Over the last two years, designer Olivia Latinovich has been building out her Los Angeles-based namesake brand, which consists of feminine, retro-inspired ready-to-wear and millinery designs.
Having worked for other designers in New York, the Savannah College of Art and Design graduate and Indiana native knew she needed “a bit of perspective,” so she applied for her alma mater’s Alumni Atelier grant program, which would take place in the South of France in the summer of 2018 and offer Latinovich the resources and opportunity to carve out her own designs. She was accepted into the program, relocated to Lacoste, France, and got to work. The designer started with hats (inspired by the country’s love for headwear combined with her prior work experience at Kate Spade), which evolved into something beyond her expectations.
“At first, it was just, the beautiful hat showroom of my dreams,” she explained, “but then people actually wanted to start buying them, so I started making my first sales.”
Following this success — thanks to Lacoste locals and summer tourists — Latinovich’s husband and business partner, Carter Lundy, urged the designer to offer her pieces to a global market. The duo relocated to Los Angeles, where the company is now based, while developing a brand story and voice with Leslie David Studio. Today, Latinovich handles all brand design, creative and day-to-day operations while Lundy handles business back-end and legal.
Latinovich’s hat designs quickly gained traction — garnering celebrity and editorial attention — but the designer knew she wanted to create a larger world for her brand. After trial-and-error with multiple factories, she found the right partner — a downtown L.A., ethical manufacturer — amidst the pandemic in July. Over the last few months Latinovich was able to produce and launch her latest array of rtw on her e-commerce alongside previous millinery offerings.
From the beginning, Latinovich’s designs have been influenced by her personal interests. A love of vintage and Sixties and Seventies fashions; the crafty “make something out of nothing” mentality of her continual muse, Pippi Longstocking, and a French sensibility run throughout the brand. Her latest hat designs range from quirky sailor styles to one-of-a-kind “scrap bin” berets, while fall rtw includes retro minidresses and matching sets designed from deadstock and vintage fabrics, with playful butterfly collars and oversized buttons. Since 2019, the designer has been minimizing her social and environmental impact by sourcing deadstock and vintage fabrics all over Los Angeles.
Opting out of the older, traditional retail model, she offers fresh drops of new, updated and limited-edition styles every few months, at an accessible price-point. Latinovich’s designs and ethos reference the Sixties era of Mary Quant and Biba through their positive, retro sensibility and pricing accessibility. Designs range from $100 to $350 and are available on the brand’s e-commerce site, with hopes to expand to wholesale partners in 2021.