Sechung Oh became obsessed with street style during a study-abroad stint in Spain, where, as she puts it, “When a fashion trend hits, every girl is trying it out—it’s not like L.A., where everyone is in T-shirts and jeans.” After returning home to Hollywood, the longtime vintage shopper decided to try her hand at something new and sewed up a tent dress—which became her first official product after the buyer at an Abbot Kinney boutique saw her wearing it and convinced her to make more. Sechung started running her basic Singer sewing machine overtime but quickly realized the limitations of flying by the seat of her, er, skirts. Her scrappy solution? To take a pause and DIY a master course in the garment industry, piecing together local technical college classes, a stint doing production at the label Wren, and a gig sourcing deadstock fabric for Reformation.
That last experience, sorting through abandoned clothing and textiles to reuse, convinced her it was finally time to go out on her own (again!). “Seeing so many ugly, discarded clothes made me want to create beautiful things that somebody is going to keep and be excited about for a long time,” she explains. “I’m also passionate about domestic production—to thrive as a country, we need to be able to make things.” So in 2014, seven years after sewing that first fateful swing dress, Sechung debuted a line of boxy, sixties-influenced tops, sleek slip dresses, and cropped pants that would surely draw raves from those Barcelona babes she idolized back in the day. —liz sheldon