The land of athleisure, Portland, OR isn’t exactly known for being a fashion mecca. With brands like Nike, Adidas, and Columbia dominating the scene, the average person’s clothing choices can easily end up being as drab as our characteristically cloudy skies. Fortunately, the cannabis industry has been a refreshing influence on many aspects of the city, including its fashion. But no one has been more influential than Ladies of Paradise.
One of the most recognizable brands in cannabis right now, Ladies of Paradise is much more than a store or a fashion label. They describe themselves a “collaborative, women-in-cannabis blog and creative agency, where we offer lifestyle, product, and set photography; event planning; marketing campaigns; and more.” Their space features curated vintage finds from their travels around the world, sustainable woman-owned pro-cannabis brands, and more. With a commitment to fashion, bold colors, sustainability, and cannabis, the women behind Ladies of Paradise have created a truly singular shopping experience.
Based on their backgrounds in the fashion industry, it’s no surprise that founders Harlee Case and Jade Daniels have such strong senses of style. Case previously owned a vintage shop, and Daniels has been sourcing finds from around the world for years. They combined their businesses just over a year ago, added an emphasis on cannabis culture, and never looked back. When I had the privilege of talking to the duo the day before they opened their first retail location, the girl-gang vibes were completely infectious.
Previous to opening the store, the women had made a name for themselves with their awesome photo booths and site-specific marketing events. “The photo booth idea started as a one-time thing for an event, but when we got these women in front of the camera for maybe ten minutes at a time, they would relax and we would get beautiful photos. There was one woman who runs a cannabis farm who said she never got to feel pretty like this because she’s always in the dirt, but this, this was how she felt on the inside.”
Both Case and Daniels are committed to sustainability and to running a business that promotes practices and brands that aren’t as resource-intensive as the rest of the fashion industry. Harlee told me about her year-long mission to not buy anything and recommends the documentary The True Cost to anyone who wants to understand more about the mass-market fashion business. The duo also emphasized their dedication to supporting brands owned by women. “It’s going to be amazing having a retail location again, especially because we know so many of the women behind the brands in our store. We can say, ‘Oh! This came from Jennifer, and this is exactly how it’s made.”
From LoP and beyond, the fascinating part about style in the cannabis industry is that it crosses so many lines and borders that the plant itself cannot. Even in states where legalization hasn’t happened yet, the influence of style is boundless and aids in the continued normalization of cannabis. It’s not just lifestyle enhancer; it’s an way of life:
In an economy that pressures people to feel that constant productivity is the only way to succeed, self-care often feels like an unnecessary luxury. But there is a thread of effortless cool that runs through many pro-cannabis brands, an invitation to kick back once in awhile and just let things be. Whether it’s Canadian company Planted Sock Co. or the well-known clothing label Stoned Immaculate, each brand has its own way of inviting you into a space where it’s a little easier to step back and enjoy the moment. Today’s tastemakers in cannabis clothing are aware that what they do is not just about finding the most interesting, ethical brands to represent; they are creating a statement about the world in which we want to live.
A Texas native, Jade says, “We are so lucky being in Portland. Everyone is just so nice.” Frankly, Portland is lucky to have such nice – and fashion forward – transplants.
You can find Ladies of Paradise at 959 SE Division St #125, Portland, OR 97214.
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Dusti Arab is a brand strategist specializing in content marketing for cannabis brands and creatives. An Amazon bestselling author, she is the CEO of Cannabis Bakeshop & Co. and serves as Director of Operations at Oov Lifestyle.
Find her on Instagram @dustiarab and www.thereinvention.co.