Who needs to hide behind a brand alias when the clothing you design is so directly connected to your own personal style? The newest it-brand LPA is named after its founder, former Reformation designer Lara Pia Arrobio, for just this reason. It is hard to draw a line between her debut collection and her own closet, and this is precisely why every editor from Elle to the New York Times is fawning over the line. We are too, and here are our 5 reasons why:
- We love Pia
During her Reformation days, Pia found herself stepping out from behind the creative scenes to become a muse to the multitude of brand devotees. Her style drew a following for its raw honesty, alluring with attitude rather than a use of flair or flash. Oftentimes her only accessory to a slip dress is a bit of swagger and a sneaker, and its this understated confidence that inspires. She is not so overt as she is comfortable in her own skin.
“I dress very sexy and I dress very feminine, I don’t know how to design clothes that aren’t sexy and feminine but I also know that I like to wear a hoodie,” she says of what defines her signature style, a ‘dress down to dress up’ philosophy proved by the core styles she has chosen as her design foundation.
“There’s always going to be a sick leather jacket, there’s always going to be a hoodie, there’s always going to be a slip dress and then a whole bunch of random shit in between.”
2. She’s changing the game
LPA sets out to re-invigorate the contemporary market with a jolt of emotion and nostalgia.
“I don’t know where the fuck a woman who is 29 years old can shop besides the same 4 places,” Arrobio says.
An avid vintage shopper and fan of boutique culture, she wanted to break from the mundanity of fast-fashion and pay homage to a time when shopping was about unique finds rather than cookie-cutter styling.
“When I was in high school, my girlfriends and I would get together on saturdays and go shopping,” She explains. “Within these boutiques were these little brands that had such intense brand identities and were so fucking cool … So now I’m like, ‘ok how can I get this small boutique feel,’ and adjust it to where things have transitioned into.”
Thanks to her partnership with Revolve, the answer was to create an online shop doubling as an intimate glimpse into Pia’s world, complete with cinematic video and a bio written by her mom.
3. The beauty is in the details
At face value alone, each piece is as covetable as a limited edition Supreme collab, or an exclusive one-off from the legacies (see: Assouline, vintage Dolce & Gabbana). But it’s her attention to detail that adds a certain integrity.
“Roses are in every collection, for the most part, because I grew up in Pasadena right next to the Rose Bowl,” she says of a personal calling card that shines in her pièce de résistance: a rose- embroidered leather moto jacket fusing romance with rock and roll.
Arrobio has even taken the time to finesse the fine print, adding secret messages to every care label. Consumers who are curious enough to read the interior tags are rewarded with little notes like “Call your mother,” and “This garment increases your chance of getting laid by 30%”.
“I like that it’s something you might never even see. something you hear about, and then you get excited when you buy something from LPA to see what the label says.”
4. She’s channeling Felinni… and Ferragni
While most emerging brands are looking to Paris for style notes, Pia turns her head to Italy. The look is directly inspired by the streets of Milan- Sporty, feminine, and definitely playful, yet so smart you wonder why you haven’t dressed this way before.
“I’m obsessed with all the Italian blogger girls… they have fun with fashion,” she says.
We are too, just as we are with her circle of friends- a curation of sexy, strong women like Emily Ratajkowski and Lena Dunham, who live out loud and change the rules for female self-expression. They are the kind that we aspire to be, and Pia takes inspiration from their bold personas for her designs and styling. 70’s inspired silhouettes are updated with a little 90’s proportion and a sense of irony. A cobalt charmeuse catsuit reminiscent of Studio 54 is updated with a wider leg and paired back to a sneaker. Plunging v necks are juxtaposed with chunky turtleneck sweaters layered under soft silk camisoles. Sultry animal-printed mini skirts are shown with sport socks and track jackets.
5. Real Girls Only
When producing her lookbook, Arrobio made the conscious call to avoid photoshop and retouching. And while this choice is popular among brands seeking to piggyback on body-diversity marketing, it’s not one she made just to follow a trend.
“If it fucks up sales a little bit because the model looks short, then its my responsibility to make sure I design better clothes,” she says. “I don’t want to have another brand that’s just selling a weird fantasy.”
Arrobio hopes not only to dress left-of-norm celebrities like A$AP Rocky and Chloe Seivgny, but also real, stylish and eclectic women who are looking to fall in love with fashion outside of a glossy magazine page.
“I’m most excited about how many people go to the website, who actually cares enough to go and look at the site and buy shit. And what are they going to buy? And what are they not going to like?” she asks.
If you ask us, we’re buying everything.