My heart fluttered when news broke out that an army of cult-followed designer darlings were looking at my birthplace of LA. to open up their stores (DTLA is now home to Acne Studios‘ largest store to date). Former Dior designer John Galliano, Rick Owens, A.P.C., and even New York’s own OAK NYC have all either signed leases or are actively shopping for a spot in LA. It seems as if a giant magnet was built on 9th and Broadway and Abbot Kinney to attract everything and everyone “cool”; everything and everyone that was once (kind of) exclusive to New York City.
L.A. is a late bloomer. Yes, you can make the trek to West Hollywood and feast your eyes on high-end boutiques galore, but the city has lacked credential relative to other metropolitan fashion capitals. An industry priding itself on maintaining its exclusivity is celebrated in L.A. during the city’s Fashion Week with an annual show held above a building selling $4.99 suits. New York and Milan’s beloved annual event Fashion’s Night Out saw Mary-Kate and Ashley DJ’ing and Alexander Wang giving catwalk lessons.
While NYC will forever have rich history to deem the city fashion-credible, its west coast frenemy L.A. is a hub of creativity and talent despite comparisons of relevancy. Los Angeles has birthed some of today’s largest growing newcomers: Sophia Amoruso’s Nasty Gal and streetwear brand DimePiece are both L.A. natives. Some executives attest their L.A. avoidance to the lack of pedestrian shoppers. Vera Wang has expressed that her lack of desire to move to the West coast is simply because her main business is in New York. Ignore the lackluster public transportation and Christina Millian’s cheesy L.A. Fashion week performance. Just ask Acne executive chairman Mikael Schiller: “Los Angeles is not really a city where people walk; people drive. So we were saying to ourselves, if we are going to do something, we have to do something that feels special and gives people a reason to drive there.”
Acne Studios, Los Angeles
A slew of lower end retailers have also confirmed openings in L.A. Uniqlo announced openings in Costa Mesa and Los Angeles. Sophia Amoruso confirmed via Twitter that Nasty Gal will have its first brick-and-mortar in L.A. Zara has also announced its flagship opening in DTLA. What are your predictions about L.A.’s future fashion scene? What store are you most excited about?//