Retro Kids of L.A.

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Top image: Marc Monier. Shirt by BILLY [found], price upon request at billylosangeles.com.

While attending her sister’s high-school graduation in Los Angeles last summer, photographer Lauren Ward decided to cast a shoot she’d long been dreaming of — one that starred youthful non-models who’d never been in front of the camera before. Over four months, Ward and her partner, photographer Alex Kweskin, found numerous other students, musicians, skaters, and artists on the streets of L.A. — all with a certain “nostalgic,” “laid-back,” and definitely not high-fashion look: kids who dream of driving ’60s cars and know all the words to a 1980 song. Teenagers who wouldn’t be out of place in The Breakfast Club or Avedon’s In the American West. Stylist Karolyn Pho helped highlight their inherent retro-ness with a rolled sleeve here and a worn-denim jacket there. But the resulting aura of impossible, effortless cool — one that designers like Hedi Slimane, who will show his first Céline collection in September, have been mining for years — is entirely their own.

Marc Monier (top image)
Age: 16
Place of birth: San Clemente
Occupation: Student
Last thing you bought: Nike volleyball shoes.
Song you know every word to: “Back in Black,” by AC/DC.

Kelsey Q. W. Tank by Araks, $110 at araks.com. Jewelry her own.

Kelsey Q. W.
Age: 26
Place of birth: San Fernando Valley
Occupation: Recipe development and fermentation with chef Jake Westacott of Kinsmoke
Dream car: Land Cruiser from the 1980s.
Movie you watch on repeat: Thelma & Louise.
If you were one color, what would you be? Burnt sienna.

Marlon Rabenreither
Age: 29
Place of birth: Vienna
Occupation: Musician
Last thing you bought: Levi’s jean jacket from Wasteland.
Celebrity you’d want to be reincarnated as: David Bowie.
Dream car: John Lennon’s Mercedes.
Piece of art/poster currently hanging on your wall: Bobby Kennedy campaign poster.

Michelle Monier
Age: 11
Place of birth: San Clemente
Occupation: Student
When you’re not studying you’re: Jumping on my trampoline.

Camryn Quigley. Shirt by Lacoste, $165 at lacoste.com. Necklace her own.

Camryn Quigley
Age: 18
Place of birth: San Clemente
Occupation: Retail
Three words to describe Los Angeles style: Innovative, androgynous, youthful.
Celebrity you’d want to be reincarnated as: Sissy Spacek.
Dream car: Pink 1956 Ford Thunderbird
Piece of art/poster currently hanging on your wall: The yellow banana Velvet Underground & Nico poster.
If you were one color, what would you be? Vampy red.

Emilio Velasquez
Age: 23
Place of birth: Eagle Rock
Occupation: Model
When you’re not working you’re: Working on my motorcycle. I’m stripping it down and rebuilding the parts that need fixing.
Last thing you bought and where: A pack of American Spirits at 7-Eleven.
Dream car: Ford Falcon.
Piece of art hanging on your wall: A Sailor Moon poster.

Ambrea Miller
Age: 28
Place of birth: Santa Ana
Occupation: Activist
When you’re not working you’re: Disco dancing.
Celebrity you’d want to be reincarnated as: Donna Summer.
If you were one color, what would you be? Mustard.

From left, Carlos Chiffer, Camryn Quigley, and Kelsey Q.W.
On Michelle Monier: T-shirt and jeans by BILLY [found], price upon request at billylosangeles.com. On Marc Monier: T-shirt and jeans by BILLY [found], price upon request at billylosangeles.com. Sweater by Lacoste, $175 at lacoste.com.
Olivia North. Denim jacket by Re/Done, $845 at redone.com. Shirt by Sandro Homme, $155 at 415 Bleeker St. Jeans her own.

Olivia North
Age: 24
Place of birth: Oceanside
Occupation: Photographer, director, model, event coordinator.
Three words to describe Los Angeles style: Like a front lawn in Beverly Hills — impractical and manicured to perfection.
Last thing you bought: Kombucha.
Dream car: VW bus that runs on natural gas with an updated speaker system.
Movie you watch on repeat: Stand by Me. I love River Phoenix.
Song you know every word to: “Oh! You Pretty Things” by David Bowie.

Carlos Chiffer. T-shirt by BILLY [found], price upon request at billylosangeles.com. Jacket by Coach 1941, $250 at coach.com.

Carlos Chiffer
Age: 23
Place of birth: Eagle Rock
Occupation: Musician
Last thing you bought: A ticket to see A Fantastic Woman at the Laemmle’s Theatre.
Celebrity you’d want to be reincarnated as: Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Dream car: 1998 Saab 900
Song you know every word to: “Underneath It All” by No Doubt.

Emilio Velasquez and Olivia North.

*A version of this article appears in the March 19, 2018, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!

The Effortless Style of L.A.’s Retro Kids