Here in Los Angeles shoppers can visit countless malls, drop thousands of dollars for luxury items in Beverly Hills, and find some of the best bargain hunting in the nation. Shopping excursions in the southland transform into an inspiring treasure hunt in the best independently owned shops. From Venice to downtown, these five new retails destinations feature the best in modern designs for men, women, the home, and even for the open road.
Since 2006 Deus has specialized not only in designing some of the most sought after custom motorcycles, but also turning each of their retail stores into havens of creativity and fun. With shops in Sydney, Australia and Bali, Indonesia, each location reflects the celebratory spirit of the company. Deus fills their new Venice concept store, “The Emporium of Post Modern Activities” with apparel, surfboards, skateboards and their supremely cool motorcycles. Handsome Coffee has set shop inside serving coffees and espresso drinks with indoor and patio seating making this industrial art inspired cultural shopping experience a must see destination.
Walking into Garde on Beverly Boulevard would calm even the most hyped up Angeleno. Owner Scotti Sitz fills the serene minimalist space filled with charcoal greys, natural woods, and elemental metals that show off her carefully curated inventory of gorgeous objects. In store vintage Navajo shoulder bags hang on the wall. Stephanie Lake jewelry is displayed in glass cases. Sara Paloma’s white pottery pieces fill the grid of shelves that also house frames of graphic animal images. Gifts at Garde are artfully wrapped in delicate paper with fabric ribbons.
Garrett Colton fills his shop with quirky art, vintage books, casual menswear, and gifts. Some items are from Colton’s hometown of Oklahoma City there while he sources others here in Southern California. Inventory includes handmade paddle-ball sets by Merriment Hardware in San Francisco and St&ndard Goods frisbees mixed with colorful skateboard decks and Good Flock plaid iPad cases. St&ndard Goods own line of products include rustic wood frames made form Maple and Macassar Ebony and a sock collaboration with RTH. More products and collaborations are in the works. A crate of vinyl, chosen by Ian Marshall of Wombleton Records represents many genres, to echo the diverse range of products in the store. Look for upcoming art, coffee, and in store shopping events.
In a store named for a swimming race that asks athletes to excell at several stokes, the owners of Individual Medley filled their rustic camping themed store with men and women’s apparel as well accessories and items for kids. Vintage thermouses and ice chest are visible from the front door as well as a white canvas teepee in the far corner. Added bonus, a few doors down from Individual Medley is Proof, one of LA’s best bakeries where crispy croissants and black sesame financier cakes are served with cups of coffee and espresso drinks by Cognoscenti.
With a mission of global responsibility, the Apolis Common Gallery store in the downtown Arts District is filled with items made by equitable funded programs throughout the world. Each garment and object comes with a story about the materials and process. Prepared to be inspired by the commitment to detail and the reports of economic development and sense of accomplishment for creating quality items that are both beautifully designed and bring pride to the communities that make them. In a world of mass produced products, Apolis leads by example. This Filson + Apolis Philanthropist Briefcase helps the Uganda Project to use four farmer’s cotton for one year in one of their many collaborations that provide opportunity through jobs.
Julie Wolfson is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. She covers travel, lifestyle, art, pop culture, cocktails and food for Cool Hunting and several other media outlets. Most days you’ll find her out and about in Southern California and around the world tracking down stories about talented people doing amazing things.