It’s a strange sign of the times that Erewhon, the Southern California-based high-end organic supermarket, has become, in certain circles, a brand with recognition on par with some European luxury fashion labels. Kanye West has tweeted about it, TikTok influencers have built huge followings while dissecting its assortment of goods, and, when I wrote about the store’s popularity for the New York Times earlier this year, I was truly astounded at how many people waxed poetic about the store—not just as a place to shop for macrobiotic goodies, but as the very manifestation of the axiom “health is wealth.” Erewhon is the sort of spot that takes the normal drudgery of real life—i.e. grocery shopping—and turns it into a luxury experience. The sort of place where you’d maybe bump into Gwyneth Paltrow, slurping on her $24 smoothie, while wearing an improbably cool sweatsuit.
Speaking of improbably cool sweatsuits: would it be a surprise to learn that the brand is now moving from organic produce to organic clothing? It would not! And that’s exactly what’s happening.
This week, the beloved health food store is dropping what it calls the Erewhon Standard Collection: a tight selection of cozy hoodies ($150) and sweatpants ($125) in three muted colors hitting erewhonmerch.com on December 18th. Each set is made in Los Angeles from organic French terry, features the store’s circa-1971 original logo embroidered on the chest or thigh, and (obviously) will be available only in limited quantities.
“Every city has a destination that speaks to the culture it’s based in and I think Erewhon is an emblem of Los Angeles,” said Alec Antoci, whose parents, Josephine and Tony Antoci, acquired the brand ten years ago and are behind its recent expansion.
Normally that kind of talk is a bit over the top, but Antoci isn’t wrong—Erewhon has fostered a passionate fan base who happily shell out loads of cash for their goods (and then post about them on social media). A clothing line is a brand extension as natural as the dried fruit found in their bulk bins. And as health replaces self-indulgence as an aspirational lifestyle, Erewhon has become the go-to temple for our age of decadent self-care.
“In creating this collection we thought about what Erewhon represents,” Antoci said. “It is more than a market providing the highest quality ingredients to our customers, it is a lifestyle that people embody and live. This collection is an extension of that belief.”
Eagle-eyed followers of paparazzi photos will remember that this isn’t the first Erewhon clothing collection. Back in 2018, the popular marketing firm Pizzaslime dropped bootleg Erewhon merch that quickly became a viral sensation, worn by celebrities like Jonah Hill. “The Pizzaslime collection felt like a milestone for Erewhon as a whole,” Antoci said. “It signaled that Erewhon was bigger than a family-owned institution; it’s a community and movement. Seeing an up-and-coming streetwear brand create a collection that sold out everywhere felt powerful.” So after Antoci decided to work up a one-off collection last year, which sold out quickly, he figured this thing might have legs. They plan to continue on in a drop format, making room for different products and even collaborators with “mission-aligned partners.” Could your favorite independent farm or kombucha soon show up on an Erewhon hoodie? It’s certainly possible. (This one is co-designed by Antoci’s pal Dan Franco.)
And if you can’t pick up a sweatsuit, you can always swing by one of the markets next time you’re in LA, to pick up some healthy fare and bask in Erewhon’s glow. If you’re there you may find Alec picking up his go-to product: green goddess ice cream from the tonic bar. “It’s packed with everything you need in a daily diet,” he says. “My favorite saying from Jason, our VP of store and team development, is, ‘You could live on a deserted island and eat this every day and thrive.’” But would it really be thriving if you weren’t wearing your Erewhon hoodie?