In this cotton-candy and concrete town, it can be hard to find something real and rational. In Los Angeles, larger stores--such as HLNR, the recently opened H. Lorenzo behemoth on Robertson--routinely plan huge, celebrity-laden opening bashes. But some of the most interesting retail developments in the City of Angels are smaller, more personal and charmingly distinctive.
Take the case of Reform School owners Billie Lopez and Tootie Maldonado are so in tune with their customers that when a loyal shopper, Kaz Bracher, mentioned her involvement in a sustainable Fijian tourist island, the three joined forces to carry native-patterned Zaishu stools, sales of which benefit a school on the island. "We hope that that we can continue to use our little shop as an outlet for good causes," says Lopez.
For more LaLa Land stores that eschew Hollywood glitz, keep reading.
Over in Chinatown, New High (M)art pop-up shop, "World Fringe, an Ethno, Boho, Afro, Pow-wow," was slated to close June 7. Surprise, surprise, so many flocked to the shop's selection of colorful Coogi sweaters (think Bill Cosby), Dwayne Wayne flip-up or Prince round mirrored sunglasses that owners T-Rik and Miho Ikeda extended the pop-up another month.
Meanwhile, skate-rat fans of pro skater Keith Hufnagel's four San Francisco Huf stores no longer have to roll up the PCH for their fix no longer have to trek to one of four in. At the new Huf SF on Fairfax, shoppers can expect the same street styles, limited run Nikes, cool caps, letterman jackets and T-shirts they've come to expect from this street-cred Mecca.
Add to that, A&G has brought its brand of silver and leather accessories along with their deconstructed vintage denim to a new spot on Melrose. Downtown, the new Los Angeles Upper Playground four-in-one concept store features spaces for art galleries along with their skate-and-graf retail clothing. Over on Robertson, the luxury optical store Ilori will soon fill the spot vacated the much-mourned Horn. Finally, our beloved Angelinos, if you're running low on gas after an extended shopping spree you can always head to your desktop as Melrose's Bird L.A. just overhauled their website for friendlier e-commerce. Finally, New-York-bred staples brand Steven Alan will be opening its newest annex on Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach with a beer and taco truck reception (how L.A.) Really, who needs a red carpet when you've got bistek and cervezas?