Brothers Shea and Raan Parton founded Apolis with the simple idea that people can live better lives if they are given equal opportunity. Now, seven years later, they've opened Apolis: Common Gallery, a new shop that opened in a spare, industrial-inspired space in downtown LA on 10 November 2011.
The space serves as the first regionally branded Apolis space to host gallery exhibitions, collection releases, film screenings and talks by advocates of Apolis' global mission. The layout of the gallery boutique communicates the philosophy behind its products—clothing and accessories created in conjunction with international manufacturers to provide disenfranchised people with jobs as a means of empowerment through opportunity instead of charity. For instance, Nepal Project and Citta International Co-Op partnered up to create limited-edition Transit Elite Sweaters and Watch Caps, which employed 50 knitters for two months of work. Apolis has initiated similar projects in other parts of the world, from Bangladesh to Uganda.
Sartorially, the selection is solid, with a somewhat preppy shirting collection in a comprehensive color palette that includes the made-in-California Standard Issue Utility shirt, inspired by the classic work shirt style. They offer a couple of variations on the traditional canvas chino pant—also made locally from 100% cotton canvas—and a range of shorts so popular they're already sold out.
We also liked Apolis' high-quality travel accessories by Transit Issue. The dopp kit, passport carrier and zip wallet are made from 100% full-grain aniline Italian leather, and the luggage tags come with a brass snap enclosure and a sturdy black-coated steel buckle so they won't fall off en route.
Shop Apolis online or at the new location in LA's arts district.