Frieze Los Angeles re: la

ART PROJECT: A contemporary art fair in Los Angeles seemed just the right place for a line that fancies itself more a statement about the city than a fashion label to make its pop-up debut.

Re:la (shorthand for Regarding Los Angeles) launched its second collection and its first pop-up at the Frieze Los Angeles art fair, which is taking place in the city beginning Friday and running through the weekend. It’s the first time the fair is being held on the West Coast and it has pulled in a number of other fashion participants throughout the greater Los Angeles area, including Maxfield, Rimowa and the artist Alex Israel and Matchesfashion.com.

“We’re so excited to be here,” said Katherine Ross, who started re:la with Angelique Soave about a year ago. “We feel the people coming to Frieze are our perfect audience, so we’re going to see what does well.”

The company currently sells through its online shop and has also worked with a handful of retailers, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Le Bon Marché. The label made a name for itself when it began selling last January a collection of T-shirts, sweatshirts, varsity jackets and leather accessories that provided the blank canvases for quotes or words by Tacita Dean, David Hockney, Frank Gehry and other artists.

“Our brand is all about the creative culture of Los Angeles and the spirit of Los Angeles,” Ross said. “Frieze goes along with the cultural community, which is also a world that I know really well so we’re just combining our interest in art and wearing how we feel about things on our T-shirts, sweatshirts, bags, pouches and hats.”

Ross is a longtime executive in the fashion industry, having held positions in public relations and communications at companies such as LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Prada. Her husband is Michael Govan, who is the director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Ross said the goal is to see what pieces do well at the three-day art fair, with the longer-term vision to get into international markets such as Dubai and Hong Kong, taking the line’s Los Angeles love abroad.

“The idea [with the brand] was that we like it here. There’s so much going on here and it was our way of saying all these other people love it here and they’re incredible artists that have let us use their quotes, and there’s more to come,” she said. “We didn’t really feel we were a fashion brand. We just felt like we had something to say.”

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