845 S. Broadway, Downtown
With Francesco Fucci (formerly of The Row) at the helm, things are about to get a lot more exciting over at Theory, which is quietly shedding any vestiges of its wear-to-work basics past. This new 1,600-square-foot space in DTLA is meant to support the brands fresh new point of view—it will play host to collaborations, new product innovations, and a rotating roster of events. No doubt urban storefront with its the concrete walls, steel columns, and big windows will serve as the ideal backdrop for the luxurious wide-leg pants, car coats, and midi-dresses that Fucci dreamt up for spring 2019.
118 Winston St., 2nd FL., Downtown
Located on an unassuming street, this gallery-boutique hybrid is one of the most delightfully unexpected finds in LA. Owners Jodi and Stephen Zeigler had their first exhibit in 2014 and have since been featuring some of the most compelling works on display in the city. Hosted in a stellar light-filled room, the art covers a wide range, from nostalgic punk rock memorabilia to experimental photography ane mixed media pieces. (Their most recent exhibit featured a stunning collection of rare posters produced by British band The Smiths.) On the other side of the space is the boutique, where the duo offer a well curated mix of wares, from indigo-dyed fabrics to Le Feu de L'eau candles to out-of-print photography books and zines, all of which make ideal gifts.
313 W. 8th St., Downtown
Known for its minimal aesthetic and accessible price point, COS is a destination for streamlined urban pieces for men and women.
MAST Los Angeles
816 S. Santa Fe Ave., Downtown
While they’re best known for their gorgeous (artist-inspired) packaging, Mast Brothers places great emphasis on the art of chocolate-making—as evidenced by the fact that they offer tours of the process itself at each of their stores. The DTLA location is one of the three flagship stores and factories for the brand, which brothers Rick and Michael Mast founded in 2007 (the other two are located in Brooklyn and London). A package of bars makes for a practically perfect—and blessedly TSA-friendly—hostess gift.
826 E. 3rd St., Downtown
Set up in the center of the most walkable stretch of the Arts District, Alchemy Works is the brainchild of Lindsay and Raan Parton (their former Apolis store is now a pop-up within Alchemy) and aims to bring a bit of the coastal lifestyle to downtown. The industrial-style shop doubles as an events space, so there’s lots of room to roam around and admire the hand-picked apothecary pieces, letterpress prints, indy-designer accessories, and more. Also sharing the space is a Warby Parker shop-in-shop and a Blacktop coffee counter. It's Newport Beach location is equally stunning.
Formerly Yes (Closed)
954 S. Broadway, Downtown
Founded on the design principle that less is often more, Formerly Yes (which formerly used to just be online-only), now occupies an airy boutique Downtown—just a stone's throw from the Ace. Much likes its site, the offerings are extremely winnowed down and edited, i.e., you'll find only design classics, like Braun alarm clocks, Japanese platters, and Iittala tumblers.
Hennessey + Ingalls
300 S. Santa Fe Ave., Downtown
As the West Coast's largest art and architecture-centric bookstore, this is the sort of place where you can easily rack up excess baggage charges with beautiful coffee table books.
1317 Palmetto St., Downtown
THVM (pronounced ‘them’) adheres to the concept that high-quality denim can and should be affordable—though there's plenty more to this store than just jeans. Housed in a former paint factory that dates back a hundred years or so, you'll also find pieces by Raquel Allegra, Assembly NYC, Cast of Vices, and Annie Costello Brown.
The Last Bookstore
453 S. Spring St., Downtown
A hugely successful used books and record shop may seem like an anachronism but this shop keeps expanding. Partnering with local institutions like CalArts and Crossroads Cultural Center, there’s a comprehensive schedule of open mic nights, readings, and talks.
123 Astronaut E. S. Onizuka St., Downtown
Straddling downtown and Little Tokyo, the Japanese-based Kinokuniya offers great notebooks, stationery, pens, and gifts. Kids, in particular, go nuts here. There's also a location in Culver City.
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