Opinion: Clothing line rises out of Last Place

Melissa Schwachenwald

Melissa Schwachenwald

Melissa Schwachenwald is a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

It’s simple to think about doing what you want in life, whether it’s going to college, working, supporting a family, or all three and more.

Throw in what you are passionate about and life becomes interesting. A hobby may turn into a talent: Hey I like this! Oh, I’m good at it! Now what?

The crossroads of choosing to do what you love in life or just letting life happen comes along. There’s no right or wrong; life is going to move forward no matter what, but while it’s moving you want to enjoy the ride, right?

The difficulty of doing what you want in life is whether or not you let obligations get in the way. Your outlook on life will ultimately determine your decisions.

Usually it takes starting from the bottom and working your way up to achieve what you want. All of the struggles along the way will make success and happiness more significant.

These statements come together in a Cleveland-based clothing line named Last Place.

Wearable art with a state of mind that hard work and determination will lead to good outcomes.

The ideas of the Last Place brand were swimming around in Irwan Awalludin’s creative mind and in 2010 the clothing line became a reality.

Awalludin’s yin to his yang is Li Wei Su; the two met while attending The Cleveland Institute of Art in 2008.

Su presented the Last Place brand in his BFA show at CIA in 2011. Awalludin took a different route, choosing to drop out of the four-year Illustration program and concentrate on Last Place.

“Art school was interesting; the area and people were great but the curriculum, projects and classes were not as influential. I think I can still be successful without college, it’s not always a promise for a secure future.”

Awalludin creates the concepts and Su makes it happen. Their teamwork helps balance the business end to the ideas and their outlet.

Awalludin is ready to change up the streetwear scene because he’s “tired of name brands and the stereotypes that come along with them. Clothing shouldn’t have to represent rich or poor, fashionable or not. Last Place embodies being at the bottom although it’s not always a bad thing, real life situations and struggles make you who you are.”

On Jan. 13 an event for Last Place was held at the 5,500 sq. ft. Ohio City location the group acquired.

All shirts were on sale for $10 and each have the Last Place logo on them, varying from bold-lined designs in a graphic-based aesthetic to Cleveland-inspired images.

Other designs on the shirts include characters, fun illustrations and some are influenced by personal meanings to Awalludin, such as an old Volkswagen reminiscent of his dad.

Cleveland is symbolized through the clothing line, encouraging people to be proud of the city.

Since 2010, Last Place has held events for the line in the fall and spring, bringing together close friends, connections and a good time. This spring, Awalludin and his business partner Su hope to make the space on Lorain functional and continue building the Last Place family.