As outdoor enthusiasts who live in the city, we found our shopping options to be extremely limited. We could either go with a flashy performance-driven brand and feel out of place in the city, or, go with a design-oriented label and sacrifice outdoor functionality. This wasn't a choice we felt comfortable making; to us design and function should be equal.
Suspecting we were not alone in our frustration, we decided to create Aether. By utilizing technical fabrics in a more sophisticated form, we offer performance sportswear with a refined modern aesthetic. From the city to the slopes and everywhere in between, Aether products are designed to give you the confidence to go forth and explore no matter the terrain.
We were only in existence for two short years before we completely outgrew our first location. We had boxes stacked upon boxes, warehouse shelving in every room, and a nightmarish parking situation - even by LA standards. It was time for a new home and we found it at 6100 Melrose Avenue.
Built in 1953 as a warehouse, the space had clearly weathered some neglect by the time we found it, but its beautiful wooden bow-truss ceiling and concrete walls retained a raw industrial feel. With a bit of work we thought we’d be able to restore it back to its former glory in no time. We teamed up with good-friend and architect David Thompson of Assembledge and Eric Dobkins of Dobkin Construction to take on the task.
Throughout the renovation process we went to great lengths to maintain the old-school industrial aesthetic while adding elements of modern design. We removed the original black tar paper roof and installed a white foam roof that reflects up to 80% of the suns rays. To help retain valuable cool air we bulked out the the concrete walls for added insulation. We also switched the plumbing over to a low flow system to help save on water.
The most apparent addition, however, are the new solar panel banks that overhang the front entrance and driveway. Sunlight is Southern California’s most abundant natural resource, and we felt we were in a great position to capitalize on it. We partnered up with Phat Energy to get us up and running. Manufactured in America, their Sunpower Panels are the most efficient silicon solar cells currently in production. When working at full capacity, they generate enough electricity to power the entire office, with about 30% extra to put back into the grid. And as our usage expands we plan to install additional solar banks to keep the meter running backwards.