Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Local Clothing Line raw earth wild sky Holding Holiday Open House Today

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raw earth wild sky founders Karen Kananen and Samantha Robinson, with two of their designs

It seems that quality home-grown fashion lines are popping up all over our neighborhood lately (see the recent Buzz stories on Bikie Girl Bloomers and Aella Women’s Wear).  Today, Friday, December 4, another distinctive local collection – raw earth wild sky – will be holding an open-house and sale, just in time for the holidays.  We asked the designers, Samantha Robinson and Karen Kananen, to share the story of their unique clothing.

What are your backgrounds…and how did you get interested in fashion?

Samantha, who lives in Brookside, started her career in London after graduating from Harrow College of Art (now University of London). Leaving her native UK, she ventured on to Sydney, Melbourne, New York and finally Los Angeles, working for a wide range of labels such as French Connection, Nicole Farhi, Country Road Australia, Fenn Wright & Manson and Elle Apparel.

Karen, a Pasadena resident, is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and has in-depth experience in the LA market working with larger sales-oriented companies and smaller ‘hands-on’ contemporary lines. Before establishing raw earth wild sky, she was the designer behind another successful contemporary label, ‘eco-ganik,’ selling to many well-known and influential stores. 

What was the origin of raw earth wild sky?

We are long-time friends and had both worked for a variety of other companies, big and small, and felt strongly about creating a business of our own that would bring jobs back to LA (especially for skilled workers) and do something good for our planet. We both gave birth to children within a year of each other and really wanted to make a difference in our lives for them. We also wanted to help protect our environment and improve how we leave our world for the next several generations.

How long have you been in business…and how are most of your products sold?

We launched our line in January 2007, and the clothing is currently sold in boutiques across the country.  We will also soon offer on-line sales through our website, rawearthwildsky.com.

How would you characterize the raw earth wild sky clothing line?

Drawing on inspiration from our international backgrounds, raw earth wild sky emanates a modern sophistication inspired by the world around us and the timeless Bohemian nature of California.  Each piece is hand-made in Los Angeles using organic fabrics and earth-friendly methods in its creation.  You can see our current lines in our fall and winter/holiday lookbooks.

rews3aWhat distinguishes your line from others?

We are known for our unique tie-dye techniques, and casual yet versatile pieces made in extremely comfortable organic and recycled fabrics…all sourced in the USA, and proudly hand-made right here in Los Angeles. Our fleece jackets, heavy jersey knit dresses and tie-dye tees are best-sellers.‎ They’re easy to take from office to weekend, easy to care for, super comfortable and great for the environment.

Who’s your target customer?

Women from 25-55 years old…but we’re extremely fortunate to appeal to a broad range of people and have customers ranging from their late teens to over 70.

What’s the price range?

The line retails at $79.00 for a short-sleeve tee, up through $175.00 for dresses, around $220.00 for jackets and top price of $305.00 for a faux shearling coat.  It’s more expensive because we use top quality organic/eco fabrics from the US and make the entire line locally in LA.

What are the driving principles of your business?

raw earth wild sky is committed to doing its part, no matter how small, to help our planet. We strive to use only eco-conscious materials and maintain high standards with responsible business practices. We are dedicated to keeping a skilled workforce in Southern California and 99% of our fabrics are sourced and produced in the USA  (think of it as ‘in-sourcing’ as opposed to ‘out-sourcing’!). We also have a premium requirement of purity in our raw materials, as well as our production and manufacture, paying close attention to all our products from cutting to finishing. Our contractors are all ethically and socially responsible, paying fair wages and providing good working conditions. Finally, using only the best organic and sustainable fabrics, the garments are all produced with low-impact dyes and recycled water to reduce our environmental footprint.

Any plans for your own bricks & mortar store some day?

We would LOVE to have our own store in the future, and hope to make that happen after we launch our on-line selling in the new year.

In the meantime, where can people find your clothing?

We do not currently have a studio in the local area, but we would love to be in a store on Larchmont. (We will keep you updated on our location search.) We are also in Layeredon Ventura Blvd. in Studio City.  And our friend Paula Carlotto (a great jewelry designer) has a lot of our pieces on her fashion truck called Alegria Bazaar, which is at the Larchmont Farmers’ Market on Sundays and travels around town to other markets and pop-up sales. She mostly carries limited edition pieces from our line and is taking part in a great local sale tomorrow (Saturday, December 5) at 540 N Gower, in the Larchmont Village neighborhood. Check out her website calendar for more dates and locations.

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What are the details of your open house today?

It’s our annual end of year sale.  We’ll have lots of great items at huge discounts off retail and wholesale (clearance prices start at just $5 for some samples and seconds).  Also, our friends Jadie & Paige will bring their cool brand of humor to the sale, with a great card/jewelry line called VCG Finery…it includes a fab jewelry collection of ‘facetious gems.’  They’re all perfect gifts for the holidays.  Please spread the word and bring family, friends and co-workers!  When and where:

Friday – December 4th 2015
11.00am – 7.00pm
937 South Mullen Avenue, Los Angeles 90019
http://www.rawearthwildsky
(Cash and credit cards only, please)

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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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