American Rag et Cie
Don’t leave the neighborhood without stopping at the big momma of new/vintage clothing retailers, American Rag et cie. Admittedly, it’s geared to a young crowd, but every age can love the connecting French housewares department and café, Maison Midi and Café Midi.
ATF (All Things Fabulous)
This quirky knitwear shop is the brainchild of a Venice local, and it stocks unique printed sweaters and tank tops in an airy, light space. Prints are unique and formulated in-house, ensuring one-of-a-kind finds for all customers.
This shop is a standout for its dazzling mix, such as a pair of root chairs and matching console table that once furnished Al Capone’s Wisconsin cabin, a large selection of Italian Lucite and chrome pendant lamps by Angelo Mangiarotti, and 16th-century ceramic jars covered in barnacles found in the seas off Indonesia.
A cotton candy–hued dreamland, Bountiful stocks everything one's heart could desire, from gorgeous ceramic cake stands to vintage pill boxes and statement costume jewelry. Devotees rave about the wide-selection and friendly service, but be warned–prices are steep.
Brentwood Country Mart
A visit to this big red barn with fabulous little shops and a few family-friendly places to eat has been a tradition since 1948. On weekends, celebrities and their kids eat at picnic tables surrounding an outdoor fire pit.
Broome Street General Store
Occupying a bungalow in the Silverlake neighborhood, this homewares and artisanal foods store stocks everything from glass carafes and linen dishtowels to speciality jams and pickles. Afterward, grab an espresso and pastry by LA-based Valerie Confections and head to the sunny patio.
Burning Torch caters to Venice Beach’s hipster crowd, turning out recycled, on-trend clothes and accessories for women. The collection is made from sustainable materials that are in step with the brand’s socially conscious philosophy. Shop for one-of-a-kind 1970’s sunglasses alongside Victorian fine jewelry–everything is for sale in the brand’s Abbot Kinney flagship store, from the vintage wall tapestries to the antique chairs.
Chariots on Fire
A former darling of San Francisco’s boutique circuit, Chariots on Fire recently relocated to Los Angeles after owner Ritz Yagi decided she needed a change of scenery. Yagi has already made a splash on the Boulevard, teaming up with super-cool label Tortoise for a sold-out jewelry collaboration. The store stocks a variety of artisanal gems, from solid perfumes and luxurious body balms, to hard to find jewelry from the likes of Marianne Anderson and Polly Wales.
French-born, LA-based Clare Vivier turned into a handbag designer by accident in 2008 when she couldn’t find a stylish yet functional laptop bag. Since then, her simple and chic leather bags, including the signature foldover clutch and messenger carry-alls, have been selling out across the globe. Browse her entire collection at her flagship store in Silverlake, which was modeled after a French pharmacy.
Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley were fans back in the ‘50s, and even today, Hollywood celebrities are still loyal to this gourmet Brentwood chocolatier, which has grown and evolved along the way. Much of the credit goes to 28-year-old wunderkind chocolatier Jonathan Grahm, who bought out his family chocolate business four years ago and practically reinvented it. Grahm brings his passion of travel to chocolate, experimenting with unique flavor combinations such as mango saffron and olive oil rosemary. Our favorite truffle? It’s a close tie between the Mexican hot chocolate and pear cardamom.
With her skill at providing tomorrow’s fashion trends to today’s tastemakers, owner and buyer Nevena Borissova keeps Curve’s selection one step ahead. Celebrating over a decade of style in L.A. and recently opening up shop in Soho, the bicoastal boutiques deliver an eclectic mix of luxury and sportswear options, stocking everything from couture Viktor & Rolf jackets to popular 7 For All Mankind jeans. Since the selection tends toward the avant-garde and fashion-forward, it is helpful that the stores’ personnel act as stylists—showing you how to pair a Samantha Treacy boxy blouse with Bruno Pieters neutral cuffed shorts or Blur’s draped leather jacket with a 16-strand copper and crystal necklace by T. Ciya. Curve also offers a handful of special services such as trend forecasting, wardrobe maintenance and personal shopping.
Decades, atop a leopard-carpeted stairway, is one of the city’s headquarters for designer vintage dresses and aged status bags. Don’t expect warm and friendly service, however. Unless you’re a recognizable face, a lot of attitude accompanies a shopping experience here. Decades Two, just downstairs, feels more approachable with its more recent castoffs.
