In the Los Angeles neighborhood of Eagle Rock, there’s a portal to a bygone era of America. An era where all the men sport mustaches, clothing only comes in varying shades of indigo, and everything was made in the U.S. of A. This workwear paradise is called Rising Sun & Co. and they had their public grand re-opening this past Saturday.
Rising Sun operates out of an old garage on Fair Park Ave., where they make and sell their clothing under the same roof. The main showroom is part mining saloon, part biker lair with a healthy dose of The Grapes of Wrath. We had the opportunity to talk to owner and designer, Mike Hodis, about the latest incarnation.
He believes intimacy with the production process always will remain essential.
What we had before was a store in the front and a workshop in back, now it’s the workshop in front and the store in back.
A former designer at Lucky Brand and a dyed-in-the-wool devotee to vintage Americana, Mike can talk your ear off about everything from the history of Southwestern biker gangs to repairing old typewriters.
He led guests through the multiple workrooms where he had so many Union Specials and vintage Singers that it’s hard to believe that so many still exist, let alone are in working order. As described in an earlier post, Mike’s jeans are made on a short-order basis – when something sells, they make another to replace it. Almost all of the garments under the Rising Sun label are made in these rooms by hand on these 80+ year old machines.
His vision for the decor is borderline obsessive. The new store is as much a curated museum of the rockabilly workwear aesthetic as it is a retail space. Vintage biker gang jackets hang from the ceiling of the main showroom and Mike is quick to remind that “these are from guys who wouldn’t think twice about stabbing you to prove a point. We’re very lucky to have them.”
The jeans themselves range from pure old-school homage – cinch-backs, suspender buttons and big, blooming cuts – to slimmer, modern silhouettes. All varieties can come either raw, once-washed, or distressed.
Beyond denim, Rising Sun also offers a full line of painstakingly recreated period footwear, tees, shirts, and outerwear. If you ever find yourself time traveling to the early twentieth century, it would be a good call to deck yourself head to toe in Rising Sun gear.
Mike and his team have created something to marvel at and it’s a real labor of love. Even if the rockabilly vintage aesthetic isn’t your cup of tea, it’s almost impossible not to appreciate their devotion to it.
The new store is located at 2246 Fair Park Avenue. Drop on by or check their website; both are a must-see for any denim fan.