Meet the Humans of Downtown: stories and snapshots from the urban core of Las Vegas
By Zoneil Maharaj
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When it comes to fashion, Emme Larson has long been ahead of the curve. She launched Love Em Couture in 2012, specializing in upcycled acid washed shirts and distressed denim — trends that have now become ubiquitous. She saw the vision when others didn’t, which is why she’s had pieces she made nearly 10 years ago that are finally flying off the rack at her recently-opened boutique inside The Gather House.
“I feel like all my pieces are meant for someone,” the 28-year-old artist and entrepreneur says. “It’ll wait for the right person.”
In fact, Love Em Couture started with a piece that didn’t sell until 2018. While thrifting for denim jackets with her mom, Emme came across a “pirate-y jacket that was dark and grungy.” She decided to put her own touch on it and customize it. Soon after, she popped up at First Friday Las Vegas. When Market in the Alley launched, she quickly became a fixture there, too. That relationship led to her shop inside The Gather House, a collection of boutiques next to the larger retail complex.
Emme’s store features more than just clothes. The small space is covered in her own original art — spiritual paintings of the cosmos that are as unique and striking as her one-of-a-kind clothing. Though she always made art, she didn’t feel comfortable sharing it until moving into the space.
Her art speaks to our divine connection. With her “Interconnectedness” series, she created a series of “Rorschach Nebulas” — paintings that look like Rorschach test inkblots. Each unique, numbered painting was also transferred onto a paper bag that Emme gives to customers for free with each purchase. Both strangers — the one who purchases the painting and the one who receives the bag — are now bonded. She’s planning an event in the desert to unite the individuals who hold these works of art.
“I just want to connect with people with the things I create and form meaningful relationships,” Emme says. “I’ve always wanted to create and be an artist. I feel like I’m here.”
Love Em Couture is located at 1020 E Fremont Street and open on Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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