MTV Style: Meet The Tupac Lovin’ DimePiece LA Designers
Combining feminist attitude and an appreciation for Cam’ron, DimePiece LA are doing it girl power style…
As you read this, yet another streetwear label has probably started up online, fuelled by the new generation of Tumblr and Instagram addicts who spend their days seeking out images of accessible fashion by and for the people, usually found via hashtags like #urban #swag #streetstyle and #dope.
One such label to explode on to the scene with the help of their #aintnowifey hashtag, was DimePiece LA, the California-based girl power brand helmed by design duo Laura Fama and Ashley Jones. Founded in 2007, their vision was to create a lifestyle label that took urban streetwear and brought it up to date for right now. Using bold and empowering slogans alongside cult graphics, they have become the ultimate go-to label for an uninhibited style tribe of women with their own unique identity. Hype around the brand has also earned them celebrity fans including Cara Delevingne, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Pink and Nicky Minaj.
MTV Style spoke with Ashley - one half of the label’s dynamic duo - to discuss female wit, West coast abbreviations and Tupac’s Mum. Beyonce was right... girls really do run the world (she also wears DimePiece LA by the way).
MTV Style: So where did the name DimePiece originate from?
We wanted a name that was bold, loud and strong. We wanted to transform the standard definition of what a DimePiece is and make the term uninhibited. A DimePiece is beyond what you look like, it's a state of mind and a state of being.
MTV Style: How did you and Laura combine your individual visions to evolve creatively as one?
We both went to school for business and fashion design, so we kind of hit the ground running. We meshed so well together and were a balance from the beginning (maybe because of our yin-yang opposite personalities). From the design and creation to the sale of the clothes from our first season, it was an amazing flow of energy that hasn't stopped since.
MTV Style: And what’s the core design philosophy behind the label?
I think that explanation is better shown through our garments and consumers. Our brand is very lifestyle and very bold. It's beyond what we sell. DimePiece is a lifestyle and a “someone”.
MTV Style: Who is that “someone”?
I think people are complex and constantly changing, so we don't per say define our girl. Over the years we've seen an array of girls wear our brand. It's more of her state of mind that we see a pattern in with our consumers. Women that wear our clothes usually aren't afraid to make a statement, they are pretty head strong and aren't shy about experimenting with their wardrobe.
MTV Style: You mention ‘state of mind’, which is also the name of your latest drop of SS14 designs. What is your current state of mind?
Crazy Sexy Cool! And doing more, never to be settled or satisfied. Even when we seem content or done, there’s always something more that can be learned and more that can be accomplished…always. We are also trying to focus on surrounding ourselves with people who we admire, respect and who we think are talented.
MTV Style: So who / what are those outside influences when you put a collection together?
We rarely look at what's going on outside of the office in the fashion world, not sure if that's a bad thing, but I think it keeps our influence pure and from our own hearts/minds. Honestly, it's just sh*t we think is cool - our environment we're surrounded with living in LA, what our girlfriends are talking about, our mood, art shows, music, etc.
MTV Style: Humour definitely works its way into your designs, but are you being deliberately provocative with slogans like ‘Aint No Wifey’ and ‘Love Don’t Pay The Bills’?
I think there's a good amount of wit and feminist tendencies in our personalities in general, so all the phrases come organically. I don't think we've ever been like, "Ok what feminist phrase can we throw on a tee now?" A lot of people think our stuff can be offensive but that's just them. [smiles]
MTV Style: Tell us about your homage to rappers - for example with your latest all-pink loving Cam’ron-inspired pieces and your Tupac ‘Gangster Chic’ designs - you’re a female-centred brand, why choose those guys?
I feel a lot of rappers are misunderstood. Behind every strong man is an even stronger woman. I was super influenced by Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, who is a businesswoman, philanthropist and former political activist. So, romanticising Tupac on a skateboard with some roses was no big deal. In our brand imagery we also try to portray real girls in real life, so everyone can relate and feel the love.
MTV Style: Social media and the digital revolution in fashion has obviously helped in building your brand’s success - what’s your take on the future of the industry?
It's ever-evolving. The fashion cycle is just that; a cycle. As soon as you think something is over in fashion, it somehow makes a resurgence. What may seem exploited now, will disappear and come back again just a little different. I'm actually excited to see what happens with social media platforms like Instagram - remember when we thought MySpace was the one? One day we will be saying that about Instagram.
MTV Style: You’ve self-titled DimePiece as a ‘streetwise’ brand and Californians also have their own streetwise linguistic style too, abbreviating everything like ‘So-Cal’ and ‘Weho’ - why can’t you just say Southern California or West Hollywood?!
It does sound like we are speaking a completely different language…it's a vbd out here! (Very Big Deal).
For more info on DimePiece LA, visit their website www.dimepiecela.com
By Kate Lawson