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Ryan Holliman Finds Inspiration in the Moon, Ocean and Venice

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Images by Samuel Ramirez

Ryan Holliman may have grown up in San Diego, but his roots have always been with his English family. Having visited London each summer as a child, he got a taste for the fashion industry early in life when, after a stint in college, he decided to move to LA and intern with Nina Garduno of Free City. During that internship he learned the ins and outs of everything from production to press and sales. It only made sense that, following the internship and a buying position for a San Diego boutique, he start his own line of womenswear.

Holliman's line, appropriately named HOLLIMAN, is inspired by beach culture and features boucle, leather, and the core fabric, a four-way stretch mesh. The collection includes everything from underpinnings to dresses and jackets and is designed to take your look from day-to-night. "As long as you have leather pants and a fur coat, you can take my whole collection and travel the world," the designer explains.

Holliman has lived in Los Angeles on and off for several years but he has finally set up permanent shop in the heart of Venice Beach. We took a trip to his studio, nestled away right off of Ocean Ave in a sea of palms, to witness the shooting of the lookbook for his current collection and to chat a bit about the up-and-coming label.

Who is the HOLLIMAN girl?
"That woman who wants to show off but doesn't want to show everything. For the girl that's not ultra-precious but likes nice things."

What inspires you?
"I'm inspired by the moon hitting the water. When I look at the ocean and see the moon hitting the water at night, that's what I look for in fabric and textures. Also, I'm extremely inspired by the idea of wet cement. Music. The Smiths and that sort of thing, stuff that's a little melancholy but a little edgy with energy at the same time."

Describe your design process.
"Finding amazing fabric first and designing second. I don't sketch out a full look and then try and produce it. [Instead] I go on a hunt and see what fabrics I can find and what fabrics my people in New York can find and I design off of that. I think, 'What can I do with this fabric?'"

Why did you choose Venice Beach for your studio space?
"I think it's a really creative area, there's a lot of trailblazers out here. I like that not only is it a hub for the arts, but it's also a hub for technology. Every time I go out, I meet the coolest people, everyone's from somewhere else and they've moved here. Whether they're working for Google or a new photographer or they're styling for someone. The new stores are coming here. I like to be by the water, I love to go and hike Malibu. The Westside is changing a lot and getting in here now is important because I think in a few years it will be hard. People are realizing that the Westside isn't so boring."

Where are some of your favorite places in the area?
"Tasting Kitchen and Gjelina are really good. Also, anywhere I can eat sushi; I like Wabi-Sabi. I would say my favorite stores?I'm completely in awe of Elyse Walker in the Palisades, I think she's an amazing woman, she lives it, she breathes it, she does it. She supports a lot of great designers and has good business practices; those are the kind of people I want to surround myself with. Of course, I love Satine."

HOLLIMAN is available exclusively at Satine in LA, as well as Gambucci and Gerhard in San Diego.
· Holliman [Official Site]
· Satine [Official Site]
· Exploring Mimi Jung's Creative Side at the Brook&Lyn Studio [Racked]

Free City

1139 N Highland, Los Angeles, CA 90038 323-461-2226 Visit Website

Satine Boutique

8134 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048 Visit Website