Joel Knoernschild, the 30-year-old behind the streetwear and accessories KZO label that sells in places such as Ron Herman and Fred Segal Man, is a globe-trotter in the truest sense. His line is manufactured in downtown Los Angeles and Japan, an arrangement that keeps the designer winging it back and forth to Tokyo at least once a month. The former music video producer also has a knack for flavoring his menswear collection with the fruit of his family tree. He pulls from the Japanese American heritage of his mother's side, the surfwear influences of his father's side (his dad, Joe, helped launch the Hurley action-sports brand) and his California childhood. Past seasons' inspirations include John Muir, the internment camps at Manzanar (where his grandfather was held during World War II), and for spring-summer 2010, musician Neil Young, who Knoernschild says once lived not far from him in Echo Park. The results manage to be sophisticated streetwear shot through with interesting technical details -- rumpled plaids turn out to be corduroy and a soft shapeless jacket that appears to be made from a woven Native American blanket turns out to be printed French terry cloth. KZO prices run from $110 to $530.
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times