For many aspiring fashion designers, Downtown LA is a tremendous resource built from a solid manufacturing industry that has existed for decades. Whether it’s sourcing fabrics or textiles in the Fashion District, fabricating in the Arts District, or distribution at the Cooper Design Building, Downtown LA serves a burgeoning makers movement beaming with concepts and the need to create. Within this creative renaissance, TEG International has been empowering indie fashion designers, craftsmen, and creatives for over ten years.
The Evans Group, or TEG International, is an integrated development and production house based in the Arts District. By facilitating an otherwise complicated process, TEG attracts creatives once inhibited by a lack of technical prowess. “We now work with designers who have no experience in design but it’s a dream of theirs. Bridging the gap for someone who didn’t go to fashion school but wants to create,” explains founder Jennifer Evans. Whether ideas arrive on a napkin or are inspired by a specific jacket detail, TEG serves the fashion community at large to include novices, writers, and retailers looking to develop their own flagship lines. Past and current clients include Jeremy Scott, Grey Ant, and Greg Lauren.
TEG specializes in the development of 30 to 40 fashion lines per month, offering a myriad of in-house services ranging from patterns to manufacturing (bypassing outsourcing and expense) for indie and large brands alike. International partnerships in Senegal (handcrafted shoes and bags), Vietnam (custom printed textiles), and Spain (luxury handbags and shoes) have been established to meet the burgeoning needs of designers seeking high attention to detail and technique. Each program meets a thoughtful vetting process based on quality, best practices, and in person visits from Evans herself.
Having learned the fashion business early in her career, Evans’ search for humanitarian opportunities led her to a nonprofit international school. “This is such a weird story how things work out…the [school] owner asked me to start a social enterprise to raise scholarship funds. I said, let’s start a little sewing shop so the money can go to these scholarships,” explains Evans. With experience, a shipping container, sewers, and machines, Evans replied to Craigslist ads marketing her “sewing factory” and immediately found customers. It wasn’t long before this serendipitous endeavor quickly revealed itself as a niche market for small designers who couldn’t afford or commit to standard high-volume manufacturing facilities. Within a year she relocated from Laguna to Downtown LA armed with a team of technically proficient artisans and a passion for craftsmen.
Ten years on and asked about what niche she fills now, Evans responds, “We specialize in working with what you’d consider the independent designer. We try to help people visualize their dreams and we do that really well so they can get started on the right foot.”