When Doc is sentenced to house arrest, the unscrupulous young hustler turns from slinging knockoff Louis Vuitton to creating original designs. To her surprise — and to the chagrin of fashion gatekeepers — she rockets to the top of the NYC fashion scene.


When a knockoff Louis Vuitton bag is indistinguishable from the real purse, is it truly a fake? When a hustler scams her way into New York Fashion Week with a mix of deception and skill, what qualifies her as a poseur? How blurry is the line between art and its imitation?

Doc is a scrappy young tomboy who makes a living selling bootleg streetwear in Jersey City nightclubs. When she's busted for fake purses and given house arrest, she cures her boredom by designing an original piece — an ankle bag. The bag fascinates her socialite cousin, Jules, and with the help of Jules’ vapid scenester friends, they enlist a celebrity to wear the bag, slingshottinging Doc into notoriety. The name she lands on — House Arrest — becomes the talk of the town and they land their first show.

Facing a deadline, Doc enlists the help of a Chinese knockoff vendor, Li Zhen, who — despite her father’s wishes — is determined to create and sell her own designs. The beautiful, personal textiles she creates for Doc become the lynchpin of House Arrest'searly success and Doc brings her fully on-board.

Doc’s rapid success is not without consequence. Emilio — Doc’s good friend who helped get the label off the ground — feels left behind and becomes determined to sabotage the label. A furious two-bit coke dealer to whom Doc sold a fake bag comes after her, wanting blood. Another young designer-dujour — Makeson Desir — believes Doc is ripping off his designs and tries to undermine her within the scene. Doc's troubles with the law are constant, the necessity of leaving her home posing serious issues for the terms of her house arrest.

The more exposure House Arrest receives, the more criticism they attract. In order to stay relevant, Doc puts out edgier and more daring designs, gradually becoming one of the corny shock jocks she always hated. Legacy houses attempt to cancel her at every turn. Resisting the allure of high society becomes an almost impossible task. Doc’s gradual transformation creates friction between Doc and Li Zhen, who has a purer vision for the house and hates to see it polluted. To Doc's chagrin, Li Zhen considers splitting away from House Arrest, coming to New York, and starting a rival label.

Tone, Style, Structure

Haus Arrest strikes a balance between comedy and drama, skewering the personalities and gimmicks of high fashion while remaining rooted in characters that feel real. There are plenty of punchlines and visual gags but the plot is driven by relationships. 
The vibe is New York Fashion Week meets a grimy green room cypher and there’s a seed at the center of the series: fraud.

The pace and style of Haus Arrest is punchy, flashy, and modern, reflecting the trend- obsessed world in which it lives. This is accomplished through dynamic cinematography, slick production design, frequent pop culture references, and a cutting-edge soundtrack.


Haus Arrest is set in a few different environments:
  • The drab apartments, bars, and parole offices of Jersey City
  • The over-the-top clubs and warehouses of the Manhattan Meatpacking District
  • The knockoff factories of Guangzhou

Toggling between these diverse locales exacerbates the strange qualities of each, contrast offering new perspectives.



A scrappy, unscrupulous entrepreneur who lives in Jersey City and makes a living selling Taobao knockoffs. She's enamored by the glamour of high fashion and knows more about it than her streetwear peers. Doc is never satisfied with her current state but adapts easily to any environment. She's frequently the center of attention and liked by most, but the people who don't like her hate her guts.

Fatal flaw: A chronic hustler, Doc is almost incapable of turning down a quick buck, often at the expense of her friends, her family, and herself.

Big fuckup: On probation release at a wedding, a scammer friend tells Doc he has a bunch of product ready to move. Doc says no. Later, a different scammer associate tells Doc he has a bunch of people ready to buy. All Doc has to do is connect the dots and take her cut...
Jules St. James (29)

Doc's sister, Jules, is a New York art school girl always dressed in edgy and impractical clothes. She works in Meatpacking clubs in some vague capacity. Jules is not quite trustworthy and not quite on par with her peers in the scene, always a half-step behind.

