If you follow San Fernando Road south along the LA River, you’ll eventually come to a white, two-story art deco building. Despite the building’s colorless exterior, the inside is a menagerie of blue and orange-hued flower wallpaper, pink and purple floors, and an exuberant hand-painted rainbow mural that meanders from the space’s checkered floors to its high ceilings. On any given day, you’ll find Lacey Micallef, owner of the boisterously colorful brand Big Bud Press, juggling every aspect of her just over two-year-old business.
“I started Big Bud as a casual side project. I had been making pins for years and I wanted to do something fun, original, and poppy with an emphasis on US production,” says Micallef. “I really had no initial vision for Big Bud to be a brand, actually. I was almost looking at it like an art project. I wanted to have these highly conceptualized collections of pins with lush photography and that was it. I wanted it to be a little high end, but still easily attainable. That vision has changed a lot. As I started gaining success that I didn’t anticipate, at all, I had to start reimagining Big Bud as a brand and running it as such.”
Big Bud has undoubtedly evolved into a full-fledged fashion label, boasting everything from backpacks and pins to bomber jackets and tees, all doused with a range of lush, almost juicy, colors of the rainbow. Lacey is a perfectionist, which is apparent after a single glance at the meticulous stitching and craftsmanship of any of her US-made products.
“I think Big Bud fills a segment in the market that’s lacking. No one really makes fun, interesting clothing that’s meant to last,” says Micallef. “I have impossibly high standards. If something is even a little off, it’s out—it’s now a cheap sample to sell off later. Not enough brands make pieces meant to be kept and used over years and years, and that’s all I’m making.”
Don’t miss Big Bud Press’ upcoming feature in our tenth printed issue out March 11th. You can pre-order here.