LOS ANGELES LEATHER COALITION
L.A. LEATHER PRIDE 2015
APRIL 1, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The 2015 Los Angeles Leather Pride Week was a tremendous success by all accounts. While the final numbers of participants and fundraising are still being counted, the Los Angeles Leather Coalition knows it had a winner of a week. “I’m delighted with the results of 2015. This was the biggest, loudest, and best in our 16 year history,” said Marlon Morales, Chairman of the Leather Pride Week production team. “I’m already thinking about next year. We have some surprises for you that will further solidify L.A. as a premium destination forleather and fetish events.”
On Sunday the 29th of March, thousands of energetic people strolled up and down Santa Monica Boulevard (between Sunset and Hoover) at the 3rd Annual Off Sunset St. Festival. The fair, produced by the Off Sunset Association, was held twice previously during the July 4th weekends. The producers moved the event this year to cap off the 2015 Los Angeles Leather Pride in style. Numbers are still being tallied, but all indications are that this was the most successful Off Sunset Festival in its three-year history. Dozens of vendor booths and food trucks saw heavy foot traffic all day. The headlining band Missing Persons entertained a packed street in front of the Eagle L.A. bar to close the fair out.
On Saturday March 28, at Club 333 Downtown, Eagle L.A. Mr. Leather 2015 Patrick Smith was awarded the title of Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2015. He will go to compete at the upcoming International Mr. Leather contest in Chicago in May. Over 1000 revelers from all over the world experienced Los Angeles Leather Pride 2015 at the Mr. Los Angeles Leather contest and the post contest “LEGION” dance party produced by L.A.’s Justin David and Hunter Fox.
Patrick Smith placed first from a roster of 10 stunning and diverse contestants. Rounding out the top 3 in the contest were first runner-up Mr. Sister Leather 2015 Justin Natoli, and second runner-up Mr. SoCal Leather 2015 Chris Jones. Each of these men had previously won a qualifying contest sponsored by a local bar or community partner of the producing organization, Los Angeles Leather Coalition, giving him the right to compete for the coveted title.
An international panel of judges was led by outgoing Mr. L.A. Leather, Eric Paul Leue, also included the current International Mr. Leather, Ramien Pierre from the Washington, D.C area, and Mr. German Leather 2013/2014 Tyrone Rontganger from Berlin. Additional judges on the panel were: Troy Anicete, Dave Faunce, Shae Flanigan, and Jerry Roberts.
Other events held during 2015 Los Angeles Leather Pride included a trio of parties on Friday night with The Assembly Uniform Reception taking place at Rough Trade Gear on Sunset, a Meet & Greet/Cigar Social at the Eagle LA, and a Tribal Rites Fetish Party held at Sanctuary near LAX and hosted by Avatar and world renowned Recon Events, based out of London.
A spectacular VIP Reception at the Tom of Finland Foundation’s TOM House in Echo Park was held on Wednesday evening March 25. Over a hundred people were present including representatives from the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, including Mayor Garcetti’s LGBT Liaison, Edgar Garcia; sponsor representatives, contestants and judges for the Mr. LA Leather 2015 contest, and major donors. Also present were the Charity Partners, the designated beneficiaries of the proceeds of Los Angeles Leather Week 2015: Jeffery Erdman from ONE Archives, Mark Tucker from Project Angel Food, and Durk Dehner and Srs. Sharp of the Tom of Finland Foundation. Each of the speakers remarked about the welcoming spirit of the leather community of Los Angeles.
The official Kick-Off to 2015 Los Angeles Leather Pride happened on Sunday March 22, 2015 when over 800 people went through the doors of The Faultline Bar. During the festivities, the 2015 Mr. L.A. Leather contestants entered on roaring motorcycles to a packed parking lot for their introduction to the crowd.
Earlier on Sunday, the 12th Annual Southland Honors Awards were handed out during a brunch. Nine Awards were given out including the George Wong Person of the Year Award, which went to Eagle L.A. owner Charlie Matula. “This year marks 25 years I have been in the bar business and involved in the Los Angeles community. It is an honor to be recognized by the community,” said Mr. Matula. “George Wong was a close friend and a huge inspiration. I am very honored to win an award bearing his name.”
The events of the L.A. Leather Pride Week 2015 could not have been possible without the hard work of the many volunteers and the contribution of 31 sponsors who collectively gave over $55,000 in cash and merchandise. The Chief level sponsors were: The Fight Magazine, OxBalls, the Eagle L.A., Faultline Bar, Pleasure Chest, Kink.com, Rough Trade Gear, Folsom Street Events, Recon, Off Sunset Festival, 665 Leathers, Mr. S Leathers, Schott Leathers, and GED.