From Fast Fashion to Hula Hoops: Five Surprising Things That Got Their Start in Los Angeles

·2 min read
LA Mag anniversary
LA Mag anniversary

Valley Times Collection/Los Angeles Public Library

Hollywood has long been known for A-list actors and the entertainment industry, but Los Angeles, Calif. has also helped shape the world in countless other ways.

To mark it's 60th Anniversary issue titled, "60 Ways LA Changed the World," Los Angeles Magazine is highlighting some surprising ways the city has impacted popular culture.

"What most surprised me as we were compiling this list was the broad range of innovations and global trends that were born here. Some, like fast food, theme parks, skateboards and porn stars couldn't have been invented anywhere else," says Maer Roshan, Editor-in-Chief of Los Angeles Magazine. But the city also lays claim to some less predictable things, like "the Internet, rocket ships, lasers and the modern Republican Party," he says.

"Few other cities pack as much of a global punch as L.A. does——and it's not just Hollywood," Roshan adds."From food to fashion to tech and pop culture, trends that first bubble up out here eventually sweep the world."

Below are five items that originated in the City of Angels.

Fast Fashion: American retailer Forever 21— known for its low-priced trendy clothes— opened its very first store in Highland Park, Calif. In 1984. Once a single brick-and-mortar operation, the business grew to 700 stores with $4.4 billion in revenue in 2015 and paved the way for current fast fashion giants like Fashion Nova.

Hula-Hoops: While children and adults have been using Hula-Hoops for centuries, the modern plastic version was created in 1958 by Richard Knerr and Arthur "Spud" Melin of the Pasadena-based Wham-O toy company. According to Los Angeles Magazine, "the Hula-Hoop was a runaway hit, selling 25 million in its first four months of production."

Cochlear Implants: Dr. William F. House developed the small electronic device that electrically stimulates the cochlear nerve and improves hearing at his lab at the House Ear Institute in Santa Monica. The invention "has since helped 700,000 people recover their hearing," according to the publication.

Turning Right on Red: It's legal in all 50 states now but that wasn't always the case. RTON got its start in California in 1947.

The Super Bowl: The L.A. Coliseum hosted the very first Super Bowl in 1967 when the Green Bay Packers defeated the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10.

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