Though it’s technically the standalone store of jewelry designer Kathryn Bentley, this pint-size boutique also showcases like-minded designers and creative types, which lends it a design commune-feel. Bentley, who is a trained metalsmith, creates tribal-looking pieces with plenty of earthy materials, including brass, African beads and bone.
Created on a whim by founder Erinn Berkson, Firefly is a one-stop shop for magical gifts for yourself and loved ones. There is something for everyone in this hodge-podge of a store that stocks cards and stationary next to delicate necklaces from a slew of California jewelers. For those with little ones, pop next door to Firefly Kids, which has a great selection of quirky little toys and togs.
Strictly for the young and hip (or those who can still pull off being young and hip) Fred Segal, a collection of stores, encompasses lingerie, luggage, shoes, gifts, men’s and children’s departments, a women’s designer department with labels such as Marni and Jovovich-Hawk, plus a few roomfuls of jeans and an extensive selection of Juicy Couture. A classic LA trove.
Frédéric Fekkai Salon Melrose
Fekkai has built his beauty empire on the motto “When you see the beauty in a woman, so does she.” Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the man behind the phrase is a great-looking Frenchman. This salon in West Hollywood sells his entire beauty range and has a fantastic team of hair stylists and make-up artists and a terrific atmosphere. Closed Sunday.
The Los Angeles showroom of the beloved ceramics company was intended to feel like a warehouse to show off the pottery-making process (that’s artist and potter Adam Silverman, who serves as the LA Studio Director, at the kiln) as well as the final product all under one roof. We’d gladly blow a small fortune on the salad plates and dessert bowls and bud vases here, all of them beautifully carrying forward the legacy of founder Edith Heath, who began the company back in 1948 in Sausalito.
Owner Nilou Ghodsi has an eye for understated and exceedingly wearable pieces, with a particular affinity for up-and-coming European designers including Isabel Marant, Giada Forte, and Mes Demoiselles. Don’t miss the stunning labradorite-encrusted rings by Pippa Small.
Hennessey & Ingalls
A favorite of interior designer Michael S. Smith, this bookstore in Santa Monica specializes in titles on architecture and design.
Owner Delphine Lippens's ombré hued ceramics with cork toppers are simple, one-of-a-kind pieces and in high-demand around the city, gracing the tables of popular restaurants including Fifty Seven and Sqirl. There is no brick-and-mortar shop yet, but Farmshop occasionally has select works for sale.
Ilan Dei Venice
Made entirely of re-purposed shipping containers, Ilan Dei Venice is more than meets the eye. Its fantastic hodge-podge of conceptual furniture, combined with gifts sourced from socially responsible companies is what turns visitors into customers.
At this shop at the Ivy Restaurant, owner-decorator Lynn von Kersting sells antique French opaline glass, vintage tablecloths, majolica plates, seashells, books, upholstered furniture and D. Porthault bath mitts. She puts together her homelike rooms like no one else.
Past flamingo topiaries lies this magical land of baubles, the first eponymous boutique for LA-based jeweler Irene Neuwirth. Ogle Colombian emerald cocktail rings, tanzanite and opal earrings, pink tourmaline necklaces and hand-painted animal pendants.
It’s cuteness overload at this cheery children’s boutique, an extension of the original Firefly store a few doors down. Along with the usual suspects like Aden + Anais blankets and Kid O wooden toys, browse comfy onesies by L.A.-based Paige Lauren Baby, dresses by Peas and Queues, and fun greeting cards by Mr. Boddington’s Studio.
Lily et Cie
Astounding vintage designer dresses from this marvelous shop often appear on awards show red carpets.
Another famous Los Angeles fashion emporium that started out with one well-edited store that has spawned into seven boutiques. Don’t expect any real surprises, but the trove of big-name designers in a convenient one-stop shop continues to have a following.
Malibu Country Mart
This wonderful, ocean-close (and extremely open air) shopping center provides residents with the essentials of life, be it sushi at Nobu Malibu; Chrome Hearts-designed Ugg boots at Chrome Hearts, also known for its cross-and-dagger motif silver jewelry; vintage cowboy boots or jeans from the rough and tumble Double RL & Co., or Pucci bikinis from Ron Herman. A sandbox with plenty of climbing equipment keeps the little ones happy.