Beyond West Third and Wilshire, L.A.'s fashion pioneers have few undiscovered places to prowl. But proprietors Zoe Schaeffer and Renee R. Klein are bringing a rich new retail plot to explore with their boutique, Presse. A play on words, the name, Presse, is a nod to both owner's former editorial backgrounds. It was conceived to fill a void they saw in local "sophisticated style." As Schaeffer states, "Everyone thinks of L.A. style as jeans and T-shirts, but these women are far more sophisticated. They're way more chic than other L.A. stores give them credit for."
Located on La Brea, an up-and-coming shopping district in L.A., Presse is establishing itself among a bevy of antiques stores and what Schaeffer describes as "a pocket of vintage boutiques." Schaeffer and Klein's experience on numerous fashion shoots inspired not only the name but also their boutique's interior. Seeing a growing connection between interior design and fashion, the ladies say they wanted an environment that matched the merch—glam yet homey. With its hand-painted silk wallpaper, vintage Chinese lamps, and vitrines housing a delicate collection of jewelry, Presse's mix of modern and antique furnishings completes the look. Rather than a checkout counter, the ladies utilize a vintage 1929 black lacquered desk they found while vintage shopping in Miami. Likewise, vintage magazine covers decorate the walls like portraits of the past and give the boutique its distinctive 1940s spirit.
Prior to opening, Schaeffer and Klein scoured endless lines on both coasts to ensure the shop's selection is both unique and unexpected, offering a precise combo of established labels, emerging designers, and the reintroduction of older houses with new names at the helm. Labels of note include Thakoon, Proenza Schouler, Richard Chai, Derek Lam, and Nina Ricci, and as well as Vena Cava, Sea, and Mischen. Schaeffer believes Presse "allows ladies to shop right off the pages of the magazine." Come fall, they'll be offering several exclusive items, including Bruno Frisoni clutches, Epice scarves, jewelry by Lulu Frost, and a selection of Nina Ricci shoes. And the two even plan to return to their roots, launching their own in-house magazine. Plenty of in-house shopping events are in the works, as well. Just Presse play.
Presse, 326 South La Brea Boulevard, Los Angeles; 323-937-1560.
Photography by Jay Goldman
L.A.'s fashion trailblazers have a new place to prowl.