Palm tree-lined Rodeo Drive may be the best-known spot to shop in LA, but on any given day it’s home to swarms of starstruck tourists (with nary a local in sight), navigating the swanky boutiques as if at a zoo. Although we’re not suggesting avoiding it altogether, if you do plan to visit, make like a pretty woman and get an Avakian Bellini at the Beverly Wilshire. Your patience will thank you. To properly shop like a local, however, you’ll have to step off the well-worn path to visit denizen-owned independent stores. But rather than trekking around the city, may we suggest the next best shopping street Los Angeles has to offer: La Brea Avenue.
A longtime retail hangout, this street is home to various furniture stores frequented by the city’s production designers and scavengers. It’s also a hub for hip shops that perfectly encapsulate easy California living with casual wares, durable goods and modern design. Here are a few of our favorites…
Standard Goods, Los Angeles
Located right off of the main drag, this store was founded by Garrett Colton, formerly of Band of Outsiders. Offering refined yet basic menswear and items for the home, this unassuming shop feels like you’re stepping into Colton’s own abode. His effortless style is reflected in everything he’s gathered and if you don’t walk away from here feeling like you got of a taste of the authentic L.A. life, then you weren’t paying attention.
Shelter Half, Los Angeles
Taking their name from the temporary tents erected by soldiers, there is no shortage of canvas, reimagined into couches, cubes, beanbags and chairs in this soaring 4,200 square foot space. Adding to the ode to Americana are the various classic wool blankets, art by local artists (including a giant American flag), and books like Ron Church’s California to Hawaii, a collection of previously unpublished vintage surfing photos.
A+R, Los Angeles
Founded by a British ex-pat and his “design-junkie” partner, the second outpost of this design-forward store (the original is in Venice, CA), brings together a large compilation of modern curiosities and gadgets. Among other things, bright hand-bent wire furniture, watches that balance form and function, and playful pottery make this store a colourful must-see.
Garrett Leight California Optical, Los Angeles
A second-generation purveyor of finely crafted eyewear (he’s the son of the Oliver Peoples founders), Garrett Leight’s eponymous flagship store is authentically stylish, which is no surprise given his SoCal upbringing. Optical and sunglass frames line the wall in shapes and names inspired by cool kid artists and influencers – so undoubtedly just popping on a pair instantly makes you feel freshly West Coast.
Do you love to shop in L.A.? Which are your favourite shopping neighbourhoods? Share your recommendations in the comments below.