In recent years, streetwear has permeated the depths of the fashion world, influencing style across the world. Even heritage European luxury brands like Givenchy and Balmain have embraced the genre’s casual aesthetic. In the American market, a number of brands are embracing the designs of streetwear, but few do it as well as the Los Angeles-based label Stampd. “For us, we’re hitting that in-between — where a certain level of street and a certain level of luxury meet — and it’s presented at a good price point, amazing fabrics and a good cut,” said brand founder Chris Stamp. “So you’re getting something almost on that level, but reasonable.”
Though Stamp was born in Aspen, he grew up in Southern California; so when he decided to start his menswear brand five years ago, he opened up shop in L.A. “L.A. is synonymous with a few things: surfing, skating, beach culture; a little bit more hippy, a little bit more chill,” Stamp said. The choice to start a brand here gave him the mental space to fully develop a concept. “It’s a different energy than any other city,” he said. “It’s a lot more spread out, and you are only involved in, or see things that you necessarily want to.” Stampd started as a custom footwear brand and expanded into a range of men’s accessories. The brand has been doing full clothing collections for the past three years, and in the last year have shown collections at NYFW: Men’s.
“You see a lot of stuff coming back from the ‘90s: bigger pants, more cropped, oversized t-shirts, things with multiple layers. That’s all been a part of what we do.”
The Stampd store is on the second floor of a retail space on La Brea Avenue in L.A., a hotbed of menswear shops. Among its neighbors — Union, Stone Island, Aether, Garrett Leight and Undefeated, among others — Stampd stands out. White walls are offset by the open beam ceiling, and surfboards painted by graffiti artist Futura decorate the walls. Displays are organized with mathematical precision. “I love Danish design, so that level of minimalism mixed in with a Japanese level of minimalism is what I was going for with the store,” Stamp said.
The clothing offered by Stampd is both modern and wearable. Bomber jackets, cropped pants, t-shirts, textured sweaters — the range of staples all have subtle design twists and a muted, approachable palate. “Innately within the collection, it’s a lot of desaturated monochromatic moments.” In the past seasons, Stampd has shown shirts with elongated hemlines and drop-crotch pants. “There’s a lot of ‘90s inspiration,” Stamp said. “You see a lot of stuff coming back from the ‘90s: bigger pants, more cropped, oversized t-shirts, things with multiple layers. That’s all been a part of what we do, and I think it’s been changing on a pretty constant basis since we got involved in making full collections.” In the past few years, Stamp has noticed a broader, positive shift in the L.A. fashion scene. “There’s talented people in L.A.,” he said. “And they’re not just coming out of Paris or New York.”