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Founded in 2001 by John Whitledge (creative director), Josia Lamberto-Egan (production director), Jeff Halmos (sales and marketing), and Sam Shipley, Trovata is made up of four individuals who describe themselves as possessing "nothing resembling a fashion resume" (although Whitledge had earlier interned at Abercrombie & Fitch). Whitledge and Halmos grew up together in Florida, and Halmos later attended the University of Colorado at Boulder with Shipley. During a trip to southern California to visit Whitledge, who was enrolled at Claremont College along with Lamberto, Halmos met the two and helped devise the basic plan that would turn into the Trovata clothing line.

In early 2001, a test line consisting of three pairs of shorts and one polo was developed. The brand approached buyers from American Rag, Fred Segal, and Barneys with what Whiledge has described as "two vintage suitcases" full of samples. Barneys bought the polo shirt in all available colors, and Trovata shipped its first collection from a Claremont College dorm room later that year.

In 2002, DNR described the brand as a "Hot New Label", while GQ picked Trovata as one of "today's best emerging designers." Vogue described the brand's creators as "four surfers hanging ten in the fashion waters." During much of this this period, the label was still being run out of a small room in Halmos' father's office in Florida.

In the summer of 2002, with a short video in hand, Halmos and Whitledge set out for Europe, Asia, and Australia to sell the young brand to oversees merchants. The trip would also eventually secure Asian manufacturing in the same facilities used to manufacture Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss.

In January 2003, Trovata's headquarters were moved to Newport Beach, CA. That year would also see the brand's first runway shows.

In 2005, Trovata was awarded both the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award and the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award, the latter of which included a cash prize of $200,000.

In the summer of 2006, Lamberto-Egan left the company. Citing creative differences, Shipley and Halmos departed in December of the same year with plans to launch a new label in spring '08.
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review by . December 09, 2008
I splurged on a Trovata cropped khaki trench jacket a couple of years back, sometime around 2005 or 2006. With non-matching buttons and "secret" hidden pockets, it's basically the archeologist jacket that I never had (ahhh, my unrequited profession).    Let me tell you: I wear it all the time, and it still holds up. The printed cotton lining is a high thread count, which means that even though it's a khaki jacket, you stay plenty warm (and it's snuggly and smooth). The multiple pockets …
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