Steve Martin / Splash Magazine
If you are looking for something a little creative and a lot original for you or your family regardless of the season, meet Aviator Nation. Launched in Venice, California in 2006 and named after founder and CEO, Paige Mycoskie’s love for aviator-style sunglasses, Aviator Nation is a brand dedicated to honoring the vibrant, laid-back style, look and feel of California in the ‘70s with an ever changing line that will set you apart from the crowd.
The California surf culture is evident in all her pieces designing for men, women, children and accessories. Known for its vibrant array of hand-made, perfectly worn-in tees, sweats, hoodies, and accessories for kids and adults, the brand has become a cult favorite among those who gravitate toward living a life infused with surf culture, travel, music, design and love for community.
"I just started making clothes that I wanted to wear and they happened to resemble clothes from the 70’s. In the beginning I had no plans to even start a business or try to sell the clothes at all. I literally bought a sewing machine, taught myself to sew and started making clothes purely because I couldn’t find what i wanted to wear in stores," Paige said. "I think the colors I choose and the graphics I come up with just live inside me somewhere. I can tell you I’ve always loved rainbows. My favorite toys as a young girl were the Rainbow Brite dolls. It’s actually the only tv show I remember loving as a young person. I’ve literally been obsessed with rainbows my entire life. The blinds in my bedroom were rainbows, my birthday cakes always had rainbows even the light switch in my childhood bedroom was a rainbow."
With her idea in hand, the next question for Paige was if the public would love her idea for a clothing line as much as she did. Paige started hitting street fairs and found out that people did love her unique line.
"Lucky for me the reaction was great right from the start. I remember people buying the stuff and then emailing me later that they were wearing it everyday and they needed more. I think people really connected to it because it was authentic. They met me, they heard that I made the garment myself by hand and then they put it on and loved the way it felt on their body because it was so comfortable. People form an emotional bond with these hoodies. It’s really cool to see how much they love their Aviator Nation gear," Paige commented on her Aviator Nation start selling her line at street fairs.
Paige has created 80 collections, hundreds of styles, receive a GQ award, worked with John Mayer and many others and is still creating everyday.
"I look forward to going into work every morning and each day I wake up and I can’t wait to get to my desk. I still have a rush of ideas hit me on my drive to work every single day. It’s non stop fun and it’s definitely not slowing down anytime soon. We have tons of exciting projects in the works and everyday still feels new. Each summer I look forward to the music festivals we are doing that year and each winter I look forward to decorating our stores for the holiday. Each Spring I try to open a new store somewhere awesome which is also super fun. I feel like i’m always looking forward and rarely looking back. But the truth is a lot has happened and it all adds up and makes the brand what it is today. The coolest part about that is that the brand has evolved so much yet it still remains exactly the same in a ton of ways. One of our best selling hoodies now is the very first hoodie i ever made. That still blows my mind. One of my primary goals from the start was to always remain true to the brand and keep it authentic. Ignore the trend reports and just do what feels like Aviator Nation. That’s what I’ve done and it seems to be working," Paige said.
If you are looking for something unique for yourself or to gift go family and friends become of what Paige calls "growing the nation", the Aviator Nation. While she has a new Aviator Nation Surfboard Collection of vintage style surfboards, you don't have to be a surfer to enjoy her style. Paige has teamed up with Splash Magazines Worldwide to give one lucky reader a "Pray for Surf Tee" vintage shirt.
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From music festivals to your favorite shops to the backs of some of the biggest celebs, Aviator Nation is doing something right.
If you care about where your clothes come from, you're probably already familiar with the made-in-California brand. But it's time you also got to know its founder and CEO, Paige Mycoskie (who's responsible for creating some of the softest T-shirts and sweats we've ever felt).
The unisex tees run true to size for women and a bit small for guys, so guys order a size up if you are unsure.
Sweatpants are gender specific. It's not uncommon for women to get men's sweatpants as they have pockets and offer a looser fit.