How a small-town nurse founded L.A.’s coolest new label

Danita Short took a quick, sharp turn from Calgary healthcare worker to uber-edgy founder of Los Angeles label LAND of distraction, already beloved by the likes of Jaime King and Kate Bosworth.

A nurse and self-proclaimed biker chick from Coronation, Alberta (pop. 940), Short’s career one-eighty came after attending business development sessions in L.A. at the invite of Laurie Venning, a Canadian entrepreneur who would become her backer and co-founder. Fashion had always felt like a way to stand out for Short, one of four siblings, and, reflecting upon the overflowing trove of  available fashion options, she was struck by how something cool, comfortable, yet anarchic was missing from contemporary women’s clothing.

Trading her scrubs for a biker jacket, the 36-year-old found herself ready to fill the void and LAND of distraction was born–a disruption to the Zac Posen-esque world of frills and fragility. Most inspired when she’s cruising on her bike, Short tapped her friend, Christian Juul Nielsen (formerly of Dior and Oscar de la Renta) for design director, and the pair motorcycled through Prague, searching through the city’s vintage stores for ideas.

The result is an ode to Short’s rebellious persona—oversized jackets take hints from classic menswear shapes, corduroy pieces (Short’s personal favorites) find a ’70s flair—and moto style—there’s certainly no shortage of reworked leather.

An outsider from what might actually qualify as the middle of nowhere, she’s chosen L.A.—a new fashion outpost, to come at the fashion world from a different angle. On November 30, at West Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont, edgy women came in droves to fete her season-less debut collection.

It’s that wild MO that will have Short in high demand once her collection lands online. And who knows? Maybe she’ll take to a cross-country bike ride to promote the thing herself.