Known for its soft, luxurious plaid shirts, Rails Clothing has mastered the California casual-relaxed look. A favorite among celebrities and bloggers, the shirts can be worn anytime and can be dressed up or down. Learn a little more about Jeff Abrams, the man behind the brand, and get details on a special personal appearance at Neiman Marcus tomorrow below.
LW: How did Rails get started?
JA: I grew up in Los Angeles immersed in the arts - painting, sculpture, photography, and a deep connection to the aesthetics of fashion. I was always thinking about how to express myself through a visual medium. But really it was in my young twenties living in Europe where I began to concept what would become the Rails collection. I wanted to blend the comfort of my Southern California lifestyle with the more refined sensibility I found abroad.
When I first began, I really had no idea how to actually produce a full collection. It was a journey of trial and error that led me through the initial stages of building the brand. I had just returned from Europe, I sewed the word RAILS onto a single black hat and a simple hooded sweatshirt, and embarked on a door-to-door journey trying to get orders. I drove all over the United States, walking into stores unannounced trying to build the foundations for the Rails collection.
I came back to Los Angeles and employed the same concept learning the business of fashion, walking into factories and suppliers, staying late nights at sewing facilities to understand the details of garment construction and the process of assembly.
Each season I refined the creative direction and focused on creating versatile pieces in luxe fabrications that represented the Southern California lifestyle. The idea was to build a collection that made you feel both relaxed and refined.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Rails button down
LW: What inspired the fall 2016 collection?
JA: I still spend a lot of time travelling, for work and pleasure - Europe, Asia, South America - and I always take time to absorb the nuances of different cultures and aesthetics. Being a visual person, I find inspiration in everything from architecture, landscapes, textiles - anything I'm surrounded by that catches my eye.
Rails has truly evolved into a contemporary collection this season, introducing many new fabrications and groups. The new silhouettes in linen rayon are the perfect complement to our signature rayon and tencel denim. We’ve launched a cashmere sweater knit and a denim capsule, which is a natural and exciting next step for the brand. Within the shirting category, we’ve introduced new, feminine silhouettes with subtle design details such as the Collette tie neck blouse and Aly pleated button down.
LW: What is your favorite item from the new collection?
JA: I started RAILS with a single black logo hat and in a way, it's my most prized item, as it reminds me where I started and how far the business has come since then. From the new collection, my current favorite is the Simone cashmere cable knit sweater. I love its intricate details and its versatility- layer it with one of our button downs or with a leather jacket for two completely different looks.
Simone Cashmere cable knit sweater ($285)
LW: Describe your personal style.
JA: Regardless of the season, I focus on wardrobe staples for a clean, versatile look. I’m always traveling so keeping it simple lets me go straight from the plane to press meetings. I have a collection of Rails t-shirts in all shades and colors and layer in our button downs. I’m looking forward to wearing our men’s cashmere sweaters too!
LW: Where do you go in Los Angeles to get inspired?
JA: California has everything you can imagine – amazing weather & beaches, coupled with access to mountains, desert, wine country, and cities - there's honestly no other place like it in the world!
We’re lucky enough to be based in LA which is a constant source of inspiration – from the Rose Bowl flea market to exploring the diverse areas – downtown Arts district, Silver Lake and Venice.
Meet Founder Jeff Abrams at Neiman Marcus on Thursday, September 15 from 1-4PM in CUSP on Level Two.