In Los Angeles brand Adaptation’s view of L.A., it’s a skate or die kind of story for spring.
The ready-to-wear brand went deep on skateboarding’s roots in the city to draw inspiration for a spring collection bolstered by collaborations with Ocean Pacific, Dogtown Skateboards, East L.A. chain-stitching firm Truth Never Told and Vans.
“I wanted to talk about Los Angeles skate and I’m not a skater,” said Adaptation cofounder and chief executive officer Ali Fatourechi of his starting point for the season.
The ceo and Genetic Denim founder did his research, which took him to Dogtown and the birth of skate culture in the early Seventies.
“It’s really important to go back and pay homage to people who helped pave the road for L.A. skate,” Fatourechi said. “I went to Dogtown and really wanted to tell their story through the collection.”
Through research is where Fatourechi saw repetition of many skaters donning Vans and Ocean Pacific corduroy shorts, hence the collaborations with the two companies.
Iconix Brand Group chief marketing officer Jamie Cygielman reiterated that natural fit with the Ocean Pacific brand, given Ocean Pacific’s roots in surf and skate. The brand is certainly seeing success currently with a resurgence in heritage brands, sparked by interest from a new set of customers.
“We’re seeing with this new generation of Gen Z and Millennial consumers that they’re liking a nod from the past, but with a new modern interpretation,” Cygielman said.
Adaptation will fete the spring collection’s launch and Maxfield pop-up at a private event Thursday evening it’s calling “Adapt or Die,” complete with a full pipe built out on the Maxfield parking lot and photography exhibition of work by Craig Stecyk, curated by skater and interior decorator Scott Oster in the retailer’s Jean Prouvé house (Oster also handled the pipe’s design). The brand will take over the Maxfield men’s space to show its collection, which includes Maxfield-exclusive denim, jackets and other items.
Adaptation will also take over the space across the street from Maxfield’s main Melrose Avenue store for a pop-up open through Feb. 11.
The temporary shop is best described as minimalist with accents of the same plywood used for making the ramps across the street. There’s also an area of the store that will allow people to build their own boards.
“Everything I do is about authenticity, doing research and trying to get to the nucleus because I feel like those are the stories that are important and those are the stories that outsiders don’t have access to,” Fatourechi said of Adaptation’s overall influences from Los Angeles.
It was his and cofounder Davis Church’s desire to tell the stories of the city through the lens of insiders that proved the impetus for Adaptation last year. Since then, each season has focused on a different theme, linking the brand with different people from throughout the city or a specific geographic location.
“Given the climate of retail and where things are going, one of the perspectives that we’re taking is we always want to come with new and fresh ideas,” Fatourechi said. “So season to season, we do drastically change our initiatives just so the customer never gets bored.”
Adaptation originally got its start in Fatourechi’s guest house, but about four months ago moved to dedicated headquarters in the Arts District. The entire line is produced downtown and is now sold in retailers such as Barneys New York, Elyse Walker, Montaigne Market, Harrods and Browns.
Continually moving from one point of inspiration to the next helps keep the brand fresh in the founders’ eyes, with Fatourechi succinctly summing up the origin of the brand’s name as being akin to Hollywood’s love of film adaptations: “This is our screenplay of Los Angeles.”