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The Best Boutiques in Los Angeles

The Best Boutiques in Los Angeles
Shopping is an essential activity in L.A., and these five spots are worth a visit

Clare V.

Since launching her handbags and accessories line in 2008, accessories designer Clare Vivier has mastered the delicate combination of Parisian chic, American prep, and California cool. While her brand has spread to seven boutiques across California and New York, her flagship shop in Silverlake may best personify her brand. Two walls of windows let the California sun stream in each morning and afternoon, and shadowboxes designed by local architect Barbara Bestor hold the goods that lure passersby along Sunset Boulevard. Technicolor best sellers such as the La Tropezienne, Simple Tote, and coveted Foldover Clutches may sit on copies of the most recent Paris Review or Louis Vuitton City Guides, which are also for sale. Everything in the well-rounded space has a connection to France, Los Angeles, or Vivier herself. The shop stocks jewelry by her friends Annie Costello Brown and Grace Lee, for example, along with French Veja sneakers and candles from West Hollywood’s iconic Chateau Marmont. Pro tip: Head here for a last-minute gift—clutches and other leather items can be monogrammed on the spot.

The Platform

A sense of discovery pervades at this innovative, open-air retail development in Culver City, which opened in 2016. Six buildings house first-to-market concept shops, pop-ups, and creative company headquarters. The place is constantly evolving, with a stylish lineup of businesses stepping in temporarily (St. Frank housewares, Charlotte Stone shoes) or permanently (Bird Brooklyn's first West Coast outpost, Magasin men’s boutique, design shop Poketo). Be sure to hit some Southern California favorites, including The Edit by Freda Salvador and Janessa Leone, for shoes and hats, and Reservoir L.A. for an impeccable edit of local fashion brands. You’ll also find great iced coffee at Blue Bottle, acai bowls at São Acai, and tacos at the unmissable Loqui. Studded with cacti and succulents, as well as hanging chairs, the outdoor areas encourage leisurely shopping breaks. Keep an eye on the Platform’s schedule of events for outdoor concerts, film screenings, and food festivals. Pro tip: Put aside 35 minutes for an Aesop Express Facial at the cult Aussie beauty shop—it’s one of only four of the brand’s shops worldwide that offers them.

Esqueleto

This highly curated yet laid-back Echo Park art gallery and shop is where the desert meets the sea, and independent LA and international artists are celebrated for their unique individuality. Near Dodger Stadium, this shop is the second California outpost from Oakland jewelry designer Lauren Wolf. Here, in the sun-soaked showroom, techniques and materials vary, but one common theme marries every object: They’re all handcrafted. A natural and organic aesthetic pervades, and the stock includes decorative objects, custom jewelry, art, and ceramics. Vintage Moroccan kilim rugs top exposed concrete floors, and large cacti are scattered about. The soundtrack: old, rare cuts; high-school marching band covers of contemporary hits, and DJ mixes by Chances with Wolves. Wolf’s eponymous line (she’s best known for one-of-a-kind engagement rings) leads the gallery-wide charge on sustainability: diamonds are certified conflict-free, and metals are recycled. The sales staff is as creative as its artisans, and personalized, no-pressure service is a signature (no appointment needed). Pro tip: Keep an eye on the shop's Instagram feed for lively art openings every two months, and frequent trunk shows. When seeking a distinctive gift, visit Esqueleto first: Its wonders include 10,000-year-old megalodon teeth from a South Carolina riverbed. It doesn’t get cooler than this.

