We managed to track down fashion brand FLY LA for a few Q’s & A’s with CEO KW Gonsalves. These guys hands down are one of the most positive and forward thinking entrepreneurs you will come across. Join us as we discuss everything from herb to Gaslamp Killer to ratchets to french dip sandwiches.
Introduce yourself if you wouldn’t mind
My name is KW Gonsalves and I’m CEO of Forever Loving You Los Angeles a.k.a FLY LA. I have been running FLY LA for about a year now and it makes me proud to see how far we’ve come. Other than being involved in the fashion industry, I am also a husband, father, musician and I am also the owner and director of Breathe Easy Wellness Corporation–a company offering alternative medicine and yoga. Although I am very busy, I love what I do and the people I work with.
Tell me about the process of sketching a design.
Hard to say. I am more of the ‘idea’ guy. I use my third eye to see something positive and more or less LA related, put a childish sketch of my vision together and send it to be finalized by someone more qualified. It’s a process that works nonetheless. It’s given us the opportunity to work with a number of different artists and room to work with many more! S/O to my boy Mikolaj. He’s an artist from the streets of LA thats deserves some attention.
Where can readers buy your clothes?
Easy! Shop online at www.ForeverFLYLA.com. If your in the DTLA area you can walk into Outfitters at the corner of 8th and Spring, try stuff on and grab all our styles! And if you still can’t find a way, contact me personally at KW@ForeverFLYLA.com and I will do whatever I can to help you out. Also, when you buy it dont be afraid to take a pic of you in your fresh FLY LA gear and tag #FLYLA on Instagram or Twitter for a chance to win more FREE FLY LA gear.
I know you guys are L.A. natives what part of the city do you hail from?
My partner Anthony Gomez and I are both from a south county city known as Whittier. We got nothing but love for our homies out there. Many have been rocking FLY LA since before I even came into the picture. U know who you are, we doing this for you too!
When/Why was Fly L.A. started?
Initially Fly LA was an awareness initiative for a very close friend of our ours, Larry Arreola, who took his own life in 2006. Forever Loving You Larry Arreola was a slogan created by Anthony “A-Town” Gomez to pay tribute to Areola’s life and show respect to his family and all our friends–a noble gesture that brought a positive light to a dark situation. Since then the brand continues to have a similar scope, but on a much larger scale. FLY LA now stands for Forever Loving You Los Angeles and strives to bring positivity and love to the difficult times that young people face in the big city.
Who is on the Fly L.A. team?
FLY LA’s team has grown and changed throughout the years no doubt, but some names I have to put on that list are hip hop rockers The Knux, the Nine 90′s from the South as well as Chef David, DJ gotbenny?, Adam Jon, GI Jose, Jiar, Abba Zabba, and of course A-Town, Marcus Sims and our families! We also have had a few big names in music rock our brand that we hope one day we can do something with in Brainfeeder founder and LA native Flying Lotus plus Fools Gold DJ/Producers Treasure Fingers and Oliver.
Biggest achievement so far?
This may seem a little funny but getting our wholesale account with American Apparel was a big one for us. It gave us a real chance to have a product that is made by Los Angeles for Los Angeles. I am proud to say we’re 100% LA!
Explain Fly L.A. as a brand.
Fly LA is still in it’s beginning stages so it is constantly growing and evolving but one thing that the brand really focuses on is LOVE. We want to create a positive atmosphere in people’s lives and environment through art, music and fashion and Fly LA combines all three. We also want to promote the grassroots movement of supporting local business. Our product is 100% DTLA/US made.
How do you feel about the current fashion scene in L.A.?
Because of it’s diversity, the LA fashion scene offers endless opportunities for experimentation and innovation. People in LA aren’t afraid to embrace who they are and they love to use their fashion as a form of self-expression. This is why L.A. is such a great environment for new clothing lines to flourish. It allows for niche brands to play on people’s passions, characteristics and desires and really create unique and awesome new styles.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to start a career in fashion?
Network, network, network. The more people you meet, the more people know who you are, what you’re striving for, and at some point help you out . There is always strength in numbers so if you can team up with others who share your dreams, your chance of success will multiply exponentially.
Where do you get your design inspiration?
The streets of L.A.!! Every person, every place, everything I come across in LA brings with it something to appreciate and admire. I love LA. I just can’t say that enough.
What is your favorite moment growing up in L.A.?
This question brings me to the very first party A-Town and I put on together. It was in my Moms garage and we must have smashed 100 people in there. It was one of those ragers you never forget. Lots of cheap booze and blue dreams for the crowd, we do it for our ratchets.
Do you have any big upcoming projects?
Our female line is coming soon. Launch of our artist series collaboration line, first of which will be with clothing/interior/nightclub designer Jonathan Anthony. We will also be launching a music mixtape series, providing a multi-genre soundtrack to the streets. Our first project is with LA native, DJ Bizzy. Very excited about other artists we will be working with, but if I told you i’d have to kill you. Let’s just say big things up ahead tho haha.
What do you want people to take away from Fly L.A.
Our slogan is ‘Get high on love’ We want people to love and respect one another and live a positive lifestyle.
Whats your favorite/least favorite thing about L.A.?
Absolute favorite thing about LA is the herb! very best! S/O Breathe Easy Wellness. Least favorite probably has to be those lazy ass dog walkers who love to leave their doggie left overs right in the middle of the sidewalk.
You have a friend flying into L.A. for 24 hours only. where would you take them?
Downtown. This is the heart and soul of L.A. right now where you can see exactly what LA has to offer. From the jewelry district to Chinatown to LA Live, the unique restaurants and even skid row, downtown is a solid representation of the diversity of LA. But Cole’s for lunch… Definitely gotta have that french dip.
Where do you see Fly L.A. in 5 years?
Spreading LOVE Across the nation! We are hoping to eventually expand into other big cities customizing our brand and teaming up with local artists and groups.
What have been some of your favorite moments since starting Fly L.A.?
Probably at this photo shoot we did bout a year ago, and A-Town found out he had to wear make up. Being the ratchet he is, he didnt really want to do it. Once it was on and he looked like Glenn Danzig from the Misfits, it was cool to him again. Also, watching people wear our gear around the streets of LA is good fun too.
I notice the picture from the Gaslamp Killer concert, where Flying Lotus was rocking the Fly LA gear. How did that come about?
Our marketing manager Marcus Sims gave it to him at HARDSummer festival. He said he liked it, but you never know, you know? We were totally unaware that he was gonna wear the tank that night. Then the next morning we heard from some friends he rocked it and we spotted some pics of him twitter an IG and all that. We were obviously pretty stoked. Special thanks to Flying Lotus for showing us love like that…. and if you’re reading this, we got plenty more where that came from haha!
Anything you want to say to your followers before we rap things up?
Be true to yourself and be proud of your community! If no one else is, I’m Forever Loving you Los Angeles. One Love!
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