By Dena Smolek, photography by Kit Chaney
A funky purple and green Victorian house just off W. Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park is the home of cult shopping fave Sirens & Sailors. A must-stop among stylists, this retail gem began as a showcase for new and emerging local designers but it's now a hip fusion of underexposed names like Rojas and indie labels Hengst and Grey Ant. "I had these friends who were designers and I was making stuff, so it just made sense to open a store," says proprietor Jennifer Phillips.
Jennifer admits she relies on the help of friends, and friends of friends, to give the shop its homey, laid-back vibe. A stroll through the simply decorated 3-room house reveals an exceptional compilation of garments on purple satin hangers, plus handbags, shoes, and jewelry. Though its primarily devoted to L.A. designers, Jennifer always makes sure a few San Francisco and NYC names are thrown in for good measure. Check out Geren Ford, Prairie Underground, Fremont, SuperLuckyCat, Mintee, and FNA, which share rack space with Quail and Smashing Grandpa. Look to Rojas or Prairie Underground for more casual looks, but in general this shop specializes in statement pieces.
The majority of the merch here is womenswear, but you'll also discover some handpicked menswear from Ndcent, Grey Ant, Anzevino and Florence, and Saint Augustine Academy. All in all, the focus here is on up-and-coming talent. "It's fun to watch everyone grow and see the designs evolve," Jennifer says. "People come [here] for that special thing to wear that night, definitely not basics. It has to be something unique. I always keep it fresh since things go pretty fast."