Nov 01, 2017 | By Laura Welch
Nestled among vintage cameras, 1960s LIFE magazines, vintage army & navy surplus and antique camping chairs is Trovata’s 10-year anniversary collection at (capsule) Las Vegas. The brand’s co-founder, John Whitledge, was on hand to deconstruct the vintage threads that have fueled the brand for a decade.
Whitledge started Trovata to surf, travel and collect inspiration, “I used to design what I thought the customer wanted, but now I am designing things that I would want to wear and showcasing what I love.” With a deep passion for photography, Whitledge not only infuses his designs with the things that inspire him, but literally showcases his loves through pictures and a return to film making, including a recent photoblog for Style.com.
Trovata, which means found in Italian, perfectly describes the wanderer design process of Whitledge, “ I’ve been going to flea markets and thrift stores as long as I can remember.” After years of collecting objects and inspiration, including his favorite pair of 1960s Levis 501 jeans, he keeps returning to the mid-century beach culture of the 50s-70s. “The graphic design, the way photos were shot, and the sense of discovery is what continues to draw me back. Things weren’t crowded yet.” This Eames era sense of balance between shore and metropolis is evident in the modern beach-to-city lifestyle of Trovata.
Whitledge’s assortment of found objects paints a picture of a 60s, Kodachrome captured summer and are translated in his trademark design details and patterned linings. The collection presented at (capsule) is a marriage of his trademarks and rediscovered inspirations, reflecting his desire to make the collection personal again; even the showroom in front of Trovata’s offices (2 blocks from the beach) is decorated with treasures from his travels, with select items occasionally offered for sale.
As Trovata enters their next decade of designs, Whitledge’s commitment to a personal sense of authenticity, keen eye for historical inspiration and thirst to personify a lost sense of discovery are sure to keep us constantly rediscovering this thoughtful brand.
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