For the co-owners of Género Neutral, summer tastes like a Tajín rim

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Ashley S.P. and Jennifer Zapata spent years working and shopping in streetwear and luxury spaces, feeling like they were on the outside looking in. When they opened their concept shop, Género Neutral, last month in Echo Park — nearly a year after they were furloughed from their fashion jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic — they wanted to create their own inclusive world. Now, with the support of local brands and a burgeoning Instagram presence, a community of style-obsessed people in L.A. is stepping into that world too.

Zapata, who was a sales and merchandising coordinator at good hyouman, got her notice in March. S.P., who was a brand business manager with Dover Street Market L.A., was laid off in July. They spent weeks commiserating on the beach last summer, trying to come up with a plan for their next move over cans of White Claw. When Zapata suggested they open a brick-and-mortar store, it didn’t seem crazy. It was the moment everything clicked.

Género Neutral, with its high ceilings, minimal decor and spiral staircase, carries L.A.-based designers such as Equihua, Kids of Immigrants, Bricks & Wood and Paisaboys, as well as designers from Mexico, including Roberto Sánchez. There, the clothing is presented in a genderless way.

“We wanted a space where our friends didn’t have to feel on the outside,” Zapata says. S.P. adds: “[We asked] how can we make our own world that is accessible and welcoming and is a reflection of us and of our friends?”

Ahead of an in-shop event May 1, the co-owners share their most treasured item of clothing and the place in L.A. they tell customers to check out.

The mantra keeping me sane right now is:

mantra

The L.A. brand I’m obsessed with right now:

obsessed

Summer 2021 tastes like:

taste

A daily ritual I can’t live without:

ritual

My most treasured piece of clothing is:

treasured piece of clothing

My coffee order:

coffee

Playlist

“telepatía” by Kali Uchis

“Streets” by Doja Cat

“Safaera” by Bad Bunny

“Eva” by Buscabulla

“No Me Conoce (Remix)” by Jhay Cortez, Bad Bunny, J Balvin

Screenshot my mood

The meme I can’t get out of my head:

meme

“It’s definitely the SHEEEESH meme — it’s all we’ve been sending in group chats with our friends.”

A selfie that captures our mood right now:

selfie

“We take a mirror selfie every morning and post it on our IG stories. It’s our way of starting the day and telling everyone to pull up. This one is a favorite. We both happened to be wearing Paisaboys (a dope L.A. brand we carry in store).”

The last thing I wrote in my Notes app:

notes app

“We were playing around with what to call the event we’re going to throw on May 1, and landed on Viva La Function. We had so much fun at our opening and wanted to kick off the summer with another function with our friends and the community. Ashley likes to draw s— in her Notes app so that’s what happened here.”





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