French photographer Geraldine Freyeisen introduces new fashion line inspired by Skid Row residents called Swagabongs. While working on a documentary about homeless women, Freyeisen discovered Skid Row, which is also known as “the homeless capital of the United States.” Freyeisen appreciated the support system in the community despite the residents financial situation.
“I was attending events, jam sessions, open mics, barbecues, and even the first Skid Row wedding. I started to hang out in Skid Row by myself — residents would occasionally wave at me when I passed by their tents; we would chat and share a cigarette. As a photographer with a love of fashion. Amid the chaos, the streets had become some people’s runway and an opportunity to express oneself, depicting a sense of pride in spite of their circumstances. That’s when I decided to grab a camera.”
Originally, Swagabongs was a photo series to capture the style of the residents that lived in Skid Row. Freyeisen collaborated with Skid Row artists Gary Brown and Adrian Excel to create the clothing line. Freyeisen has helped a Skid Row resident, Robert get back on his feet by giving him a modeling opportunity with Swagabonds. “He was sleeping on the streets when I met him a year-and-a-half ago, but now lives in an apartment in South L.A. But, he comes back to Skid Row to clean the streets almost every week.”
For every item purchased 20% of the sales go to an artist so they are able to support themselves. Freyeisen goal is to open up a free fashion school in Skid Row. Click here to support the collection.