UNIFORM | X-Girl


Photo of Sofia Coppola and Kim Gordon via The Vinyl Club.

Recently I've been so intrigued with X-Girl, the 1990s indie fashion label started by Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and stylist Daisy Von Furth (Remember this video? Von Furth styled it). There's not much on offer about the now-defuct brand online (although it is still going strong in Japan), but luckily I was able to convince Haydee Sentianin of the style blog Happenstance to give a first-person account of the trend.

I honestly don't think there has ever been a brand since X-Girl that has been surrounded and endorsed by such a major cast of cool kids. We're talking about designers Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and Daisy Von Furth, and active endorsements by Sofia Coppola, Chloe Sevigny, Ione Skye and Kathleen Hanna of the band Bikini Kill—all stylish talented tomboys in their own right. The idea behind X-Girl was to feminize designs for the skater girl/riot grrrl while maintaining a tomboy edge. My friends and I could not get enough of this line, it truly became our identity. Whenever we had the chance, we would head up from Long Beach to the X-Large store (of which X-Girl was an offshoot) on Vermont Avenue where they sold the line exclusively in Los Angeles. Our favorite pieces were the Dickies-inspired pants, A-line dresses, and of course the quintessential X-Girl item: the ringer tee. Anything with the X-Girl logo made me feel as if I was part of an underground, ultra-hip movement. The feeling of exclusivity X-Girl bestowed on us is something I have yet to experience again. It was an incredible time. Luckily there is video footage of the very first X-Girl fashion show (organized by Sofia Coppola and Spike Jonze) which took place on the streets of Soho in 1994—not sure if it gets any more tomboy than that. —Haydee Sentianin



Do you have any X-Girl memories?

28 comments:

prairie dog said...

Agh, I've been similarly obsessed with images of Milkfed clothes from the 90s (talk about six degrees of Sofia Coppola!)-- it is also, randomly, still going strong in Japan. That fashion show footage is a treasure.

Closet Cupcake said...

Perhaps my taste level has not evolved since the 90's, but I'll always have a soft spot in my closet for ringer tees, x-girl, and that entire scene/era

snatchdracula said...

Yes! I still have an x-girl tshirt I still wear. I loved Kim Gordon's line for Urban Outfitters a few years ago. I wish she would design more clothes!

House of Milk said...

LOVED x-girl back in the day. I wanted Kim Gordon to be my mom! I had to share this on my blog, too. Hope you don't mind. :)

La Feem said...

OK, first of all can we just talk about house of style? LOVED and miss it! Haydes is one of the coolest chicks ever and knows where its all at (and where it once was...) I remember being entranced by X-Girl, Kim Gordon was one of my heros! Great post!

dramamama said...

Yes! I had a red x-girl tee with navy ring. I loved that tee so much. I used to feel so ubercool wearing it. They used to have a store on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley.

Karen said...

They sold x-girl in an x-large store on Haight in SF as well, which is where I bought the pieces I still own. It was not exclusively sold in L.A.

Lizzie said...

X-Girl was sold all over the country, so to clarify what I think Haydee meant was: in Los Angeles X-Girl was sold exclusively at the X-Large store on Vermont.

maggiep said...

oh yeah! kim and sofia rule! x-girl made the cutest and most comfortable dresses. i also had a blue jumpsuit (kinda looked like dickies for girls). i've always admired sofia coppola's simple and chic style. and i've been into sonic youth since my first cassette "confusion is sex" when i was around 13. thanks for bringing back awesome memories!

Crystal said...

I remember growing up in a very small coastal Oregon town and obsessing over this line! If I could have gotten my hands on just one piece..... I could have taken over the world! I would cut out pics of celebrities and models wearing it in Spin & Interview magazines and hang it on my wall & blast Sonic Youth. Good times.

jane said...

My friends and I were obsessed with x-girl back in the day. I still remember one wall of the store was painted a metallic silver. I wanted to paint something in my house like that forever. Funny because I ate lunch across the street from x-large today.

swishmusic said...

Oh my gosh, sofia coppola, can you do a post on her! She is the ultimate in low fuss tomboy chic. Love this post - it's amazing footage!!

bink and boo said...

I want a pair of "kick around" pants!

kristin said...

YES! Dying for some "kick-around" pants!!!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed how ernest the one girl was about ringer tees. Its weird to think now how most t's were cut in a very boxy, unflattering way at that point and this was the beginning of designers re-examining our closet staples to make them feminine. We used to have to customize most things because the 80's men's wear influence was lingering forever. I loved this moment in fashion. Thanks for reminding us.

Malaka Gharib said...

YES! When I was in high school, my mom had a boyfriend who would take us to Palermo's on Saturday nights for pizza. Before dinner, I'd take a look at the shops on Vermont Street and I loved all the things I saw there: X-large, Y Que, the book shop with the giant skylight in it, the wonderful old vintage store on the corner. that street influenced my style and aesthetic bigtime and i'll never forget good old vermont street!

I have two things from there: an a-line denim skirt and a black tee with "x-girl" in green graffiti font.

malaka
therunciblespoon.info

julia wheeler said...

SO GOOD, haydes! i miss ringer tees... i lived in those in high school!

AB said...

I have a fantastic x-girl necklace I bought in NY years ago. I was so excited about going to the x-girl store. Im from the UK so there was not too much x-girl there.

AB said...

Same goes for the store on Vermont Ave, loved going there with my boyfriend in the other side at x-large!

Cate said...

Yes! I had, and still have, that exact dress except in grey. I would go down to the X-Girl store in SoHo to browse and soak in the cool. This has inspired me to pull that out of the depths of my closet. Thank you!

Ali said...

I used to go to the Xlarge/Xgirl store in berkeley to drool. I remember buying my sister an Xgirl tee shirt for her birthday. She was crazy happy. I am a good sister.

Lady Hooligan Kat said...

Thanks for this post! It was such a great era, and I love the few X-girl items that I still own!

chanie said...

thank you for this clip! x-girl is the brand that got me hooked on fashion. it gave me butterflies in my tummy i was so excited. the store i worked at used to get some bits & pieces & i would buy almost everything (way more than i could afford). most memorable was the a-line mini dress with thumb holes and my ye-olde book bag. i still love kim gorgon so much-she a fabulous role model for women on so many levels x PS.your blog always makes my day

AMELIA ALVAREZ said...

X-Girl was a revelation. I am so nostalgic for this time.

www.clotheshorsenyc.com

bree said...

i was at that show! i was going to nyu at the time and my mom came to visit. we were walking around soho when i saw kim gordon and stopped to see what all the commotion was about... it was the x-girl show. so cool and so fun.

kellina said...

Fabulous flashback, thank you! If you love Sofia's style, I hope you will visit my site about her. Particularly, Vivian wrote a nice post about Milkfed that you may like.

Cheers!
Kellina

Cyd said...

I remember X-girl. Being a San Francisco 20 something sporting big tattoos, I definitely thought I was too punk to wear something so expensive. And the girl fit tees did nothing for my beer belly. At the time it seemed contrived, though Kim Gordan was such a rock god to me. In retrospect though, I have respect for it, and the concept of it, though back in the day, in my experience o nobody who was really in the scene actually wore it.

Anonymous said...

One of the first things I did after moving to LA in 2001 was to visit the X-Large store in LA (after being really obsessed with the mid-1990s LA scene in high school), which if I remember correctly, still sold x-girl items.