Fatal flaw: Jules has no interest in anything that isn’t in front of her — she flits between passion projects, never following through and never paying her bills, waiting for the next big thing.

Big fuckup: Anticipating a windfall, Jules borrows money from a loan shark — an old friend of their father with mob ties — that she's unable to pay back, using House Arrest as collateral. When she can't pay, the loan shark comes to repo Doc's inventory.

Li Zhen (20)

Doc's Chinese counterpart, Li Zhen is young and ambitious with a ruthless streak. Her creativity is more rooted in meaning and emotion than Doc's, whose relies more on ingenuity.

Fatal flaw: Li Zhen is trusting and pure, making her vulnerable to those who might take advantage of her talents.

Big fuckup: Li Zhen disobeys her father's order to not use any of the shop's materials, causing a shortage that disrupts their business.


Doc's friend, Emilio, is a perennial scammer but a genuinely nice and easily wounded guy who develops a serious grudge when he perceives himself as left behind by Doc.

Fatal flaw: Emilio is sensitive and insecure, always believing he's the butt of the joke.

Stuart (24)

Stuart is a typical male model — vapid and hot. Everything falls into his lap but he always wants more. He doesn't take anything seriously.

Fatal Flaw: Stuart is dumb.

The Ankle Bag

After being cooped up on house arrest for a couple of weeks, Doc remembers a stash of MCM fanny packs she has hidden in a crawl space. She digs them out, takes them apart, and fashions a miniature fanny pack designed to be worn on the ankle to hide her ankle monitor.

When Jules visits Doc, she spots the ankle bag and sees a market opportunity: A stylish way to smuggle contraband into the Meatpacking District clubs she works. She borrows the bag, which catches the eye of Stuart, her model friend. Stuart gets them a sit-down with A$AP Rocky and Doc designs a more original bag — this one made of black ripstop with lime green appliqué of the words HOUSE ARREST in a Gothic font under a small house logo, a lime green tassle attached to the zipper.

A$AP Rocky agrees to wear the bag to Rihanna’s Met Gala afterparty. After it’s photographed and spread via blogs, the ankle bag becomes the piece-of-the-minute, scoring House Arrest a slot in the fifth annual Mercedes-Clinique-Valspar-Amex Emerging Designer Showcase. Doc purchases a bolt of jacquard from Li Zhen featuring an image of a house and creates a new bag from the fabric to be worn on the runway.


Season Arc

At the end of the pilot, a few key things happen that point toward the rest of the season:

Doc wins the Mercedes-Clinique-Valspar-Amex Emerging Designer Showcase and is awarded $50,000 for the production of her first line, a distribution deal with SSENSE, and a spot on the popular fashion design reality show, ‘Operation Limelight,’ where she will travel to Paris with a team member of her choice to compete for $500,000. In future episodes, the House Arrest team struggles to meet the production demands of a commercially-available line.

Doc and Li Zhen are thrown into the deep end on a high-profile reality show, their knowledge and skills pushed to the limits. Doc chooses Li Zhen over Emilio to participate in Operation Limelight. In future episodes, this causes tension between Doc and Emilio, who feels slighted, believing he’s earned a spot as Doc’s right-hand-man.

At the showcase, Makeson Desir accuses Doc of stealing ideas. In future episodes, their beef escalates into a full-blown feud that forces the entire New York fashion scene to take sides.

Doc is shot in the chest on the showcase runway, earning her and House Arrest a ton of media coverage. In future episodes, the exposure earns Doc both positive and negative attention — streetwear kids idolize her, fashion industry types look down their nose at her, and people from her past try to either expose her or ride her coattails.

Jules owes a significant amount of money to Little Angelo — a mobster friend of their father — with House Arrest as collateral. In future episodes, Jules tries to convince Doc to give her some of the winnings. When Doc refuses, Jules attempts to siphon money away from the label, eventually getting caught and causing a rift. Little Angelo continues to press Jules for cash, eventually confiscating Doc’s equipment and inventory.

Medium Robb flees from the showcase after shooting Doc on the runway. In future episodes, his animosity toward Doc grows and he creates a plan to get rid of Doc once and for all.