Los Angeles was once a desert, until a wise man stole the Colorado River, and took it from arid dirt, to orange trees, to strip malls. For a local clothing company that knows the value of making something from nothing, check out Teruo
Teruo's a brother-run tees-and-more outfit, named for and inspired by their grandpa, who was released from a WWII internment camp with only $25 in his pocket, yet managed to become a successful oil painter, architect, and stained glass maker (but not an astronaut or knight? damn -- so close). The pre-shrunk, tagless, 100% cotton shirts follow the same paradigm of wondrous growth: a horizontal, three-paneled number envisions the sun giving life to a boombox's antennae, while another features a multi-colored, old-school microphone growing from roots in the soil, presumably used by Earth, Wind, and Fire. Other prints shy away from the theme, yet are iconically captivating: a simple, yellow-and-blue striped stereo speaker, a silhouette of the Golden Gate, and a cassette coming unwound in a mess of tape (don't cry -- it was just a cassingle)
Uniquing up the back of each shirt's an appliqued swatch of fabric, chosen via a selection of over 100 from all over the world, from Japan to Bali -- a disappointment of a country that, despite all its water, has yet to sprout a single Sunglass Hut.