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If you're an avid LA fashion blog follower, chances are you already know Chanelle Laurence. She's the cool girl behind the popular The Penelope Times blog and Penelope's Vintage e-shop. After years of sharing her edgy outfits with her readers, now she wants to dress them. The LA native along with her business partner (and beau) Christian Ojeda just debuted a new woman's streetwear clothing line dubbed Valley High.
Designed for badass babes that love to shop in the men's section for the perfect boyfriend-style fits, the new label makes it easy to channel SoCal vibes thanks to dope graphic shirts, snapbacks, and sweatshirts. Here, Laurence gives us a glimpse of Valley High's first collection, spills all the details on how her passion project came about, and more.
What sparked your interest in starting a clothing line?
A clothing line has actually been the ultimate goal for Christian and I. When we were in fashion school together (him for graphic design and myself for fashion design), we knew we wanted to work for ourselves and have a business of our own. [Since we are] both so passionate about fashion it was a no brainer. We believed ourselves to be a strong team.
Have you always wanted to design clothes?
Yes, for my adult life at least. I remember being in class at fashion school and everyone would introduce themselves and say the reason they knew they wanted to be a designer was because they would always design clothes for their Barbies. I questioned if I was in the right place because I couldn't even sit still for five minutes let alone design clothes for my dolls when I was little. But, when I look back at my life, clothing and style have been something I've always been consumed with and what has driven me to be creative and express myself. I may not have designed clothes for my dolls, but I did design my prom dress. It's not about who did what or when, it's about bringing your vision and passion to the table for everyone to share and enjoy.
How did LA inspire the brand?
Myself and Christian are both one of the few LA natives and we are prideful of our city. We didn't want the brand to be all about LA because we didn't want to box ourselves in, but we wanted it to give you that lax, California/LA vibe and transport you to the West Coast when you wear our clothes. We also wanted to show people that think they know LA that it's more than just the Walk of Fame or Beverly Hills. We wanted to take everyone to the outskirts where a lot of the culture resides and where a lot of inspiring aspects of the city are.
Why is it important to you for the clothes to be made in LA?
When we started Valley High we just wanted to get it going. We didn't know how or where we were going to do it, but we knew it had to happen. We ended up working with a friend of mine that I met through my blog who specializes in production in LA and the decision was made for us. Looking back, I can't imagine us producing in any other city because it makes us that much more authentic. Our goal is to keep it out here as long as we can, I know a lot of brands have no choice but to take it overseas, but we're going to try our best to keep it local.
Describe the Valley High girl.
A Valley Girl is someone that's always down for an adventure, but only if she's in the right uniform. She's always on top of trends and is never afraid to try new ones. She's inspired and loves expressing herself, whether through her clothes or another creative outlet. A Valley Girl can be loud and edgy or shy and reserved. As long as her love for fashion resides, she can pull off our goods.
Who would you love to see in your clothes?
Being a blogger and having experience in collaborating with brands and other bloggers, I just want girls that are about our vibe and style to love and live in our brand. I've learned it's not about the number of followers or celebrities when you collaborate, it's about working with people that have the same style and passion for clothes as you do because that is what is going to benefit everyone. I want those girls that shop in their boyfriend's closets or in the men's section because they can't find the edgy style and fits they're looking for, to wear our clothes. I want girls to feel like they're apart of something and gain a certain confidence when they're in Valley High and I want us all to be one happy, Cali family.