In the shadow of skaters and surfers, a pocket of retail salvation arrives in Costa Mesa. By Jessica Palermo
Amid the sun worshippers and surf/skaters of coastal Orange County, progressive fashion can be a tall order. Thankfully, those in search of the retail vanguard no longer have to traverse the 405 gridlock toward Los Angeles for salvation with the arrival of Goat—a chic clothing gallery featuring a mix of global, local, and up-and-coming lines, tucked away in Costa Mesa.
Fashion stylist Christina Smith, a well-traveled fashion industry veteran, opened goat in late 2006 in a space formerly the home of a laundromat. Only after acquiring the lease did she learn the surrounding area was known as "goat hill," a serendipitous coincidence embraced by Smith. It was the phrase Greatest Of All Things—g.o.a.t.—Christina had just previously adopted as both her mantra and the name of her new boutique. "A collaboration of cultures make us who we are," she says. "Think Tokyo, Melbourne, Berlin, Paris, Florence, Rio, and Buenos Aires." While statues of the symbolic animal stand guard throughout the space, goat's industrial-meets-vintage aesthetic demonstrates its cultured and contemporary vision.
Ultimately, Smith claims one of her shop's main goals is to deliver a new kind of shopping experience to an otherwise unseasoned OC retail scene. Among her latest arrivals, we love Goat's gladiator sandals from Les Prairie de Paris (a year-round staple in Costa Mesa), a royal blue knit hoodie scarf by Alexander Wang, and a plethora of perfect denim from Acne. Overall, through her search for "unconventional designers," Smith and her shop are all about celebrating individual style that's scarcely represented in the area, because, as the proprietor admits, "people are too scared of what the Jones' might think."
In the shadow of skaters and surfers, a pocket of retail salvation arrives in Costa Mesa.