by Karen Alberg Grossman

Gary Wasserman, original founder of retail emporium Garys Newport Beach and creative force behind iconic knitwear collection Left Coast Tee, is an idea guy. His latest brainstorm with partner Steve Sockolov: an upscale collection of very special shirts, pants, knitwear, outerwear, furnishings and jewelry, for which he is the designer, collaborating with select manufacturers who do the producing, invoicing, and shipping. “My vision is to bring a highly curated point of view to independent stores, to offer a distinctive, unique, cohesive collection that retailers can sell more confidently than private label. The challenge has been getting it done for more realistic prices than currently exist in the luxury market, which has become highly elitist. I’m proud to say we’ve been able to accomplish that, adding margin for the retailers mostly because my design fee is minimal.”

To date, Wasserman is partnering with Camessi on the finest shirts, A.Kuehnert on gorgeous hand knits in luxury yarns, Megan Spivey on special handcrafted jewelry, Aston Leathers on upscale outerwear, Geoff Nicholson/Pacific Silk on modern, sportswear-inspired neckwear, and Beau Lawrence/Ace Rivington on iconic indigo pants and jeans. Says Wasserman, “We’ve created a focused collection of truly distinctive items designed with a similar aesthetic. Working with Aston, for example, we offer a tightly focused group of special shearlings, lambskins and suedes. Working with Megan, we’ve added some precious metals to her collection, as well as lapel pins and tie bars that are true works of art. My goal is to work with all our designers to help them reach their pinnacle.”

Summing it up, he explains, “Collab is a collaborative effort among designer, manufacturer and retailer, a creative blending of unique product with a common design sensibility crafted for discerning clients who appreciate the best of the best.

For more info: g.wasserman@leftcoasttee.com or see the collection at SOCIETY NYC, Jan 22-23, booth #401.