The LA Brand Bringing 'Malibu Sleaze' to Fashion

The LA Brand Bringing 'Malibu Sleaze' to Fashion

Story by Justin Moran / Photography by Ace Aroff

Where Los Angeles is famously referred to as being "fake," perhaps a culture of extreme physical transformation — the boobs, the butt, the lips — is more authentic than just living comfortably with the natural body we're born into. For Ace Aroff, a rising designer born and raised inside plastic Hollywood, there's nothing realer.

His eponymous brand, ACE, looks to celebrate the "bimbofication" of fashion by leaning into "Malibu sleaze" as a sexed up style oozing with strength (where many might consider it "cheap"). In its infancy, ACE has already attracted some notable fans, from Gia Woods to Uglyworldwide and, most recently, Anwar Hadid, who've all co-signed his everyday staples.

ACE has previously released bodysuits, tanks, gym shorts and sweat suits, labeled with names like "Dirty Dog" or "After Dark," and printed with trashy, reflective graphics that could go from the locker room to basement club. Their most recent drop, titled "Easy Lover," features a hand-printed galloping horse — the animal Aroff says is "majestic as fuck."

For PAPER, Aroff photographed ACE on a sex doll, his latest muse, and tells us why he considers himself an "Easy Lover."

What initially inspired you to launch your own brand?

I was styling a lot in New York when living there. Taking one standard piece and giving it new shape and meaning was the main inspo for me to create my own garments. I tend to always want a piece to be a little more on the slutty revealing side, which led me to my first piece: a reconstructed crop top sweater.

Do you have a background in fashion? What experience, if any, are you pulling from to design and launch this brand?

My main inspo is my mom. She had a couture brand, called Libbie Lane, when I was growing up. Shit was fuckin' rad. She worked her ass off to support me and my little sister. Being around everything always gave me an affinity towards fashion — especially '90s and Y2K vibes. As a kid I would wear a t-shirt with reversed seams to elementary school and would get made fun of for having my shirt "inside out." Will never forget wearing a flannel that was tie dyed purple and kids ridiculed me by saying "I spilled grape juice" on myself. I was bullied a lot [laughs].

"I grew up around plastic and have always found it so aesthetically stimulating — not horny, but inspiring."

Tell me about the phrase, “Easy Lover.” What is its significance?

Honestly, not very deep. My friend [Alicia Novella Vasquez] and I were chatting about it and "Easy Lover" just hit. I bounce almost all of my stuff off her and Kim Shui. It goes a lot of different ways for me. Pairing the verbiage with a horse just felt right. A horse is just majestic as fuck and they gallop with such ease, but with power. I feel like horses are also just generally sexy. They're extremely communicative and follow lead well, while also taking lead appropriately.

Do you consider yourself an easy lover?

Yeah, why not? [Laughs] Communication in relationships and sex is key. Listening to your lover makes you a good lover — an easy lover at that.

How does living in LA influence your direction?

Honestly, bimbofication and Malibu sleaze. I grew up around plastic and have always found it so aesthetically stimulating — not horny, but inspiring. Being born and raised here, you see a lot of crazy shit. I can spot a nose job or fake lips from a mile away and, don't get me wrong, I love it. I love how everyone is their own designer. Take [Mary Magdalene], for example. I had her model for the release of my bodysuit, as she's an ACE muse. She literally designed her full fuckin' self. I love. I definitely have an ACE muse mold that I have purposely gifted my clothes to regardless of their following, but more so just because I simply want them to wear my clothes.

Who are you designing for?

You, me, everyone. I want people to just feel comfortable and sexy. Sex appeal comes down to so many different aspects. I like revealing thot gear, but I like to elevate it through silhouette and comfort. Color is also very, very, very important to me. Color evokes emotions. I love my garments on a body, but also the fantasy they bring of being taken off. I purposely accentuate and show off collar bone, mid-drift, hips —any curves — to appease the eye. Skin is sexy, body is sexy.

"I love my garments on a body, but also the fantasy they bring of being taken off."

For this set of photos, you shot the “Easy Lover” collection on a sex doll. Why?

What's more of an obvious easy lover than a sex doll? Her name is Bambi. She may or may not get her own IG after this, but she's the new ACE fit model. A sex doll is an aesthetic I've always loved and always wanted to play with. Something so close to reality, but at the same time cold and made of metal (100 lbs of silicone and metal). While shooting her, I even questioned whether these photos translate as a real person or if it's clear enough that it isn't. Shit's wild. She lives on my couch and from time to time terrifies me when I go near as I forget she's there. We're talking near heart attack.

Where would you like to see ACE, the brand, go into the future?

Bigger, bolder, international, sexier. I am about to drop more couture pieces that feel more upscale and "high fashion," whatever that really means, and that's the vibe I'm pushing closer towards.

Photography: Ace Aroff for ACE