Cate and Laila of LATE Clothing LA for use by 360 Magazine

LATE Clothing LA

LATE Clothing LA, the new one-size-fits-all, casual luxury brand, is soon to debut this Mother’s Day. The collection, created by twelve-year-olds Cate Friedberg and Lalia Susini, was forged through their friendship, passion for fashion, and perseverance through it all together. The two founders have been through starting a clothing line, recovering from injury, and finding a new meaning to best represent their brand, before it even launches. Style connoisseurs are sure to love what LATE Clothing LA has to offer to the modern tween and teen fashionista.

By creating clothing designed for and by teens and tweens, the two best friends and creators of LATE know exactly what their young audience is looking for when buying new pieces. Perfect for any occasion­, teens and tweens are sure to feel confident when rocking a LATE piece. The LA-based collection includes several pieces all designed while keeping in mind comfort, versatility, and a luxurious flair. Some of the founder’s inspirations include love, friendship, and the stroke of luck provided by miraculous second chances.

The two founders of LATE, Cate and Lalia, have been lifelong friends since the age of four. They’ve long shared joy in repurposing sample pieces and left over inventory from their parents, and have now taken their passion for fashion to create LATE Clothing LA. The brand’s name comes from part of both founder’s names, Lalia (LA) and Cate (TE). The girls had started out making clothes for their friends, and are now looking to take their business on a larger scale. By adding personal, unique touches to each of their pieces, wearers of LATE are sure to shine with distinctive, stylish flair.

When coronavirus struck, the girls were forced inside due to national stay-at-home orders that stymied the fast-paced LA environment with which they had been involved. Though the pandemic had originally halted the girls’ typically busy schedules, they were able to take advantage of the down time quarantine granted to involve themselves with new creative, DIY projects. Cate and Lalia used the stay at home opportunity to envision ideas of LATE clothing, and their creative inspiration and determination took the reins. That is, until October 22.

On that day, tragically, Lalia was involved in a serious accident that resulted in left side paralysis and brain damage. Her injuries placed her in critical condition for five days at the Cedars Sinia Hospital, before later being transferred to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. (CHLA) After recovering for a week, Lalia received a phone call from her friend and LATE Clothing co-founder, Cate. Despite Lalia’s condition, the two were both eager to begin planning for their brand. Now more than ever, the two founders of LATE looked at the future with more steadfast determination, passion, and excitement than ever before.

Amazingly, though her doctors had predicted a year-long stay in the hospital, Lalia’s recovery occurred much faster than expected. After only 61 days, Lalia was released from CHLA, eager to get back to creating clothing for LATE with Cate. During her stay at CHLA, Lalia’s desire to create kept her going each day and revealed a new meaning for LATE. Not only was Lalia given the opportunity to recover, but she was also granted the opportunity for her love of clothing, life, love, and friendship to flourish with newfound inspiration. The co-founders’ second chance at reinvigorating their clothing line with hope, will power, and gratitude was taken full advantage of in designing the brand’s first collection.

Thanks to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA), in which Lalia spent Lalia spent 44 days in in-patient rehab and continues outpatient therapy at to this day, LATE Clothing LA was granted new life and meaning. Because of this, of every garment that is purchased from LATE Clothing LA’s collection, a portion of the proceeds will go to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Rehab Department. The price of items in the collection ranges from $30­–$100. As a result of the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles’ care and determination regarding Lalia’s recovery, the girls have decided to call their first LATE collection: “Responders.” As the title suggests, the pieces within the collection honor, and are named after, the hospital staff and patients that impacted Lalia’s miraculous recovery. The two girls express gratitude for those who aided in Lalia’s recovery and in turn, the rebirth of LATE Clothing LA.

One of the aforementioned individuals who aided in Lalia’s recovery, and of whom a garment in LATE’S “Responders” collection is named after, is Perez. Perez was the first paramedic on scene for Lalia on the harrowing night of October 22. He is a Los Angeles Fire Department Station 97 paramedic. To this day, Lalia visits Perez at the fire station often and the two have been able to continue their friendly relationship.

Another instrumental person in Lalia’s recovery, of whom a LATE collection piece is named after, is Danielpour. He is the life-saving brain surgeon who phenomenally saved her life. Lalia’s family still ponders with the other medical staff at about how Danielpour so miraculously treated Lalia.

Dr. Parikh is the resident doctor at CHLA and one of Lalia’s biggest supporters during her darkest days. He has a genuine passion for his work, and his determination to help Lalia inspired her to begin to walk again. Even after his shift was over, Dr. Parikh would come visit Lalia. He would challenge her to play Monopoly Deal, if she could manage to stand up. He inspired Lalia to recognize the strength she already had within her, and encouraged her along every step of her recovery journey. Dr. Parikh would kindly skip his lunch to instead eat with and keep Lalia company every day.

Another resident at CHLA, Jack, was Lalia’s personal ball of sunshine. The two would hang out every Sunday, even though patients weren’t technically supposed to mingle. Jack and his dad would wheel around the hospital wing and provide entertainment and laughs for the other patients. Jack’s joy is infectious, and his glee would undoubtedly spread to Lalia when the two were together.

Each piece from “Responders” blends fashion and comfort, making for a collection that includes the best of both worlds. LATE Clothing LA can be shopped online here.

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