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TheEternal (one word) might be one of our city's best-kept secrets. Only in its second season, this minimalist meets avant-garde fashion label has already collected a host of celebrity fans, including Jessica Biel, Olivia Wilde, Paula Patton, and Rose Byrne, and is swiftly gaining global buzz.
For spring/summer 2012, TheEternal offers graphic printed shift dresses and separates in luxe fabrics, but what really blew us away was the insane range of leather jackets that come in a slew of colors with unique finishes and textures. We had to meet the mastermind behind the line, Michael Abe, so we sat down with him to chat about LA, his brand, and his unexpected dream collaborator.
Racked: How did you get your start in fashion?
Michael: I was always curious and creative growing up in Los Angeles. It's hard not to be inspired by all the different cultures that inhabit the city. I started in the industry right after high school doing design, product development, and branding, which allowed me to work with some really great brands and people. In the last few years I've worked on projects with Ralph Lauren, Simon Spurr, Ksubi, and more.
Racked: What inspired your latest collection?
Michael: Spring/summer 2012 is titled "Absence." It's inspired by the spirit of the '60s, as well as the decline of the classic housewife and the rise of the independent woman. It's a modern interpretation of the post Stepford wife, so the name "Absence" symbolizes both where she has not been and where she has left.
Racked: Your leather jackets are impeccably crafted. What's your secret?
Michael: To me, it comes down to thinking outside of the box and seeing the possibilities with new techniques and treatments with leather. I work with amazing craftsmen that have been working with leather longer than I have been alive, which also helps. When choosing leather I try to go beyond tradition to find something that challenges me. It also comes down to the subtle details, like a specific metal finish, lack of top stitching, and a little fill to give a section heft.
Racked:Who would you love to collaborate with?
Michael: I've always wanted to work with Nike because I think the technologies they have access to are really inspiring. The product they've invented with the Nike Free insole or some of the technical performance fabrics would be interesting to integrate into a collection.
Racked: What's next for TheEternal?
Michael: I'm going to work on the fall/winter 2012 collection and continue refining my process while pushing myself beyond my comfort zone.
· TheEternal [Official Site]