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Pasadena, with its historic architecture and sleepy-town charm, might seem like an unlikely breeding ground for two of the most fashion-forward designers of the 21st century, but Kate and Laura Mulleavy stay true to their West Coast roots. Having grown up in Northern California before attending the University of California, Berkeley, the sisters achieved near-overnight success when they launched their first 10-piece collection in 2004, landing on the cover of Women’s Wear Daily just months later. Capsules with Gap and Target followed — as did countless awards, including the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award in 2009 and the National Arts Award from Americans for the Arts in 2010. The core of the brand lies in unique, hyperfeminine, well-tailored pieces that have been known to take hours upon hours to create. An overlap with the art world has been innate for the label, which is in the collections of The Met in New York as well as LACMA, and has been celebrated in a dedicated exhibition at MOCA. The duo’s “Radarte” tees and sweatshirts, worn by everyone from Jay-Z to Rihanna, have earned them streetwear cred as well. 

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