I had the pleasure of speaking with Lizz from Audey Thunders, punk and alternative’s up and coming fashion designer. I first met Lizz in 2012 at the Rock Against Gentrification benefit show in Inglewood, California. She is truly an exceptional designer, and I want to share some of her story with you.
Lizz explained her love for fashion was unexpected, that it gained momentum after an experience she had while in high school. Lizz shared as a high school student she would often shop in thrift stores and outdoor swap meets where she would buy used clothes. She wanted cool clothes to wear, like the famous Tripp pants, but they were too expensive. With this desire to still dress up the way she wished, she took the reins and attempted to make her pants herself, and then put patches on them. She ended up taking a fashion class while still in high school in her junior and senior year, where she learned how to use a sewing machine for the first time. She admitted she was scared of the sewing machine at first, as she always had hand-sewn all of the things she made. This class pushed her to explore her just emerging talents, by having her make a collection of clothes to display at a school fashion show, the biggest event at her school. She found success in doing this, and this brought the attention of eager alternative students who wanted their hands on her clothes and accessories. She started making and selling clothes, purses, patches, and some other small items that she sold for very low prices, not realizing their worth at the time.
After high school she continued to explore this talent, when she enrolled in Fullerton College. She took a few of their fashion classes, and continued to expand her skills. She continued to practice and teach herself apart from school as well. By the time she was 19 years-old she started her own Etsy shop. This led to her starting her own online store that she still runs today, at audeythundersclothing.com.
Her clothing and brand is size and lifestyle inclusive, including having a size range from xs to beyond XL. She often models her clothes with models that are people of color, plus sized, transgender, and queer. She explained that as she didn’t identify with the mainstream display of beauty and has always worked towards avoiding looking conformed, she wanted this to translate into her fashion. As she puts it, she wants people to see themselves in her work.
Over the years she has shown her fashion in several runway shows at different events. For example, she was seen at the famous Gilman Street venue in Berkeley at the Peace Punk Fest in 2018, and then the Anarchist Gathering in 2019, L.A. Anarcho Punk Fest, and many other punk shows in Southern California. And recently this year at the 2023 Femme Fatales of the Punk Rock Scene organized by Nothing Less Booking in Maywood.
During her fashion shows you get to witness some of the most unique displays in fashion and modeling. Models of different sizes, gender, height, weight and hair color each come out wearing her clothes and accessories while shouting out thought provoking phrases to their audience. Sometimes they just strut, or dance while walking by the crowd. They always excite the crowd, and it brings a smile to everyone’s face.
She has sold her clothing and accessories at countless other gatherings, shows, and events. Most of the clothing and items she makes are from upcycled materials, and using leftover material that is transformed into beautiful and inspiring patchwork pieces. Incorporating so many small pieces of material for patchwork is tedious and time consuming, but she puts her heart into everything she makes, and finds it to be rewarding when she does this work.
Audey Thunders loves to design and make beautiful, interesting, and unique alternative fashion. She stands by the fact that she will always continue to sew, and be a part of fashion, even if she did it for free. By – Vegan Peace Punk