Inspiration LA I: Rin Tanaka’s World of Vintage

Inspiration LA I

Editor’s Note: From February 8th-9th, 2013, our staff writer, David Shuck, attended the Inspiration LA trade show. Be sure to check out Part IIPart IIIPart IV, and Part V in this multi-part series.


Vintage clothing aficionados of all stripes gathered last weekend in the Spruce Goose Dome in Long Beach, California for the international tradeshow Inspiration LARin Tanaka, author of the My Freedamn series on vintage clothing, founded the show four years ago and it has since blossomed into one of the biggest vintage and heritage wear events in the world.

Inspiration LA I

“Upgrade” was the theme of this year’s show and Tanaka attracted over one hundred different heritage wear brands and vintage dealers from all over the globe. There was an incredibly varied crowd as well, as rockabillys, surfers, bikers, dandies, preps, and greasers gathered to trot their wears and pay their homage an era gone by.

Inspiration LA I

Below you’ll find an assortment of smaller brands and scene photos from the whole event, but we were also able to snag interviews and sneak peeks with The Real McCoy’s, Blue Blanket, Railcar Fine GoodsEat Dust, and Levi’s Vintage Clothing. Look for those to drop in the coming days.

Inspiration LA I

Inspiration LA I

Chopper Fever

Biker inspired denim label Chopper Fever set up nearly a full garage at the entrance. Their denim features a special leather patch near the hem for old school motorcyclists – they have a history of burning their ankles on the exhaust.

Biker inspired denim label "Chopper Fever"

Biker inspired denim label "Chopper Fever"

Ace Boots

Ace Boots is based in LA but currently only available in Japan and Europe. Hopefully that will change soon because their chunky soled footwear is absolutely beautiful.

Ace Boots - Inspriation LA I

Ace Boots - Inspriation LA I

Chippewa

Veteran bootmaker Chippewa also showed off their wares, which are now all made from Horween leather. The one that caught our eye was a sleek lace-to-toe boot with a Christy sole.

Chippewa - Inspriation LA I

Chippewa - Inspriation LA I

YKK

The men of renowned zipper manufacturer YKK stood out from the crowd by looking normal. What was extraordinary, though, was their massive spread of vintage and replica zippers, buttons, rivets, and buckles.

YKK's brand reps.

YKK’s brand reps

YKK's massive spread of zippers, buttons, buckles, and rivets.

YKK - Inspiration LA IKoromo

Japanese brand Koromo showed off their indigo dyed jackets, made from the same material as judo gis. Another amazing find only available in Japan.

Koromo - Inspiration LA I

Koromo - Inspiration LA I

Edison Manufacturing Co.

Edison Manufacturing Co. produces functional handmade and hand-dyed leather accessories in San Diego.

Edison Manufacturing Co. - Inspiration LA I

Edison Manufacturing Co. - Inspiration LA I

Filson

Filson displayed its perennial line of twill luggage and wool outerwear.

Filson - Inspiration LA

Vintage dealers stocked everything from commemorative sweaters to century old military garb.

Vintage dealers stocked everything from commemorative sweaters to century old military garb.

Vintage Productions

The scope of the camo patterns at dealer Vintage Productions defied comprehension.

Vintage Production - Inspiration LA

Fein Und Ripp

Germanic label Fein und Ripp boasted one of the largest collections of deadstock goods in Europe. That’s an unworn prisoner’s uniform from 1920s Finland on the left.

German deadstock dealer "Fein und Ripp"

The world's largest pair of overalls

The world’s largest pair of overalls

Inspiration LA

Inspiration LA

Inspiration LA

Clutch Magazine

The crew from Japanese streetwear magazine Clutch was on the scene and invited everyone to sign their mannequin for the event. We made sure to leave our mark too.

Clutch Magazine Mannequin

But that’s not even the half of our Inspiration coverage. Stay tuned for our conversations with:

Kento Tsujimoto and the team at The Real McCoy’s 

Kento Tsujimoto, The Real McCoy's

Miles Johnson of Levi’s Vintage Clothing

Miles Johnson of Levi's Vintage Clothing

Keith Hioco of Eat Dust

Keith Hioco of Eat Dust

Antonio di Battista of Blue Blanket

Antonio di Battista of Blue Blanket

And the whole team at Railcar Fine Goods

Inspiration I - Railcar Fine Goods

David Shuck

David is the Managing Editor of Rawr Denim. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado.

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