Is L.A.’s fertile fashion scene ready for its own New Guards Group?
Men’s wear designer Irene Roth, former Kardashian and Jenner tailor Master Tom Markwongnark and former Yeezy executives Cristiano Minchio and Kenneth Anand think so.
They’ve joined to launch Roth House, a luxury atelier, production and distribution company offering sample-making, global production, licensing, sales and public relations resources.
Los Angeles-based Roth is her own first client; she launched her artica-arbox streetwear collection in Paris in September 2018, along with former Vivienne Westwood and Yeezy Apparel chief executive officer Minchio. The idea to set up her own shop with Roth House came out of her frustration with having to produce her samples in Italy.
“I tried to make it happen in L.A.…but it was difficult to get quality, premium product made here,” said Roth, whose line is stocked in 38 doors, including Selfridges, Tsum and Galeries Lafayette.
That changed in September, when Minchio introduced her to Markwongnark, who had just left his post as a tailor to the Kardashian-Jenner family and head of the Yeezy atelier. “I met him, and the opportunity to craft something in my backyard, to be able to work on a product every day, was so incredible. So we formed a partnership to start this business,” she said, adding that the tailor brings with him some of the Yeezy team to the Roth House atelier in Vernon, Calif.
“Tom has the DNA,” said Minchio, touting the couture and streetwear chops of Markwongnark, who at one time had his own namesake fashion collection and Sunset Plaza store.
Roth’s first collection produced in the L.A. atelier will bow at the Tomorrow showroom during Paris Men’s Fashion Week.
“Everyone says fashion is moving to L.A., people are starting to take fashion here more seriously, and we have incredible fashion marketing here with the crossover with music and film,” said Roth, whose full production run will continue to be done in Italy. “But unless we can make it here, and build a solid business here, we can’t own it in the way we want to.”
Roth House will be able to turn out exclusive designs for celebrity, editorial and red-carpet needs. “Celebrities are taking ownership of their own creativity and to do that, we need something like this. It’s not just about doing a licensing deal at Kohl’s. My experience has been, they do want to be involved, to feel it and fit it. They care about the product,” said Roth, a former Hollywood film marketing executive.
The venture is also backed by Kenneth Anand, former general counsel and head of business development at Yeezy Apparel.
“We are equipped to fill in the missing pieces,” Roth said of the services her new company can offer. “If it’s an established brand based in L.A., and they already have production, distribution and logistics all handled but the creative director doesn’t want to go tho China or have the overhead of a team…we can handle that. We free them up to do what they do best.”