hen it comes to 2019 fashion, streetwear is still king. Brands like Supreme, Stüssy, and even Louis Vuitton, continue to buzz in circles of hype beasts and fashionistas alike. The rise and reign of streetwear is intrinsically tied to social media, with brands like I.AM.GIA proving that overnight success is just one Hadid or Jenner Instagram tag away from blowing up in popularity.
Though breaking into the landscape may seem impossible as a small business, Cherry Los Angeles has shown there’s plenty of room for the small guy to shine in the streetwear scene. While Cherry LA’s re-worked Dickies and bold graphic tees are worthy of praise, their ever-growing success can really be attributed to their bold and brilliant branding. If you’re looking to carve your own path in the streetwear sector, be sure to add Cherry LA to your inspiration board for ideas in creativity.
New to the brand? Don’t worry, we’ll get you up to speed!
The Streetwear Brand to Watch
Longtime friends Joseph Perez and David Levy founded Cherry Los Angeles in late 2017, and it proudly embodies the LA spirit. Rife with ‘90s nostalgia, the brand specializes in printed athleisure wear, graphic tees and some cut-and-sew pieces. The goods are available exclusively online, and occasionally, in random pop-up shops.
Their bold and consistent social media aesthetic on Instagram quickly caught the attention of celebrities like Kaia Gerber, Hailey Baldwin and Wiz Khalifa. With limited stock and product drops, Cherry LA successfully took a play from the Supreme handbook. They used its celebrity stamp of approval and scarcity of product to consistently sell out pieces shortly after their release.
While Cherry LA built success through smart and focused digital branding, it didn’t stop there. The innovative way they capitalized on that success by creating crazy pop-up installations like their famous, ‘Cherry House’, is what really set them apart.
Recognizing that their sales were driven by consumer generated content on social media, they decided to give their fans the perfect backdrop: a house in West Hollywood, painted “cherry red” from floor to ceiling. It definitely paid off! After a year of operation, Cherry Los Angeles was named one of the top streetwear brands to watch in the new year.
So, what can small business owners gleam from Cherry’s success story? Below are the top four takeaways from the brand for a quick lesson in creativity.
A Lesson in Creativity
1. Establish a bold brand image and be consistent.
Cherry LA keeps their look consistent throughout their designs, Instagram posts, and art installations. The ‘90s imagery, bubble letter fonts, and bold colors (white, black, green, and of course, cherry red) make it easy to spot a piece of Cherry LA style. Consistency in your designs and color choices is essential to establish a cohesive look and allows consumers to quickly recognize your brand.
2. Figure out how customers interact with your brand and use it.
One of the most genius things they did was recognize how consumers were interacting with the brand (posting photos to social media) and using it to their advantage. Enter, the “Cherry House”. However, smart marketing doesn’t have to break the bank. While your company may not be able to afford an installation like Cherry House (yet), there are plenty of ways to encourage fan participation that doesn’t cost a thing. Consider using a brand or collection specific hashtag and offering social features or giveaways for sharing the hashtag.
3. Start with the basics, then elevate.
Streetwear is all about looking effortlessly cool. Compared to high-fashion, street style maintains a level of simplicity that makes it more attainable to the average consumer. Start with comfortable athleisure basics like white tees and joggers. Then find ways to elevate these pieces by adding your unique brand style through customization.
4. Know your audience demographics
Cherry LA is good about staying in tune with their audience demographics. For them, it’s trendy millennials who live in Southern California. Their custom apparel embodies the casual, cool Los Angeles style—and on occasion they create designs dedicated to charitable causes for local communities, which is something Californians love getting behind.
The bottom line is that mastering the art of grabbing attention is the key to building your apparel line. Cherry LA is constantly finding new and creative ways to interact with their audience, keep things fresh, and create engaging themes for their designs. Thinking out-of-the-box is a big part of that, and it'll take your apparel line to the next level.