Student’s creative outlet leads to streetwear design

Fredy Tlatenchi

Jed Mitra, 19, freshman Kinesiology major, started a T-shirt Business in middle school called Take! Los Angeles. Photo credit: Farah Yacoub / Daily Sundial

In the beginning, Jed Mitra only wanted to create graffiti.

The 19-year-old CSUN freshman and graphic design major began designing shirts in middle school, a time when his friends were heavily into practicing the art.

After a 100-hour community service stint for being caught tagging on public property, Mitra sought a legal alternative to express the designs that were sketched in his mind. Combining his ambition and knack for the art, Mitra established the streetwear company Take! Los Angeles.

Take! Los Angeles, founded in 2011, began as a way for Mitra to channel his creative energies into a more professional manner.

Specializing in creating men’s apparel, such as jackets and shirts, the company’s themes and name revolve around independence and ambition.

“At one point, it was about staying young,” Mitra said, “but now, it’s about taking what you want.  Even if you deserve it, you won’t get it unless you get up and take a step towards it. There’s no room for dreaming.”

Mitra funded Take! Los Angeles with money from his personal savings and the first 12 shirts he created. Steady sales of the shirts eventually led to the production of 24 more, spurring Mitra to expand the business to what it is today.

Despite starting his business during his senior year of high school, Mitra regards it as his biggest regret.

“I feel bad for not starting as early as I could,” Mitra said. “I would tell my younger self to just go for it and take a risk.”

The need to help the younger generation extends to his everyday life, as well. Mitra also works in Northridge at Creative Leap, an indoor playground for children. To Mitra, the children’s youthful creativity and energy serve as an inspiration for his work.

Mitra has even taken steps to mentoring teens who want to begin their own company one day, often grilling them about the importance of building a network and pursuing one’s dream.
With his dreams at their highest point, Mitra hopes to have an established retail store in Los Angeles within the next 10 years and continue to see his brand of clothes on strangers and people he knows. He also plans to expand the designs and create a line for women, as well.

“Besides a retail store, by actually being able to make a good living off of it would be great,” he comments.

Pushing aside his hopes, Mitra remains grounded.

“My parents wanted me to take the safe route, and I’m sure a lot of people in the art department have experienced that,” Mitra said. “But I wanted to follow this dream of mine.”

Mitra continues to live up to his clothing’s philosophy, one that began years ago with only a group of supportive friends and a handful of stencils.