You've seen her all over the pages of Vogue and Lula, but one of our fave models, Chanel Iman, has a new job title that's nearly as perfect as she is: Shop-keeper. Partnering with her mother China Robinson, the native Angeleno opened the doors to Culver City's The Red Bag Boutique just last week, and though it's off the beaten path, it's worth the traffic lights it will take to get there. The space is separated into two sections, the contemporary front room and the vintage back parlor. Though many professional L.A. shoppers will dig all the "new" stock in the front, we recommend heading straight to the back for a little vintage fix that's extra special. On a recent visit to chat with Iman, we spied a bounty of second-hand designer pieces (think gifts from Balenciaga's Nicolas Ghesquière that didn't make it onto the catwalk and embroidered Anna Sui jumpsuits with an Egyptian motif). The straight-up vintage fare is pretty fun, too, like poufy '50s prom dresses and mesh metal triangle tops that are straight from a French disco. When the So-Cal born-and-bred stunner is in town, she's all about down time with her family and tending to the new shop, but we twisted her arm to give us the rundown on what she loves most about L.A. life and style.
Other than your new place, where do you like to shop in L.A.?
"Mostly when I'm in L.A. it's a place for down time, so I love to visit family and friends when I'm here. But from time to time, I do like Rodeo, and shopping for the store at the Santa Monica Vintage Fair is great, too.
The shop has such an interesting mix of old and new pieces from all eras. Did you have any strategy for choosing what made the cut?
"It's the best of what was either given to me by designers or that I personally picked out myself, but to me they all qualify as treasures. In the world of fashion, once you've been photographed in something, it's hard to keep going out in it because the press always wants to see you in new things. So, I'm passing these pieces on so someone else can continue to love them."
What's your L.A. style M.O.?
"L.A. to me is all about freedom. It's unlimited and relaxed, but you can dress to impress if you want in jeans or a party dress. When I come home, I don't even pack because I know it's less important for me to look so high fashion. Still to me, L.A. always looks good because the styles compliment the weather, cool and warm at the same time."
Favorite meal you can't miss?
"I never leave town without having my In-N-Out burger once a day. I usually stay clear of junk food but their double-double is the best! I always get it with French fries, a chocolate shake, and lemonade, and it's usually gone before I'm out of the parking lot! I have missed flights because I have to make a stop here!"
R29 Deal: The Red Bag Boutique is giving you a sweet incentive to stop by the store. Just mention Refinery29 when you check out and get a 10% off their killer vintage and gently worn designer selection.
The Red Bag Boutique
10754 W. Jefferson Boulevard (at Higuera Street); 310-559-7332
Photos by Emily Knecht