Like many native Angeleno teens, Jonathan Heit and Alex Trevino are avid skateboarders and denizens of the Fairfax neighborhood’s concentration of skate, hip-hop and sneaker trendsetting retailers. With unique experiences that make them wise beyond their years, Heit and Trevino are launching Black Tie Emporium, an on trend skate/street apparel line at noted Fairfax space ADBD on June 3 from 7-10pm.
At just 13, Heit, already a film and television acting veteran, and Trevino, a budding mogul, came up with the idea of designing their own apparel line during an afternoon study hall.
“We were talking about skateboarding and we thought it would be so sick if we could just design our own clothes, stuff we’d wear boarding or just hanging out,” says Alex. “We wanted things that are different from the clothes sold in stores today, cool, colorful shirts with designs that anybody could wear but that we could jump into any time we skate.”
Added Jonathan, “Every time we go out to the park there are new people there – boys and girls – and we thought how cool it would be to have our own brand. We came up with the Black Tie idea because it’s so opposite what most people think of when they think of skateboarders.”
Jonathan is known from his appearances on television and in movies. He stars in the TV series, “Granite Flats” on upstart family cable network BYU-TV and has guest starred in the Nickelodeon series “Deadtime Stories,” as well as popular shows such as “How I Met Your Mother” and “Monk.” He’s also had lead roles in top movies including Date Night, Valentine’s Day, and Bedtime Stories. Additionally Jonathan lent his voice to more than 30 “Family Guy” episodes and originated the role of Cubby in over 100 episodes of Disney’s “Jake and the Neverland Pirates.” He’s an enthusiastic fund raiser and advocate for several causes including acting as Youth Ambassador for UNICEF, doing work with Soles4Souls, and now fundraising for unite4:good. Jonathan is using funds from his acting career to jumpstart Black Tie Emporium.
Alex is into sports, playing football and basketball as well as spending more and more time on his skateboard at Los Angeles area skateparks where he’s currently mastering the vert section. He’s had an unusual lifelong interest in business and when asked what he wants for any given birthday or holiday often replies, “Well, if you’d just give me a couple dollars I could figure it out and buy whatever I want.” Both Alex and Jonathan also take skateboarding advice from Alex’ younger brother Oscar, a seven-year-old with more boarding moves than Curren Caples. “If he has any ideas for our business, we’ll for sure listen,” they say.
What’s different about Black Tie Emporium is that “the whole idea comes from the minds of teenage boys, not from adults trying to decide what kids like us would think is cool or funny,” says Jonathan, “and we have some really awesome ideas.”
“Yeah,” agrees Alex, “and if we’re successful it will show that anything is possible. That would be super rewarding”
Black Tie Emporium is starting with a line of graphically unique T-shirt designs with plans to move into hats, hoodies, accessories and jackets. “We get our inspiration from Zumiez and the edgy cluster on Fairfax in LA,” says Jonathan. “We describe the look and feel of our brand as ‘dapper skate’ because the graphics are clean and sophisticated, but they’re cool, too.” They hope to eventually expand into a snowboarding line, a surf line, and also clothing for girls/women.
Black Tie Emporium will be donating a percentage of proceeds to unite4:good, a not-for-profit coalition of organizations whose mission is “to unite us all in bringing more good into the world.”
“We are thrilled that Black Tie Emporium has chosen to donate proceeds to unite4:good. These two amazing, entrepreneurial young men who are committed to giving back are truly the essence of what unite4good stands for – inspiring every person to find a way to do good things for others and their communities,” said Ron Pence, Chief Marketing Officer of unite4:good. “They are showing visionary leadership and we know that they will be incredibly successful. We are very grateful for their support.”
Black Tie Emporium plans an official launch at a June 3, 7-10pm,VIP celebrity event at ADBD, the Los Angeles based creative brand development agency and retail space, at 430 N. Fairfax Avenue. The products are currently available at http://blacktieemporium.com/ and ADBD will be the exclusive retailer from June 3to June 8.