The best place in LA to pick up pieces by hot new designers from all over the globe, West Third street boasts an impressive array of young independent clothing boutiques, many who have only opened their doors within the last two years.
Recognising that the area poses problems for shoppers (lack of cross-walks, minimal parking etc) and that great design alone is not enough to entice customers, the stores have got together and created a Third Street community which is fighting to establish the area as a key new shopping destination- starting with their first annual holiday party. Taking place on the evening of December 7th, the party will stretch along West Third Street (from La Cienega to Fairfax) and offer food, wine, music and sales.
The stores themselves are impressive not only for their great collections, but also for the wonderful individuality both in merchandise and atmosphere. Some of my favourites-
MILK – 8209 West Third Street
Opened just over a year ago, Milk sells a mixture of big names (DVF, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, Derek Lam, Aquascutum) and denim-friendly brands alongside vintage couture pieces, displayed as a jumble of beautiful designs. Owned by cousins Marni and Bari who wanted to create a girly store ‘like a big closet’, the shop offers everything a girl’s wardrobe should include from beautiful shoes and sexy underwear to beauty products and books on fashion, all in a romantic, feminine atmosphere enhanced with literary excerpts printed in gold adorning the walls, and soft chandelier lighting. Pieces ranging from $30 to $3000 happily mix on wooden rails and tables, which are adorned with vintage milk bottles and other finds to further enhance the country theme that underpins the store.
FILLY – 8032 West Third Street
Selling a unique selection of independent designers sourced from all over the world by owners and best friends Rachel Bratcher and J’nai Cameron, Filly champions up-and-coming names. Those on the rails of the newly opened store include items from the first season by NY designers Madison Marcus, pieces from Israeli company Benot (picked up by the girls in Tel Aviv), dresses by design duo Carson Potter, and Italian designer Diletta.
The store itself is named to encompass both the girly frivolity of shopping and the ranch styling of the interior (influenced by the girls’ love of
horses and the countryside), with ranchwood fittings and bare floors showcasing the delicate dresses and beautiful jewellery.
SOUTH WILLARD – 8038 West Third Street
Surfer Ryan Conder and his girlfriend stylist Danielle Kays prefer a more sleek and sedate presentation for their refined selection of European and American designers. South Willard offers a selection of mens and womenswear from designers such as Hussein Chalayan, Veronique Branquinho, Ann-Sofie Back, Bernhard Willhelm and Bless, among others, as well as their own South Willard jeans- a unisex
design made exclusively by hand in Japan from a soft, lightwieght, richly-dyed denim. The idea behind the store was the couple’s longing for a cleaner aesthetic and understated design options, resulting in clever merchandising choices reflected in a stark, minimalist interior. Two and a half years on it seems that they weren’t alone in their longing for a more serious style previously lacking in the LA shopping scene, and customer support continues to grow.
Other Stores on West Third worth a visit-
8117- Satine– designer womenswear
8311- Douglas Fir- refined menswear
8303- OK – great designwares store selling products by Droog, Comme des Garcons etc
7938- Built By Wendy