It's no coincidence that 34N118W, pronounced “Thirty-Four North. One-Eighteen West”, has a geo-specific brand name that shares the same longitude and latitude as its west-coast locale, Los Angeles to be exact. Just a year ago 34N118W debuted on the scene with its SS ‘16 womenswear collection, marking its aesthetic with relaxed, yet playful notes and conventional, yet stylish pieces inspired by downtown LA’s arts district. So, it's only fitting that recently the brand was selected as Womenswear Designer of the Year at the Gen Art's Fresh Faces in Fashion event, this year’s reputable runway show held in LA no less. With Gen Art’s reputation as a notable, full-service fashion agency known for breeding top-notch emerging brands, the distinction for 34N118W is an esteemed recognition from the organization.
34N118W stayed true to form for the Gen Art runway show, its collection visibly casual, relaxed and chic, playing up prints and stripes via in-season silhouettes like overalls, collared dresses, and matching pants suits. What hits strongest about the collection is not only did the brand remain modern, stylish and true to themselves in offering practical clothing, but nods to key trends of the season were not forgotten; Retro accessory styling was reminiscent of the 70s while denim outfitting and oversized tops hinted at the 90s nostalgia that is currently overtaking fashion.
With the Womenswear Designer of the Year distinction comes not just honor, but tangible marketing services and experimental programming from Gen Art, the 20-year old organization’s notable alumni designers including Phillip Lim, Zac Posen, and Rodarte. For starters, in partnership with the online retailer Spring, 34N118W and other designers from the runway show are currently being featured in a curated collection on the e-tailer’s website, which launched August 11. -- Nia Groce
photos: Volker Corell