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Gypsy05's Block Party Has a Design Studio, Dye House & More

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Photos by Elizabeth Daniels

Earlier this year we had a juice with Osi Shoham, the head designer and co-founder of Gypsy05. This week, we're taking the party to the brand's headquarters where Osi and her brother/founding partner, Dotan Shoham, get the work done.

Dotan, who handles the business end of the company, moved to the US from Israel when he was only 24. Seven years later, Osi followed. After working together in Dotan's dye house for several years, they saw a need in the market and decided to create Gypsy05. "It wasn't a conscious decision," Osi said of teaming up with her sibling. "We just think the same." Their responsibilities, however, are completely different. While Osi is in the design room working on Spring 2014 and Gypsy Sand, the recently launched line of swimsuits and cover-ups, Dotan is punching numbers and monitoring current season sales.

One lesson they've learned by working so closely is that partnership is all about respect. The duo, who spends as much time together outside of the office as they do during the week ("Her kids call me 'Mom,'" Dotan joked), call each other every day on the way to and from work to bounce around ideas and make sure they are always on the same page. They just work. "There is something that's more important than it all," Osi explained. "It's family."

We traveled to the brand's facilities where Dotan gave us a private tour. There we saw their offices, the warehouse and dye house, and even those energy saving solar panels. Finally we set down with the duo to find out how much of the buzzing street filled with faces of friends they're actually running. All of it.

Would you say a lot of the line's inspiration comes from your goal to stay environmentally conscious?
Osi: "The environment is a great deal of it. Nature has always been the biggest inspiration for us in creating the line. I think the biggest inspiration about Gypsy is the lifestyle. It's about being comfortable, it's about being connected and I think that is what the collection has represented. The pants that you wear you will feel comfortable wearing at day or at night and they will look cool on you. You will have items that work together. Everything is about being comfortable, being yourself, being creative and being part of the environment."
Dotan: "And traveling is also something that really inspires you to create, to do. The scenery, the views, the people and the cultures."

Dotan, because you travel so much, do you ever bring any design ideas to Osi?
O: "Constantly."
D: "The beautiful thing is that, sometimes I'll come to her with an idea, then two weeks later she will come and say the same thing! I'm like, 'I just told you that two weeks ago!' And she says, 'No you never told me that!'"
[Both laughing.]

You've got everything from the dye house to a warehouse and photo studio on this street. You're taking over!
D: "We're creating a community, we're creating a small street community where part of it will be our company and part of it will be companies that are affiliated in a way. We are trying to create a green area here in the midst of East LA and making a street that will look beautiful and feel different. It's going to be very eclectic."
O: "We're trying to create a pocket of creativity. We just need a beachfront!"

With so many people working under you, who is the disciplinary?
Both: "None of us!"
O: "We want people to come to work and love what they do as much as we love it. For me, when Monday comes, I'm so excited to get back to the office. I want the people that work here to feel the same. We have, around us, people who love to be here and create friendships and have fun. I think that's important, we spend so much time at work and it needs to be fun."

How did you choose this part of town?
D: "Well we stumbled on it."
O: "We didn't pick the area, the area picked us!"
D: "When we moved the dye house downtown, we came across this facility and we decided to build here. This was a warehouse and we turned it into a dye facility. Then the opportunities started."
O: "After that Gypsy started to grow and we had to find a space for it."

What places in the area do you like to hit up for a break?
D: "Little Tokyo."
O: "In the Arts District there is this beautiful place we really like and they have great sandwiches, it's called Americano. Then there is R23, the sushi place."
· Gypsy 05 [Official Site]
· Osi Shoham of Gypsy 05 Loves Thailand, Brad Pitt, Mother Earth [Racked]
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