Congratulations to Monsivais & Co for surviving one year of brick and mortar!
Classic and vintage menswear will always amaze me, because it’s so different than regular fashion. Sure they might be about profits and sales, but only here will you see CEOs and designers actually interacting with people in person and online. There’s a sense of camaraderie, since we all like this very niche facet of clothing. And, perhaps, most interesting, it’s one of the few industries where its a good move to have a physical shop. While places like J. Crew, Banana Republic, and even Nordstrom are moving online, places like Drake’s and Bryceland’s have expanded their brick and mortar reach. In terms of Los Angeles, we’ve seen The Bloke, the Wellema Hat Co., and Monsivais & Co make that leap. The latter is the focus of today’s blog post.
Now old readers and leftovers from my days of The Fedora Lounge (and other vintage groups) will be familiar with Monsivais & Co. Damian Monsivias was one of the first vintage people I met when I first started wth vintage. At the time he was a photographer who sold vintage with his girlfriend Sarah and made custom vintage caps in his free time. While I have never been a cap guy, I firmly believe that he makes the best in the world (similar to how Cody has mastered fedoras). His caps aren’t just the regular flat caps that you can get at Goorin Bros.; his are made in painstaking replications of vintage caps from the 1900s-40s, complete with leather sweatbands, pleating, and true period fabric. There’s a reason why workwear and tailoring guys have become clients.
Obviously his business has grown and afforded he and Sarah to open up a physical shop in Highland Park, a stone’s throw away from DTLA. Spencer and I have only been a few times, but it’s a great store, featuring plenty models of his caps, their latest vintage picks, and a workshop behind the sales counter. We covered their grand opening which offered a taste of the vintage/workwear scene that we’d come to get more familiar with at Inspiration! Now after a year of continued success, they’ve expanded their product offering with canvas engineer caps, leather totes (maybe jackets someday), vintage-style tees, and scarves. Sarah has even started to do chain-stitch embroidery (in the form of patches) on a 100-year old machine.
They celebrated their one year with a pretty chill party this past weekend. There was beer, live music by Jonathan Stout, and dee-lish burgers by Burger Shop CA. A few people were in attendance, but there was some surprising support by pedestrians wondering what the event was about! Even though it’s not an inherently vintage event, Spencer and I used the opportunity to dress a bit more period than we do now, keeping with our hosts. Though in retrospect, workwear would have been just fine!
Spencer has a pretty summer appropriate outfit that utilizes his treasured cinch back linen trousers from RRL. The combo of grey on white isn’t really something that people do in summer (Navy blue and browns are common), but I like it, especially since Ethan Newton did a variation for Pitti. It’s something different to consider when creating a warm weather outfit.
Let’s talk a bit about the jacket. It’s the SJC salt and pepper workjacket made of a hearty chambray. It’s pretty damn cool with nicely shaped lapels and hip bellow pockets. Unfortunately for Spencer, the jacket shrank much more than expected, going from a 40 to a little over a 38. He still wears it from time to time, though he’s pushing for me to take it off his hands.
My outfit is something inspired by something Arnold Wong wore when he was named one of the most rakish men in the world. Instead of a polo, I went with my navy blue Ascot Chang spearpoint shirt, worn with the runaway collar over a 1940’s brown pinstripe suit. I understand that the suit is very period-noticable, so I made it a bit more contemporary with sockless tassel loafers. It’s a similar approach I did for the Natural History Museum Dapper Day Outing, where I wore loafers with a different 40’s suit.
A more contemporary brown DB suit (little shoulder padding, raised button stance, and narrower legs) is still on my list!
Of course, we weren’t the only people who were well dressed at the party! Here’s a couple of snapshots of what happened during the evening.
Again, big congratulations to Damian and Sarah for making it a year with their awesome store. Not only is a sign of great growth, but I always enjoy physical stores so that we’re able to hang out with team and get to attend events like this! I mean you can’t really see some random mall brand (or some streetwear company) do something close to this! This level of openness and community is one of the main reasons that draws me to vintage and classic menswear.
The event was great and allowed us to catch up (and dress up) with our vintage side! We really can’t thank them enough for putting it all together. Be sure to follow Damian and Sarah on Instagram in order to find out about cool products and vintage. They make the best caps in the world and I’m sure that Spencer and Josh Gooch can really recommend them. If you’re in the LA area, it’s worth a visit! Like I’ve said many times, there aren’t many menswear stores to hang out at, let along artisans keeping a craft a live. I’m just glad that I can call these guys my friends and that I can share their work with you!
Always a pleasure,
Street x Sprezza