. It’s completely ethically produced, it’s inherent in everything that we do.”
While the trash tees are part of the core collection, you’ll also find a handful of active collabs on the site right now, including a range of unisex pieces inspired by two friends, Margot and Ed. (Margot practices landscape architecture and urban design, and Ed is the founder and director of a boutique production and creative agency.) The items in their collection are reflective of a busy, moving lifestyle, from the oversized sweatshirt ($75) to this really fun, versatile flightsuit ($170).
To combat that “there one day, gone the next” retail cycle, every collaboration made by Everybody will be available for a full year; and to top it off, each contributor will receive 10 percent of net sales of their product the whole time it’s available. To put into perspective, that means that if 1,000 shirts are sold at $100 each, the contributor will receive $10,000.
If you’re not able to head to the Informal Shop but have your eyes on the latest batch of collabs, you’ll have to wait until they’re made available via Everybody.world in the coming weeks. And then what? Look out for more new products this spring and fall, which will include everything from a run of kids’ basics “designed” by a real-life two-year-old, a chic tracksuit designed by Adwoa Aboah, convertible jersey separates designed by 80-year-old gym-goer Dolores Kerr, and even a dog leash designed by — you guessed it — an actual dog.
Everybody’s Informal Shop is located at 142 Henry Street in New York’s Chinatown neighborhood. Check out our tour of it below: