Liveacre combines fashion, charity and public fun
Over the last few months residents and workers around downtown and the Silver Lake area have been seeing some colorful, artistic demonstrations courtesy of a new clothing design company called Liveacre.
Founded three months ago by 19-year-old visual artist Jessie Willner, Liveacre prints T-shirts that Willner designs and donates half the earnings to a charity. For the current line of T-shirts that charity is Plantit 20/20, which plants three trees in Kenya for each T-shirt purchased.
The tees, which are sold only online at the moment, come in black or white with an abstract feathery design that looks like a wing, or maybe a wave, that wraps around the side. The shirts, for both men and women, retail for $26.
To promote Liveacre, Willner and her creative partner, writer Jessica Garrison (not the same Jessica Garrison who is a Los Angeles Times staff writer), created a regular series of events that they call the "Weekly Wild." These happen more like once a month when 100 or so young people between the ages of 18 and 34 (that Wilner calls "the Kids") get together to perform a public stunt.
The first Weekly Wild occurred July 10 on the downtown corner of Traction and Hewitt when the Kids unrolled 10,000-square-feet of bright turquoise fabric, essentially drowning the street in a waving sea of color for a few minutes.
For the second Weekly Wild the Kids painted protest signs with slogans like "Speak Loudly," "Jolt Things" and "Better to Rebel," and marched down Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake.
"We painted a bunch of ironic protest signs because we weren't really protesting anything," explains Willner. "We were just encouraging people to speak up about something."
A similar stunt was performed recently when 50 Kids stood on the roof of a three-story building in Silver Lake and unspooled five, 50-foot-long cloth banners emblazoned with similarly opaque but spirited verbiage.
Willner is an idealist, although she isn't specific about what. She thinks that not committing to a day job that your heart isn’t in is enough, and that if everybody tried to live that way the world would be a better place. It's a vague message, but one made more vivid by the fun of the Weekly Wild.
Her best friend, Gabbi McPhee, serves as the lead Kid, and says that Willner's energy is infectious.
"You can't help it -- you just want to be a part of Liveacre," says McPhee. "All our friends come to help with the stunts; they bring their wives, husbands and kids. They want to be involved in something new, fresh and creative."
For now Willner and Garrison are barely scraping by. But they've made enough to launch a new line of Liveacre wear on Dec. 2. This one will include tote bags, art prints and jewelry.
That line will be released in conjunction with a big stunt that Willner calls "Catalyst," and although she won't say exactly what the stunt will be she says that it will involve, "a lot of kites."
The next Liveacre stunt will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, in a forest. There will be a secret music show and a barbecue. The exact location is revealed in an online announcement.
-- Jessica Gelt