Usually the only real interaction between food and clothes is reserved for messy eaters, but with this generation of chefs, somms and suppliers, industry swag has reached a whole new level. Instead of just easy employee uniforms or a thoughtless form of wearable free advertising, chefs and industry folk are creating fun, thoughtfully designed swag that go well beyond the brand logo. From a stylish new chef-focused clothing line to a hilarious way to get people to try a new product, these are our favorite industry shirts out there right now.
Between growing Eggslut, managing Unit 120, working on projects like Easy's and Tinfoil and recording The Super Amazing Restaurant Show, it's a wonder that Alvin Cailain has any time left to do anything at all. But thankfully for those with equal obsessions in food and design, Cailan has added one more job title to the list: clothing designer. Dubbed Gourmand L.A., Cailan's newest venture looks to make stylish chef's clothes for work and well after, with some serious swag. From a recent collab with Keep for a sleek, all-black, no-slip chef's work shoe to an all-black tee embellished with an illustration of a cheese wedge, you can now wear the latest thing to come out of Unit 120 instead of eating it. One thing's for sure, if the rest of the upcoming line is at all similar to Cailan's signature style, Gourmand L.A. is going to be a lot of black on black on black.
Jon & Vinny's
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo have never had a problem putting their own spin on the traditional (Jon & Vinny's), and thankfully the approach is the same for their line of Jon & Vinny Delivery T-shirts. With an array of playfully interpretive takes of the classic delivery-guy T-shirt ranging from slogans like “the best in town” to a grinning Italian chef or a simple bright-colored tee with traditional pizzeria font, Jon & Vinny's shirts are the perfect reimagining of the classic pizza delivery uniform.
If there's one thing we can say for sure about Micah Wexler, it's that he's a huge fan of the pun. From his “smoke fish every day” riff to “20th Century Lox,” Wexler's Deli is putting out the best food pun–covered apparel out there. Grab yourself a gray shirt with the signature blunt-smoking fish plastered on it or a trucker hat with the aforementioned 20th Century Lox and commit to that #SmokeFishEveryDay lifestyle like you know you want to.
Adam Vourvoulis, perviously of Osteria Mozza and Trois Mec, is the wine guy behind Instagram account @natural_whine, the meme-heavy account dedicated to sticking it to the wine snobs of the world in the funniest ways possible. Not only does Vourvoulis try to get people to question some of the misconceptions, seriousness and unnecessarily ostracizing aspects of wine culture through his memes, he's also branching out into fashion. He has a range of wine-related tees to choose from, and our favorite is the “I feel like Pinot” tee that boldly declares “No more cabernets in L.A.” on the backside. We can toast to that.
Sea Stephanie Fish
It turns out that L.A.'s favorite urchin diver doesn't just provide some of the most sought-after uni to L.A.'s best chefs, she also has a wonderful sense of humor. Stephanie Mutz's “Sea Stephanie Fish” shirts sport an illustration of her diving on the front; the back reads “Tastes like you're going down on a mermaid,” automatically making it the best dirty sailor's joke shirt ever. If there's one way to get us to advertise for local sustainable fisheries, this is definitely the one to do it.
Burgerlords has started making a series of limited-edition tees. The latest, designed by Farmtactics, is a really cool nod to Burgerlords' neighborhood, Chinatown, and features a winking child embracing an extra-large burger above Chinese characters that translate to “Burgerlords.” Expect hats, a zine and more limited-edition swag to come and quickly go, so get ’em while they're hot.
When celebrities open restaurants, they usually make the decision to stay behind the scenes as a silent piece of the puzzle, but obviously that's not the way of Machete. Fully embracing his celebuvillain status, Danny Trejo goes full bore with his branding tactics — his mug plastered on everything from the signage to the truck to the uniform. If a villain is going to own a taco joint, this is the one we want. Count us in to sport his tee any day.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.