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Body Found In Laurel Canyon Park Identified As 'Lip Service' Fashion Founder
The body found near Laurel Canyon Park yesterday has been identified as Drew Bernstein, the founder of L.A. fashion company Lip Service. Bernstein, 51, was found by crews responding to a report of a possibly injured hiker near 8350 Mulholland Drive yesterday morning. The LAPD said they suspected it was a suicide, but did not immediately release the victim's identity. Today, the L.A. County coroner's office said that Bernstein died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound,L.A. Times reports.
Drew Bernstein (also known as "Lippy") was a musician and designer who established the Lip Service brand in 1985. The company catered to a rock/goth/punk aesthetic, or as Bernstein lovingly called them, the "freaks" and "weirdos." He would eventually launch other brands—including Kill City, 24 HRS and Widow—underneath the umbrella of The Original Cult. Kill City has a location on Melrose Avenue near La Brea Avenue while Original Cult has an outlet location downtown.
Writer Lina Lecaro wrote a tribute to Bernstein in L.A. Weekly:
"Throughout the company's history, Bernstein remained its heart and soul. Despite evolving, he never abandoned the flamboyant underground. He employed hundreds of rockers and club miscreants in his companies, teaching them the ropes about business and mentoring future movers and shakers. He also sponsored Hollywood club events up until his death."
"Yesterday we lost our founder and dearest friend, Drew (aka Lippy). He was a good man who inspired everyone around him and there are not enough words to express how deeply he was loved and will be missed. RIP Drew Bernstein 1963-2014."
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone, remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt, and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.