1: GLOSSIER STORE
The growing trend of digitally native brands opening stores with strong visual elements meant for Instagram continues with Glossier’s second retail location.The store, located on Melrose Place in Los Angeles, includes a pink floor, pink shelf space, messages on mirrors with the familiar “you look good” slogan and a space called the “Glossier Canyon.” There, consumers can enter a room that looks like the Antelope Canyon in Arizona and hear nature sounds—and of course take a photo, as the room comes fully equipped with a mirror. “Everything about the new store is Instagram-perfection,” said Mae Karwowski, CEO and founder of Obvious.ly, an influencer marketing agency. “This will be the No.1 most-Instagrammed store in LA.”
The quantity of images on social media tie into Glossier CEO and founder Emily Weiss’ notion of building community and the power of a consumer’s opinion about a product, a topic she spoke about at the retail conference Shoptalk in March 2018. Address: 8407 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, www.glossier.com
This apparel startup in the US fixed the worst part of shopping for clothes in stores — and it could defy retail’s curse. Reformation, the “cool girl’s” clothing company with stores in New York and Los Angeles, is expanding into brick-and-mortar at a time when retail brands are closing stores across America.
And the startup is crushing it. Reformation closed out 2017 with an estimated revenue just over $US100 million – a fraction of what legacy brand J.Crew pulls in a year, but a feat for a lesser-known upstart. It also grew an A-list cult following that includes Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and model Karlie Kloss.
Its crowning achievement is the fitting room. Typically, mall shoppers grab the items they like in the sizes they need and retreat to the back of the store. At Reformation, there’s only one of each item on display. Shoppers add an item to their fitting room by requesting it on a monitor or asking an employee to scan the barcode. The clothes await them in a “magic” wardrobe. Reformation offers an array of vintage-inspired pieces, like crepe fabric jumpsuits, high-waisted pants in suiting patterns, and mid-length dresses with Angelina Jolie slits.
Reformation has eight stores across New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Dallas, and is eyeing an expansion to Chicago and Washington, DC. According to Aflalo, the company is only getting started. “Our goal is to bring sustainable fashion to everyone, and every year we work toward that goal,” Aflalo said. Address: 8000 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, www.thereformation.com
When a starlet is in the market for a show-stopping red carpet moment, she heads to this trove of designer vintage, which gets its supply from both museum-level designer auctions and the closets of some of the world’s wealthiest fashion plates. With their impressively deep knowledge of fashion history, co-owners Cameron Silver and Christos Garkinos are celebs in their own right — they were the subjects of a Bravo reality show in 2013 and helm clothing lines for QVC and HSN, respectively. Even if you’re not making a purchase, there’s no more glamorous way to spend an afternoon than in Decades. Address: 8214 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, www.decadesinc.com
Contrasting LA’s sun-kissed streets and cotton candy skylines is Maxfield; an austere, brutalist building guarded by tribal-like statues that plays host to exquisitely curated (and pricey) designer collections from modern day icons such as Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto, Margiela and the like. Opened by Tommy Perse in 1969, the store has been dubbed as one of the first to champion black as a “color” to the sunny SoCal city, making it synonymous with chic. Equal parts museum, art gallery and boutique, Maxfield has been lauded for bringing the vanguard in fashion to LA, melding haute taste and artistic curiosity for a shopping experience paralleled by very few. Address: 8825 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, www.maxfieldla.com
5: RODEO DRIVE
People come from across the city, country and world to take in the sights along Rodeo Drive. And even if you can’t afford a Julia Roberts a la Pretty Woman shopping spree, there’s more than enough to see and do along this extra-upscale stretch of Beverly Hills. There are also plenty of dining options—some of the city’s best restaurants call 90210 home, and the area’s many hotel bars are perfect for a post-shopping (or window shopping) drink. And yes, window-shopping is how most visitors spend their time; though along Two Rodeo—Rodeo Drive’s $200-million faux cobbled walkway—browsing tourists mingle with serious spenders. A hop away is Anderson Court, which is the only shopping mall designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Address: Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA, USA
The Los Angeles outpost of the fashion-forward retailer Barneys New York has been a beacon of chic in Southern California for the past two decades. In 2014 the store entrusted the makeover to architect Steven Harris and his frequent collaborator (and husband), Lucien Rees-Roberts. Playing off the original design scheme, Harris and Rees-Roberts have given the store a revitalized spirit and a decidedly contemporary savoir-faire. Bad news: Your wallet will probably take a beating at Barneys Beverly Hills. Good news: At least you won’t have to hit the gym after climbing these babies. If there were a Most Instagrammed Staircase in L.A. award, these stark white steps would surely take the cake. Address: 9570 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212, www.barneys.com
7: STAHL + BAND
Part showroom, part gallery, this shop is housed in the former studio of the late actor Dennis Hopper, near Venice Beach. Its name, which translates as ‘steel and ribbon’, is an homage to owner Jeffery Molter’s ancestry and the work of his favourite artist, Richard Serra. Inside, over half of what’s on show – wicker bar stools, a steel-framed sofa, an ash dining table – is designed by Molter, but there are also limited-edition natural rush benches by artist David McAuliffe and cast-glass bowls by Steven Haulenbeek. www.stahlandband.com
8. RESTORATION HARDWARE
While you’ve probably been to plenty of Restoration Hardware galleries, set in West Hollywood’s design district a few blocks from the Pacific Design centre, Restoration Hardware’s Melrose location is one of the biggest, occupying a full block and spanning three floors, each filled with RH’s signature simple, classic, and comfortable designs. In true LA style, the entire space is open-air, with wide doors that open to the street during the day. Perhaps the best part of the entire setup is the green rooftop—filled with trees, fire pits, and sofas – that’s open to the public anytime the store is open. www.restorationhardware.com