Suzy Menkes wrote an interesting piece in IHT yesterday about the high-end shopping hotspot that Melrose Place has become. Marc Jacobs moved in a while back with a Marc by Marc Jacobs store on Melrose and his main line hidden on Melrose Place this year. Paul Smith opened his bright pink shop in late 2005. Carolina Herrera is opening her store this month.
This got us thinking about how much (mostly for the better) LA fashion shopping changed in the past 2-3 years. A few years ago, when we were just starting to put together our LA guide, that stretch of West Hollywood was known for mainly one thing: Fred Segal. Well, there was Segal and while you were there you'd go across the street to the excellent Madison and a few adjoining stores. If you were into vintage you might walk a few blocks to Decades and that was pretty much for this sleepy section of West Hollywood.
Today however, the story is entirely different...
While antique shops, dry cleaners and book shops have moved out, the stretch of Melrose Ave east of Robertson and west of Fairfax has become ground zero for ultra-luxe, often ultra-edgy, shopping in LA. As the article mentions the likes of Jacobs, Herrera and Smith have set up shop in the area, but that's amongst a bevy of ambitious independent retail projects.
High-end, tech-focused line DDC Lab opened in the area just last year--their first endeavor outside of New York. Creatures of Comfort opened in August 2005 in the area introducing edgy, under-the-radar labels from London and New York. Then there's recent transplant Bird which used to be on Robertson and a few years back was called A. Mason. This shop features emerging European designers with a particularly strong collection from the UK. Perhaps best of all, we've recently heard that Opening Ceremony is set to open its second location in LA and they're apparently looking towards Melrose.
Maybe 3 years ago the definition of a hot LA boutique was a joint that sold low-cut, frilly fuchsia tops for $185 and depended on mentions in US Weekly for its business. While there are still quite a few of those shops around, you can imagine how happy we are with the latest developments. Sophisticated, even avant-garde clothing in LA? Who knew it was even possible.
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