845 South 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., Arts District
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.
727 N. Broadway, Ste. 115, Chinatown
Conveniently set up inside the same Chinatown strip mall as Roy Choi’s Chego, this teeny but beautifully curated vintage store is arguably one of the best in L.A. It’s also the place you want to be when hunting down the perfect pair of vintage Levi’s—the selection here isn’t necessarily vast, but each piece is lovingly chosen, washed, and repaired by the owners themselves to look its best. There are also band t-shirts, army jackets, and a few racks of dresses—all in excellent shape. If pins and patches are your thing, the semi-annual pin-and-patch parties are a totally gold mine.
374 E. 2nd St., Little Tokyo
A testament to owners (and real-life couple) Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung’s creativity and taste, this color-happy shop in Little Tokyo somehow manages to look entirely different from visit to visit. While the core categories—home décor, stationery, accessories, and kids—stay the same, the assortment is constantly updated to keep up with the latest and greatest in design and still meet Poketo’s playful aesthetic. Expect to find Japanese stationery, tabletop pieces from Danish firm HAY, beautiful art books, and so much more. There's also a sister location in Culver City and in The Line Hotel.
826 E. 3rd St., Arts District
Apolis is the brainchild of brothers Raan and Shea Parton, who started the social enterprise (they've officially been a B Corporation for years) back in 2004. Their mantra is "advocacy through industry," a guideline that drives their manufacturing both in the Los Angeles garment district and at factories overseas, where they employ artisans at fair wages regardless of their location. While it's undeniably fun to shop their website (you can see where each product was manufactured, alongside info about the people who made it), their flagship store in the Arts District is by far the best place to get a sense for the brand. Inside the gorgeously appointed shop, you'll find tailored men's basics and luxurious accessories like leather luggage and their famous burlap farmers market bags, which have achieved a cult-like following in LA. Check their calendar to attend one of their community events, where they bring entrepreneurs, artists, and other tastemakers to their space for talks and performances.
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.
You may also like