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Published
Jul 7, 2022
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Paa fashion brand opens in Los Angeles' Chinatown with first store

Published
Jul 7, 2022

There is a twist of fashion happening in Los Angeles's Chinatown. In the shopping mall of Mandarin Plaza, the bag brand Building Block created by sisters Kimberly and Nancy opened a boutique and studio in 2016. This is also where the label Eckhaus Latta, founded by Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta holds its boutique; where the studio of the ready-to-wear brand Rachel Comey is located; and where the workshop of Hansel from Basel, the socks and accessories brand created by Hannah Buyn is located. A fashion microcosm in the heart of Chinatown that Paa is now part of.


Paa's first store in Chinatown - Bryan W Ferry


Founded in New York in 2013 by two friends, Peter Jurado, former in-house designer for the Ace Hotel group, and Al Verik, a digital expert in the music industry, the brand Paa, an acronym of their first names, found in Chinatown a perfect location.

“Chinatown matched our desire, our budget, a neighborhood with creative energy that invites itself into a community in which we feel comfortable and which is experiencing a new dynamism, like the upcoming opening of Psychic Wines’ bar,” explained Al Verik, co-founder of Paa. “We didn't come for the customer traffic, we mostly believe in the destination spirit of retail, that's how it works in Los Angeles."

Initially born around a collection of three six-panel ball caps rendered in melton wool and flannel, the brand found itself sold in the New York concept store C'H'C'M.

"With the success of the first designs, we started developing ready-to-wear around pocket tees," said Verik. We grew up in the 90s, but our inspiration comes from all eras. Sportswear is our direction and we give special attention to the research of materials, silhouettes."


Paa's jacket made by Grainstop new fabric


Initially made in New York, the Paa wardrobe is designed by the two founders and now mostly produced in Los Angeles, "a practical choice first, but also ideal for denim and knit production, our outerwear line being developed in Italy."

An outerwear line for which Paa's founders have developed their own material, "a fabric we call Grainstop, a natural and synthetic hybrid weave construction that mixes grosgrain and ribstop, a blend of cotton, nylon and linen, and which gives a very textured look to jackets, shorts and caps,” added Verik. 
 
In Paa's wardrobe, jackets in Japanese nylon are presented next to others in wash denim, the choice of shirts alternates between glazed cotton and nylon, the cotton sweatshirts and shorts combine original colors, such as purple, lime green or burgundy, and the T-shirts are loose-fitting, offered in ribbed collar and available in a lavender, kiwi green or bronze palette.


Paa's store in Chinatown - Bryan W Ferry


Distributed in about 20 outlets worldwide, the brand first appeared in the United States, in New York, then in Canada and Japan.

"Since the pandemic, it is Korea that is interested in us. We continue to develop organically and even if online sales have dropped a bit since the post-Covid era, our online growth is strong. The opening of our boutique was essential to show our products to our customers, the selective choice of our materials and our cuts sometimes requires coming to meet us”, said Verik.
 
Chosen in 2020 by the CFDA, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, among the new emerging American talents of fashion, Paa's designers organized their first show in New York, just before the beginning of the pandemic.

"An exciting experience, which gives credibility, puts our brand in the spotlight, and which we will probably repeat soon."

 

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