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Juicy's Founders on Their New Line and Life After Tracksuits

Images via Pam & Gela
Images via Pam & Gela

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Back in 1995, Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor started Juicy Couture with just $200, inspired to design the perfect T-shirt. While comfy tees were indeed produced, the LA label's real cash cow became velour tracksuits, which were quickly scooped up by paparazzi magnets like Paris Hilton. After years of global success, in 2010 the designers sold the line and ventured on their own. Now fully detached from Juicy, Nash-Taylor and Skaist-Levy are ready to shake things up with Pam & Gela, their new "California cool" label launching this month.

After soft-launching their spring 2014 collection last year, the girls are ready to toast the range with fellow Angelenos at Bloomingdale's Century City this Saturday, March 15 from 2 to 4pm. Before their appearance, we sat down with Nash-Taylor and Skaist-Levy to learn more about their post-Juicy lives and if they really meant it when they said they were "the most California people that ever lived."

What are the key differences between Juicy Couture and Pam & Gela?
"We are focusing on what we are into today and not looking back. Our girl has grown up and so have we, keeping the Cali-cool vibe, but adding a level of sophistication. The collection is who we are now and who we have always been: two best friends, creating what we love."

What are your thoughts on Cali's current influence on the fashion world?
"We think the SoCal aesthetic with the native sense of ease and casual chic has infiltrated the fashion world in a major way. Who doesn't want to look kick-ass and be totally comfortable? This vibe is taking over the world. We started the trend of translating athletic wear into fashion in the '90s and today we are obsessed with a new, sophisticated, casual luxury vibe."

You once said that you were the "most California people that ever lived." Do you still feel that way?
"Along with our obsession with California we also love to crack each other up. It was a hilarious quote and of course we don't think we're the most California people that ever lived. We think we're the most f*ckin' California people that ever lived—just kidding!"

Who is your current LA fashion muse?
"Joni Mitchell is our musical inspiration – the song California is our anthem. But our real muse is the California lifestyle. Hiking above the hills of Malibu in December on a perfect 80-degree day is pretty inspirational."

What inspired Pam and Gela's spring collection and what's next for the brand?
"The inspiration behind the brand, like everything we do, is to design clothes we want to wear. We are currently selling in the UK, Hong Kong Japan, Russia and Germany just to name a few. We keep spreading the Pam and Gela love around the world. We are also working on an amazing website that will launch later this year. Accessories are in the pipeline."

Would you ever be interested in opening a Pam & Gela boutique in LA?
"Yes, we would love to open a Pam and Gela shopping experience. We are looking all over the city right now."
· Pam & Gela [Official Site]
· Juicy Founders Are the "Most California People That Ever Lived" [Racked]
· How California Has Become the Fashion World's Greatest Muse [Racked]