BTFL and its new Americana vision to conquer Europe

For three seasons now, Los Angeles-based brand BTFL has been presenting its collections at Paris Men’s Fashion Week, as well as in New York. 

BTFL Summer Spring 2024 collection

Launched in 2013 by Alejandro Rodriguez, former creative director at A Ma Manière, and Tomasa Calvo, former graphic designer and photographer for Cosmopolitan magazine in the Philippines, and both American with Mexican, Native American and Chamoru ancestry, descendants people of the Mariana Islands, BTFL wants to embody a new vision of Americana style.
“BTFL is a new vision of modern Americana,” said Rodriguez. “We are creating a brand that makes classic menswear pieces with interesting details which exude an ‘effortless cool’ that will last for years to come. Our goal is to make items that fit seamlessly into a person’s existing wardrobe but can also stand on their own. For us, personal style and self-expression are more important than ‘fashion’ and we believe that our garments should be worn often and not treated as delicate or precious so that they build as much character as our customers do over time.”

Tomasa Calvo and Alejandro Rodriguez, BTFL co-founders

Presented at the Good News Only (GNO) showroom in Paris, the Summer/Spring 2024 collection was created by Rodriguez and Calvo as “a man’s wardrobe after years of traveling, collecting, and living.”

American sports are referenced with baseball T-shirts and football jerseys. Japanese fabrics are used and broken down with heavy washes to give a lived-in feel, while most of the shirting is loose and easy yet durable with utilitarian details for functionality. Workwear and military uniforms are also present “but done in a more subtle way” added the duo, “that all blend together to create our view of modern Americana.”
Logically, BTFL’s founders chose to manufacture their products in Los Angeles. “We believe that Los Angeles has ateliers, sewers, and craftsmen that are just as talented as their European counterparts and wanted to make sure they receive the recognition they deserve,” said Rodriguez. “Most of the factories we use are owned and operated by small Latino families and I believe it is important to support small businesses, as well as support the community that I was born and raised in.”

BTFL Summer Spring 2023 collection

In terms of distribution, the BTFL brand is targeting the American and European markets.

“We show in Paris and in New York,” explained Rodriguez. “The caliber of stores that we are carried in and want to be carried in happen to choose Paris over any other fashion week.”
This philosophy has won them a number of retailers in Europe, including Antonia Milano, Harvey Nichols UK, Union Los Angeles, Ron Herman Los Angeles, A Ma Manière in Atlanta and also through their online store.

“We are looking to expand our wholesale distribution but in a very intentional and strategic way,” concluded Rodriguez. “We want to partner with accounts who care about products just as much as we do and are eager to discover new brands that they can share with their clients.”

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