This Clothing Brand Holds True to Its LA Roots With Its Craftsmanship and Celeb Patrons
Written By: Brianna Porter
Photographed By: Charlie Chipman STRAPPED Clothing
Los Angeles is a mecca of the arts, entertainment and celebrities. People from all over the world want to know what it’s like to live in California and Los Angeles in particular. Downtown LA is a beast of its own with so many different districts, neighborhoods, people and cultures. Every type of business can be found in DTLA which makes it so unique. Located south of Interstate 10 and surrounded by bustling streets lies the creative space of STRAPPED and the owner who is making strides in the clothing industry with his motorcycle culture-inspired line that oozes grit, texture, street and quality craftsmanship.
A man dressed in a distressed white shirt detailed with spray paint and paired with a gray sweater greeted me at the door with a huge smile. Tucked away in an unsuspecting building, Jordan Wiseley, founder and designer of STRAPPED, walked us into the company’s creative space. I was immediately engulfed in the glorious aroma of leather. Wiseley felt like an old friend—humble and down to earth.
It was only the first week of January and Wiseley’s phone was beeping non-stop, an indication that his business is taking off. This entrepreneur has a packed schedule as he plans on revamping his website, has a movie in the works with his production company, rebuilding a custom 2001 Ducati 748 bike inspired by a WWII p-51 Mustang plane and, of course, growing his clothing business and having his first ever pop-up show at Project in New York. “We just want to do all of the things we like to do,” Wiseley said. “You can suffer through a job you don’t like or you can hustle and do the things you do like and make money and keep pushing. We’ve always been on that train.”
Wiseley got his first taste of clothing design back in high school with his old friend, A.J. Cutler, who is now in charge of all the digital media for STRAPPED. “I wanted clothes I couldn’t afford, so I had to make them,” Wiseley said. “If it wasn’t a necessity, our parents wouldn’t go out and buy it for us.” Growing up on a small farm in Oklahoma, Wiseley was feeding horses early in the morning and then was off building, fixing and riding bikes, which taught him how to use his hands at an early age. Starting with dirt bikes and “anything with a motor,” he was emerged in the motorcycle and biking culture—a life and clothing style that intrigued Wiseley. “Racing, in general, is an expensive hobby and I wanted these cool clothes, so we made them because we didn’t have [anything] like that,” Wiseley said.
It’s his fascination with the grittiness of the attire, the leather, straps, all of the colors and the jerseys that have inspired this highly-praised clothing company. “Working with my hands and fixing things was always—” his phone beeped again and Wiseley realized that his upcoming show in New York was only days away and he had shipped most of his designs to display at Project NY, which will put his company in the position to be carried at retailers around the world.
When asked what the biggest reward was from his clothing line, he chuckled. “The clothing line has been the biggest test. There is so much technicality in this game. I always ask ‘Why?’ and ‘Why are we doing this so inefficiently?’ There seems to be a disconnect,” Wiseley said. “So [I’m] constantly challenging the industry standard. Humility is probably the number one thing that I’ve learned. It doesn’t matter how clearly you can see something [because] there is a way to do it. We’ve really had to humble ourselves and learn.” Wiseley is hands-on with the production of his line, even down to having ownership in his supply chain of leather and denim. His passions and his intent for his brand shows in the quality of craftsmanship of the pieces that were displayed in his workshop. “The hardest part of retail is dealing with your inventory. I wanted to have a really good relationship with my manufacturer and launder.” Angelenos, take note—the genuine leather and imported silk that’s worked into their jackets for their leather, reversible and unisex denim jackets, are on trend.
Spending a better part of a year in the shop at least three to four days a week with the cutters and pattern makers and learning to handmake items one by one has been beneficial. STRAPPED has had custom pieces on some of today’s hottest stars and artists—landing on celebrities, influencers and stylists like Taylor Swift, Cozz, AJ Mitchell, Keith Powers and Ugo Mozie. Wiseley’s designs, stitching, buckles and logo-stamped buttons are a work of art themselves. It’s no wonder why they’ve been seen in commercials and collaborations for different artists’ tours.
STRAPPED is rooted in Downtown LA’s culture. “I love texture and that’s the one main thing I try to convey,” he explained. And he does. Whether it’s the graffiti art along the walls, the train tracks that run through the area, urban roads or the mecca of cultures that exist in the city, Wiseley draws inspiration from all of it, creating a feel to his clothing as unique as the city of Los Angeles.