BY: BRANDON PAVEH
Twenty20 LA, is a boutique based in Los Angeles that fills a void in the trending streetwear fashion movement and provides its customers with access to up-and-coming streetwear clothing brands like Herschel Supply and Co., and Asphalt Yacht Club. Prices range from $25 to $100 for most clothing and accessories pieces, but some items are more expensive and sought out. Items from Melin Brand, a high-end hat apparel company in the streetwear game, can go for up to a $1000, similar to a Louis Vuitton purse or a Breitling timepiece.
Drew Mendleson and Kamyar Rahrovi opened Twenty20 LA in 2013 after completing their academic careers a little over a year ago.
With a depressed job market, Rahrovi, a graduate of the University of Arizona, and Mendleson, a graduate of the University of Colorado, realized that a blue-collar-lifestyle wasn’t a part of their dreams and aspirations.
“We didn’t want a low paying office job, and we didn’t want to make other people money,” Mendleson said.
The two got together and made a plan to open up their own business. While brainstorming many ideas, Mendleson and Rahrovi came up with the thought of opening a street wear boutique.
“Growing up that was all we wore, so we were influenced by the idea from our passions in certain styles,” said Rahrovi.
They set out to make their mark in the fashion industry. With a passion for urban streetwear came their vision to open Twenty20 LA.
But there was a problem.
Two young adults in educational debt, cash strapped, and no line of credit needed to find a suitable investor to get the store up-and-running.
Luckily, at the time when their plans were coming to fruition, Drew’s father sold his company and invested $60,000 into Twenty20 LA.
“My dad said he’d put up the money as long as we put the leg work in, so we didn’t waste a minute,” said Mendleson.
On July 13, 2013 Rahrovi and Mendleson opened Twenty20 LA in the heart of Sherman Oaks, California.
Mendleson and Rahrovi have made a mission to add a new brand to their small retail space every quarter, so the store stays “fresh” and customers remain satisfied.
“When we started we had limited brands. We took our brand list from C-level accounts, and now we hold A-level accounts and high-end streetwear brands,” Rahrovi explained.
Mendleson said that to their deligh, brands are approaching them when they don’t have enough shelf space.
For their spring collection they have added DOPE clothing, and look to add another in the coming summer.
“We always have a tap on the market and always are a part of local trade shows to see what’s in style,” Rahrovi said.
Mendleson and Rahrovi took their daily style and made it into a daily passion, dressing consumers in the freshest gear influenced by pop and hip-hop culture. While it is young, the tiny retail boutique has already left a stamp in the streetwear industry.
Twenty20 LA even offers an interactive online website that allows customers to create a wish list of products that they are seeking to purchase. Clothing can also be purchased through their online web store, making it perfect for customers who can’t make it out to Los Angeles.
Both young college graduates set out to one day open up multiple streetwear boutiques, but understand it’s a process.
“We don’t want to jump ahead of ourselves, but we have aspirations that Twenty20 LA will be our flagship store, and possibilities of growth in other major cities like San Francisco and New York will follow,” Mendleson said.