The designer Mario De La Torre grew up in south central Los Angeles, where he dressed in clothes he made himself. “I got the bug at a really young age,” he said in a video. Now, having founded a self-titled women’s fashion line, De La Torre credits the city of Los Angeles as his creative lifeblood. “You can go out and get any kind of fabric you can think of,” he said.
As far as inspiration goes, De La Torre said, resources in L.A. are unlimited. But when he decided to set up a label several years ago, De La Torre, like many small business owners in Los Angeles, found himself at a bit of a loss. “I didn’t even have a business bank account,” he said.