Indigenous Fashion Comes to LA: Passport PHC
Passport Harun Collective is a co-owned fashion boutique in Los Angeles, California specializing in indigenous fashion. The store is a joint venture between Ethiopian American fashion designer Mikhayel Tesfaye a.k.a Mik Jagga a.k.a Mikki Tesla who is the creator of 'Passport' and his partner 'Chace Infinite', one-half of the hip-hop duo 'Self Scientific', who is the curator and founder 'Harun'.
We got the chance to chop it up with Mik Jagga to learn more about the Passport half of the boutique and how he is revolutionizing the perception of fashion made in Africa from being seen as basic and primitive to more modern and lux.
Tesfaye has a long history in fashion as a designer, brand consultant and creative director for legacy hip-hop fashion brands such as Mecca, Rocawear and Marc Ecko. Even before the big street wear explosion that has been dominating the industry for the past few years and given birth to the hypebeast generation, Tesfaye was already a seasoned tastemaker and industry stylist who has worked with icons such as Jay-Z and Dame Dash.
Now an independent designer with his own fully established brand and boutique, Tesfaye has broadened his horizons beyond the hip hop fashion world of his early career and taken a more globally influenced approach to how he creates his fashion. The inspiration behind his brand name 'Passport ADV' (Articles de voyage) is based on the multicultural, indigenous fashion influences, which he has amassed over time from all the different regions that he has explored on his fashion exploits in countries such as Portugal, India, Ethiopia and many others. The clothing brand 'Passport ADV' is a sustainable luxury footwear line and the boutique is based on the concept of cultural exchange by means of offering exclusive garments from varying foreign regions. Some of the various collectibles on offer in the store include scarves from India, sneakers from Ethiopia, handmade vegan leather bags from Kenya and much more.
As part of its mission to champion sustainable fashion manufacturing in Africa, Passport also supports other brands made in Africa which are pushing the boundaries of producing high-quality luxury goods of international standards. One of the exclusive up and coming brands that just recently started getting stocked within the store is 'Ministry of Tomorrow'; an eco-luxury brand based in LA that manufactures all of its goods in Nairobi, Kenya. As part of its partnership with 'Ministry Of Tomorrow' Passport has been more than just a stockist of the brand but has also supported it through other means of promotion such as facilitating a photo shoot collaboration between the brand and one of LA's most acclaimed underground conscious hip hop artists, Krondon.
Because of the rarity in accessing some of the brands carried in store Passport has built a strong celebrity following and has been frequented by the likes of Talib Kweli, Wizkid, Asher Roth and many others. What makes Passport more unique than other bespoke boutiques is its conceptual visual identity, which was designed based on the inspiration of indigenous cultural experience so that shoppers could get a stronger sense of the contemporary foreign fashion scene without having to board a flight from LAX. The store can be found on 310 North Stanley Avenue Los Angeles, CA, 90036.