A Fresh Wave of Shops Hit L.A.'s Historic Abbot Kinney Strip

Long before Jim Morrison or Dennis Hopper moved in, Abbot Kinney was a cultural landmark, and in the last decade, it has experienced a renaissance of sorts. With newly-opened art galleries, wine bars, and bookstores, the neighborhood has gone from a slum by the sea to a blossoming retail destination. Despite hard times, Abbot Kinney has held on to the heart and soul that makes it so unique. From Abbot's infamous pizza to Sunday brunch at AXE, Abbot Kinney exudes the flavor and color of its community. Here are a few of our favorite new(ish) shops along this seaside strip in Venice.
Madley, 227 Abbot Kinney Blvd.; 310-450-6029
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After graduating from Rhode Island School of Design and Central St. Martins in London, Coryn Madley opened her own boutique in Venice, California. Browsing the racks of her store is a bit like rummaging through your grandmother's closet. Filled with vintage treasures and reconstructed jewelry of her own design, Madley's line reminds us of Sarah Sophie Flicker from The Citizens Band, or David Bowie with a touch of fairy dust.
Stronghold, 1625 Abbot Kinney Blvd.; 310-399-7200
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Stronghold is the oldest denim manufacturer in Los Angeles. Each pair of slacks are custom made at their shop on Abbot Kinney, and come with lifetime alterations and repairs free of charge. Their jeans are a classic combination of old world workmanship and selvage denim, with a refreshingly modern finish. In addition to their own label, The Stronghold carries other prewar companies such as Pendleton, Russell Moccasins, American Optical, and Stetson.
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Firefly, 1409 Abbot Kinney Blvd.; 310-450-6288
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For those who still practice the art of the almighty handwritten letter, stop by Firefly in Venice for an impressive collection of letterpress stationary. This rustic beach boutique, next door to Abbot's Pizza (we dare you to try a slice topped with salad), carries hand-selected books and bags, clothing and jewelry, candles that soothe the soul, and cookbooks filled with summertime recipes.
Milkmade, 1413 Abbot Kinney Blvd., 310-581-8890
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After a long run in New York, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam, Brain Lee came home to set up shop on Abbot Kinney. Milkmade, which carries an edited collection of international brands such as Travota, House of Cassette, Corpus, and Kobo, operates as a sort of spacetime continuum. With antique cameras and suitcases, the décor beckons one to grab a bag and look for adventure—though, we're sure you won't stray far from Milkmade.