These days, there's nothing like a vampire to draw a crowd to a shopping event.
"Twilight" fans flocked to Nordstrom at the Grove on Thursday to see the inaugural 25-piece men's ready-to-wear collection from new line Abbot + Main -- and for a chance to see co-founder Kellan Lutz, a.k.a. Emmett Cullen, brother of "Twilight's" Edward (played by Robert Pattinson).
Lutz is partnering in the endeavor with Danny Guez, founder of premium denim line Dylan George. Abbot + Main consists largely of T-shirts and hoodies and is based on re-creating the relaxed beachy feel of Venice. “I used to live on the corner of Abbot Kinney and Main,” Lutz said. “And I just love the feeling in Venice. That’s what I was trying to capture with Abbot + Main.”
In case you were wondering, Lutz is not just the face promoting Abbot + Main. “I am a part of every decision," he said. "Nothing gets decided on unless it comes through me. I put in a lot of input now like I did in the beginning. We raided my closet to find out what type of shirts I usually wear and what kind of fabrics I like. Because I didn’t just want to be the face of the campaign, but have it be my brand.”
When it comes to the Abbot + Main line, the devil is in the details. “We have delicate red stitching on the seams and some of the graphic art we used comes from real photographs I took in Venice,” Lutz explained. As for the feel, the T-shirts are soft as butter. “The material we use is amazing,” Lutz said. “That’s how I used to shop. I didn’t care who the designer was, I would just walk by racks" -- he motioned as if his hand were running over racks of clothing -- "and think, 'ooh that’s soft,' and then turn and look at it.”
“The input he has had has been phenomenal,” said Guez, who formerly worked with William Rast and People's Liberation. “And as for our design team, besides the fact that they love looking at him, they love working with him and getting his input.”
The design team members are not the only ones keen on looking at Lutz. Fans had lined up for hours to meet with the star. One trio said they had been there since 8 a.m., two hours before Nordstrom even opened.
“It’s just really endearing to have 'Twilight' fans come support something outside of 'Twilight' that I am involved in so I have to thank them for that,” Lutz said.
Though the fall line is for men only, Guez and Lutz said that the spring 2012 collection for Abbot + Main will feature its first women’s line.
Priced between $44 and $178, Abbot + Main is available at Nordstrom stores or online at nordstrom.com.
-- Raha Lewis
Photos, from top: Kellan Lutz talks to the crowd who turned out for the Abbot + Main launch. Credit: Kohshin Finley.
Fans Karen Nannery, Evan Berman and Jamie Hartley brought along their own T-shirt. Credit: Raha Lewis