Inspired by Bruin Style
By Jesy Odio '15
Published Apr 1, 2015 8:00 AM
UCLA Clothing wants to bring Westwood college lifestyle to the rest of the world.
Blue and gold and everything Bruin. West Coast sunshine, academic drive and Bruin spirit have inspired the label UCLA Clothing to turn the Westwood attitude into a fashion consciousness.To bring the Los Angeles college lifestyle to the rest of the world, London-based Ideal Europe Ltd. designs and manufactures the line under license from the UC Regents. But why would a European manufacturer that strives to embody the collegiate attitude dedicate all their collections to one university?
“UCLA has everything. West Coast beaches, Los Angeles and Hollywood aspirations,” says creative manager Jo Evendon, who is in charge of projecting the UCLA style in all the marketing campaigns. “It has everything that Europeans find extremely aspirational.” Evendon also notes the sense of community in fraternities and sororities and the contagious team spirit at sports events as some of the factors that create an appealing outlook. From the UK, the company stays up to date with everything that is happening in Southern California, from the men’s basketball recent uniform retro makeover to the football team’s signing of Snoop Dogg’s son Cordell Broadus.
Ideal Europe Ltd. is allowed to use the university’s logo (as long as it is not reproduced in red or yellow, for obvious reasons). The UCLA Trademark & Licensing department on campus approves all campaigns and designs before they are launched to the public. UCLA Clothing finds its demographic in aspirational young adults around the world between the ages of 16 and 25.
“We always keep informing the customer of our background and legacy,” says Evendon. “Many brands don’t have history, and to think we almost have 100 years is incredible.”
In other markets, too, all roads seem to point back to Westwood. The UCLA line launched in Australia, where at the inauguration of their first brick and mortar store, in Melbourne in 2010, the brand organized a flash mob of professional dancers performing a choreography with the familiar sound of the 8-clap. And they decorate their shops around Europe with foam fingers and branded helmets. In response to massive international appeal, UCLA has established licensee relationships for standalone shops and retail counters around the world, including openings in Dubai and Kuwait.
For their upcoming Spring/Summer collection, UCLA Clothing pays homage to UCLA’s sporting history. For each collection, Evendon and her team fly to Los Angeles to capture their clothing in what would be its true natural habitat. The most recent lookbook follows students around campus, catching their breath after a swim at the Spieker Aquatic Center and sun-tanning at the tennis courts between matches. Leave it to Bruins to turn academia and achievement into a fashion aesthetic now sought after overseas.