The Casual Cool Downtown Label That Has Hollywood Off-Duty Covered

And already counts Beyonce, Kendall and Gigi as fans

L.A. based fashion label RAILS was launched in 2008 by Jeff Abrams after he spent some time living abroad in Italy. It was there Abrams “began to conceptualise what would be the RAILS brand – combining the relaxed, Southern California sensibility with the elevated European lifestyle”.

This ethos instantly appealed to Hollywood celebrities – everyone from Taylor Swift to Kendall Jenner has been donning the brand’s understated signature shirts for years now. Even supermodel Gisele Bundchen wore one of the brand’s understated signature RAILS shirt to the Super Bowl, causing the style to instantly sell out.

Gisele Bundchen wearing RAILS

For a brand that has clearly cemented its place in the contemporary fashion world, hanging in half of Hollywood’s wardrobes, it’s humbling to hear Abrams get equal enjoyment from seeing anonymous girls wear his brand in their everyday lives. “It’s exciting to see the RAILS brand connecting with so many people.”

Below, get to know RAILS.

taylor swift
Taylor Swift wearing RAILS

What’s the meaning behind the name ‘RAILS’?

When I was living abroad in Italy, I travelled all across Europe by train on the Eurorail, It was there where I began to conceptualise what would be the RAILS brand.

Where and how did RAILS begin? Was it something you always wanted to do or a light bulb moment? 

When I first started making shirts, almost all of the button downs in the market were in some form of a stiff cotton fabrication. I saw a unique opportunity and wanted to bring a luxe cashmere-like feel into the classic shirting category. This was the turning point for the RAILS brand.

What makes your brand different and stand out? What are you doing that your competitors aren’t?

RAILS is all about product innovation. We start at the fabric stage and create innovative and new fabric constructions that feel luxe and representative of the RAILS DNA. We develop our own colour patterns and prints and introduce unique offerings each season and we visit our customers in each global markets to better understand the specific style sensibilities in each territory.

Tell me something wild that’s happened on the RAILS journey you really weren’t expecting?

In the early days of RAILS, I had my first large order for 3000 units from an important US retailer. It took me three months to complete the production and get them packed, most of which I did by myself because I had no employees! A truck came to pick up all of the shirts and I celebrated that night as my first big success. I woke up the next morning to a phone call from the trucking company to say the truck had been robbed and all of my shirts were stolen! The shirts were never recovered, the store never received their product and it took me six months to get paid by the trucking company’s insurance. 

But I remember thinking that I wouldn’t be slowed down or scared by that experience. This would typically run people out of the business but I found a way to continue growing and problem solve. As I’ve learned over the past ten years, unexpected things always happen and you have to be thick-skinned and resilient in order to keep going!

What is it about LA that influences and inspires you? How does it translate into your designs?

I grew up in Los Angeles and have always been influenced by the city itself; its culture, the people and its vibrant neighbourhoods. There’s an effortless sense of living here that I’ve sought to infuse into the brand’s relaxed, yet elevated aesthetic. 

RAILS has a huge celeb cult following, who were you most excited to see wearing the brand? And who would you love to see wearing it next? 

Gisele Bundchen at the Super Bowl was a favourite. This really cemented the brand in the contemporary fashion space. Over 100,000 people came to our website the next day – the style immediately sold out!

And I always love to see celebrities wearing RAILS, but I get more enjoyment now from seeing more anonymous girls wear them in their everyday life. Especially on my travels abroad, it’s exciting to see the brand connecting with so many people. 

kendall jenner
Kendall Jenner wearing RAILS

Whats next for RAILS?

Our first focus is always on product: building out our women’s collection to include classic shirtings, dresses, outerwear, jersey, and sweater knits. We are excited to expand our men’s and Little Rails business to complement the growing women’s offering. We plan to open our first retail stores in the US early next year and expand to key international markets so that customers can more deeply connect with our brand. We want to bring the California lifestyle to all the different countries we’re selling in.

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