Industry logic dictates that up-and-coming clothing brands make a name in Los Angeles. Especially the type of nouveau-grunge labels peddled on trendy online shops and a legion of popular indie-chic style blogs. But Petals and Peacocks, founded 26-year-old Victoria Velasquez and her fiance, Ryan Mante, was launched to national renown from the South Bay, so the idea of opening a local flagship store grew on Velasquez.
Once it’s up and running, it will be one of the only independent women’s clothing brands headquartered in the region. To hell with industry logic.
“Going on two years of being in business, we believed it was time to make a big move,” Velasquez says. “Our flagship store is a quaint spot but embodies everything Petals and Peacocks. Once you step in, you’ll get a feel of the brand and the lifestyle.”
That spot is 2261 The Alameda, technically in Santa Clara but on the edge of San Jose. It is a storefront flanked by tall display windows, topped by white lattice work and framed by tan brick. Get there between 2pm and 7pm this Saturday to celebrate the store’s grand opening and the launch of the brand’s summer collection, sardonically dubbed “Oh, My Goth.” The first 50 people to show up get a free gift bag, so plan accordingly.
Velasquez expects the store’s proximity to Santa Clara University to be a boon for business, a draw for the 18- to 25-year-olds who typically favor the line’s sarcastic, boundary-pushing, irreverent style, one replete with cheeky wordplay a la “Shut des F*ck Up” beanies, “Bender” snapbacks and Gucci-inspired “Hucci Mama” cut-off-style tanks. The message twists pop culture, bastardizes high-fashion logo pretense and insists on taking nothing too seriously.
Attention to detail sets the line apart from other casual T-shirt-centric brands: the tees and tanks are custom cut and sewn, dyed and destroyed. It’s not just a design emblazoned on a stock tee, Velasquez notes—it’s a carefully crafted product, from the subtly frayed seams to the soft, worn-limp fabric.
Of course, embracing the company’s San Jose roots by setting up shop in the vicinity doesn’t make it a patently local brand. Velasquez maintains her geographically expansive ambitions. National sites sell her stuff, and the brand enjoys a widespread cult following. But a storefront gives a better semblance of identity, marketability and legitimacy, notes Velasquez. It’s a place to soak up the vibe and to see and feel the brand’s manifest image through the styling and setting envisioned by its creator—a cohesion missing from the piecemeal photos of online retailers.
“We hope to bring more brand awareness and create a bigger local following by opening up this flagship,” Velasquez says.
Petals and Peacocks Opening
Saturday, June 22; 2-7pm
2261 The Alameda, Santa Clara