Welcome (To) Babylon LA

The term “Babylon” can refer to a bunch of things. For anarchists, Babylon is a derogatory term for a system of oppression and may include the police, politicians, and authoritarian bureaucracy. To Protestants, it is synonymous with the Roman Catholic Church and its perceived corrupting luxury. Historically speaking, Babylon was the capital of the state of Babylonia in Mesopotamia (today, the region is covered by Iraq, Kuwait, and parts of Syria and Turkey). Merriam-Webster, finally, defines Babylon as “a city devoted to materialism and sensual pleasure.” In short, Babylon denotes either a hellhole or a sanctuary, depending on how you look at things. Coincidentally, this also holds true for the City of Los Angeles, that glittering place of yearning (or damnation), where one of our newest brands, Babylon LA, is from. Babylon LA’s founders, Lee Spielman and Garrett Stevenson, are punk rockers, skateboarders, and fashion entrepreneurs. In that order, one gets the feeling. They don’t simply run an anonymous t-shirt brand; Spielman and Stevenson operate at the intersection between skate, music, art, and fashion. For one, they actually skate and play in a band called Trash Talk. Second, they design their cut-and-sew clothing themselves and have them made in America. Speaking of which, their pieces are notably dark and grim (with some exceptions) for a company that is headquartered the always-sunny City of Angels – and it’s an indication that Babylon LA is true to the complex meaning of their namesake. In the course of its existence, Babylon LA has made a name for itself as a hub for the local skate community, hosting events and contests as well as supporting kids with stuff and industry contacts. In an interview, Spielman asked provocatively: “What can you do for people that’s (sic!) not just fucking selling clothes? The physical brick-and-mortar is 100 percent of the driving force behind our brand.” This is a sentiment we can get behind. You can buy Babylon LA from now on at our web shop and our store in Frankfurt.

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