It's not easy to ignore the impact of our spendy ways on the environment and rising temps (hello, hotter summers and winters in LA), and it's this conscious consumerism that has driven more mindfulness among shoppers and designers alike. That's the inspiration behind new Los Angeles-based label Devore Poole, whose sustainable essentials are helping us downsize our closets without downgrading our style.
You've probably already seen their chic pieces—like cropped racerback tanks, layerable white tanks, drapey culottes, and sleek button-down dresses ($68 to $298)—online at indie designer retailers Garmentory and Tempeste or IRL at Unique LA's fall residency at Platform in Culver City. (The brand also popped up at like-minded label Lacausa's boutique last year, and they're stocked in Portland boutique Perican Bing, too.) Or perhaps you've spotted the brand on LA stylist and Autre magazine fashion editor Sissy Sainte-Marie Chacon, who's known for her whimsical-minimalist aesthetic and who recently professed her devotion to Devore Poole and its eco-cool practices.
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The nearly two-year-old label was founded by by Southern California natives and friends Lindsay Poole and Eva Devore, who tell us they immediately bonded the moment they met. Between the two of them, the local designers have over 20 years of experience in the industry: Poole previously worked in product development and design for K-Swiss, American Apparel, Heidi Merrick, and Lacausa; while Devore cut her teeth at fashion showrooms around LA before building her career with Merrick, where she was media design and marketing director for six years.
"We both said we didn't want to have a line of clothing unless it gave back in some way, or stood for something important," says Poole. While working side-by-side under LA-based Merrick (who produces her own California-luxe line locally and responsibly), they bonded over their desire to create their own fashion company with meaning — further convincing them that they'd found the perfect business partner in one another.
The environmentally-conscious line uses deadstock fabrics for its elevated wardrobe staples: Think washed crepe de chine silk, micropleated rayon, and textured cotton in monochrome hues, to name just a few. The designer duo's timeless silhouettes mean garments never look dated, making them the perfect fashion foundations for any season.
Devore Poole also focuses on ethical manufacturing (those who make their clothes earn a fair wage) and made-to-order production, which allows them to cut down on reducing waste and overstock. They're clearly doing something right, as their spring 2019 collection has been picked up by more boutiques across the U.S., including Texas boutique Abejas and Chicago's Manouche, as well as slow fashion e-tailer Rue Saint Paul.
We recently got to know Poole and Devore to learn more about their local roots, how they knew they'd make a perfect partnership, how LA inspired their designs, and more. Read on below, then shop the brand online here.
Where are you both from, where do you live in LA, and what do you love about your neighborhood?
Lindsay Poole: I grew up in Thousand Oaks [in] Ventura County, and only 35 miles north of Los Angeles. It breaks my heart to hear about the recent happenings in my hometown, and my heart goes out to all those affected by the recent shooting at Borderline and the fires that are currently raging through California.
Growing up I spent a lot of time outdoors, hiking, driving to LA to hear bands play, and frequenting the nearby Malibu beaches and thrift stores in Ventura. I now live in Lake Balboa after living in Thai Town near Franklin Village for several years! In Thai Town I enjoyed the ease of walking through Griffith Park, and the neighborhoods that led up to it. I fell in love with East Hollywood and [that part of town] in general. My new location in the Valley is cool because I don't have to spend a half hour trying to find parking to go out to dinner, and there are some good eats and old diners hidden throughout. The thrift shopping in the valley is A+ too! I get excited about being in areas where there are people coming together from all different walks of life.
Eva Devore: I was raised in Long Beach, and I have lived in this city for most of my life. For several years, I moved around Los Angeles, but my heart always brought me back here. One thing I cherish most about Long Beach is its diversity: It's home to such a rich medley of people, culture, food and music and brings travelers from all around the world. The sense of community here is so inspiring and strong, it truly is one of the friendliest cities in Southern California. The architecture here is unexpected and beautiful, many of the original art deco buildings still remain downtown and the neighborhoods are all different little pockets, each with their own charm.
For the last five years, I've lived downtown in an amazing Tudor Gothic building built almost one hundred years ago. There's such a rich history here, it's held secret drinking quarters during the prohibition era only discovered a few years ago, throughout the '30s, it was a grand hotel, and during WWII, the building housed many of the top naval officers and was actually nicknamed the "Home of Admirals." My neighbors have the most interesting stories to tell, especially the ones who have lived here for decades!
In terms of creating a fashion line, how did you two know that you were each other's "The Ones"?
LP: There are certain people that I instantly vibe with very naturally, and Eva was definitely one of them. We would get into deep and interesting conversations on different ideas we had and morals we shared, and although we both have a lot in common we brought different skill sets to the table that complimented each other. After our conversations I just knew she was going to be the business partner that I had been hoping for.
ED: Lindsay and I clicked right away. When we began to open up to each other, we began to realize that we shared a common vision and understanding. I'm reminded of this whenever we bounce back ideas, so many times, it's as if we are reading each other's minds. It trips me out in the best way. I think working alongside each other for over a year before we began our line really solidified our bond and allowed us to respect each other's drive and work ethic.
Were there any particular moments that inspired you to prioritize sustainability in Devore Poole?
LP: From the very start. In 2007 I worked with an eco-friendly company in production, and that was really eye opening. Having worked with both local and international companies I was able to gain insight as to the different ways people were managing their business, the types of materials they were using, [and so on].
ED: It was a natural choice for us. We first crossed paths working in the industry, and throughout our different and shared experiences, we really began to understand the impact of the apparel manufacturing both on the environment and humanity. To just make clothes wasn't enough for us, we wanted to make beautiful clothes that women would enjoy, and at the same time, still caring for the planet and its people. It only made sense for us to take a sustainable direction going forward.
How does Los Angeles inspire your designs?
LP: Los Angeles is home to us, and I think people are always inspired by where they come from. I love that we have the perfect combo of city life and nature. I have always been drawn to natural textures and the color and motion of the blue grass that covers a lot of the surrounding hills we have here. Structurally, I'm always drawn to the clean lines of midcentury modern architecture. Maybe the combination of these things is subconsciously reflected into our collection with clean lines and natural fabrics with texture.
ED: As an Angeleno, I am moved everyday in my design process, there is endless beauty in this city. I have always been really inspired by the constant flux of the path along the metro blue line, which has taken me from Long Beach to Los Angeles for over a decade. Since I got rid of my car, I take public transportation and walk everywhere. Because of this, my sensibility for clothing has also changed.
Since I am almost always on the go, I really appreciate designs that are multi-functional. I want to wear something cool, but it also has to be comfortable, wearable, quality, and made with care and purpose. [And] Lindsay and I both share a love for texture!
What can we expect to see for your next releases?
We have some exciting vintage releases happening very soon, as well as our Core collection which will be available spring 2019 online and in stores!