Fred Segal

The name Fred Segal—and especially the logo—encapsulates L.A. style. Since the early 1960s, it’s been where Angelenos shop for their denim-heavy wardrobes and, in more recent history, where such trendsetting SoCal brands as Juicy Couture, J Brand, and True Religion got their start. These classics and many others line the walls of the iconic Melrose shop, but the 2017 opening of a 13,000-square-foot retail space on Sunset Boulevard started a new chapter. Along with its core seasonal collections, the shop holds 10 brand-specific shops-within-shops, along with pop-ups that change from day to day. The result is a space that feels like a high-fashion bazaar. Channel your inner treasure hunter and dig in for a long while—you’ll be rewarded with finds from AMO Denim, Seeker, Hartel, Levi’s, Marie Veronique, CAP Beauty, and Dita Eyewear. The whole selection is carefully curated to give shoppers something unique, whether it’s a vintage Comme des Garçons piece or an entire collection straight from Libertine’s runway. Must-do: Grab a coffee at Fred Segal Café by Tartine (which is so appealing for lunch that it causes an uptick in shoppers around noon each day) and snap a photo in the living room swing, with the entirety of downtown as your backdrop.

Just One Eye

This shop took over one of Los Angeles’s most iconic buildings when it opened in 2012—the art deco–styled former headquarters of business magnate Howard Hughes. But Just One Eye’s pioneering founder, Paola Russo, has managed to put her own original stamp on the space. The luxury concept store is arranged like a gallery, showcasing rare and one-of-a-kind editions of clothing, jewelry, vintage furniture, and contemporary works by such artists as Takashi Murakami. Finds range from crocodile backpacks designed in collaboration with the Row and artist Damien Hirst to a survival kit created with input from the Navy Seals. Over the years, Just One Eye has grown and evolved with shops-in-shops. Installations may feature gowns by Alexandre Vauthier—French haute couture designs sold since the store’s beginning—or Daniela Villegas’s playful jewelry inspired by nature. Somehow both intimate and grand, the eclectic boutique is decidedly gallery-like, but approachable, too. Knowledgeable staff act almost as docents, guiding customers one-on-one and offering them coffee. Insiders’ tip: Valet parking is complimentary, helping to assuage any guilt over splurging on that Gucci bag.

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Southern California

Discover Los Angeles County

See a film star. Sip a cocktail on a rooftop bar at sunset. Slip on a pair of designer shoes in an ultra-luxurious boutique in Beverly Hills. At Universal Studios Hollywood theme park explore world class museums or dance the night away in a starlet-filled club. Welcome to California’s liveliest city, America’s entertainment capital, with mega star wattage and non-stop things to do. 

“You know, you’re really a nobody in L.A. unless you have a really big door.”  --comedian Steve Martin

The main hub is the city of Los Angeles, with legendary Hollywood north-west of downtown, the San Fernando Valley to the east and the inviting beaches of Santa Monica and Malibu to the west.

Koreatown is just south of central Los Angeles
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Koreatown

This small area with 24-hour energy packs in some of the best restaurants and nightlife in Los Angeles

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West Hollywood

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Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant

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San Pedro

LA’s busiest port town is a haven for maritime enthusiasts and seafood lovers

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Spotlight: Los Angeles

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Bright lights, A-list celebrities & diverse culture

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Spotlight: Hollywood

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Showbiz, celebrities & endless possibilities

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Sunset Strip Nightlife

Welcome to L.A.’s home of rock ‘n’ roll

Few roads have as much history as this 2-mile- section of Sunset Boulevard, bounded by Havenhurst Drive and Doheny Drive. In the 1960s and ‘70s,...

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The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
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LA Museums

See masterpieces and innovative contemporary works

With its diverse collection of museums, Los Angeles has grown into one of the world’s great cities for art lovers. From the dramatically modern...

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Los Angeles County Shopping

Go boutique to bargain in one of the world’s fashion (and shopping) capitals

You’ll definitely want to leave room in your suitcase for L.A. shopping.

If you’re ready to whip out the platinum card, head to Rodeo Drive...

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Make memories at some of California's family-favourite beaches

Sand, water, and children-it’s a natural combination for easy family fun. These sandy beaches offer appealing, family friendly features, such as calm water for new swimmers, tide pools for...

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Farm-fresh produce, culinary adventures

Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisan cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local wildflower honey—California’s farmers’ markets are...

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Check these amazing experiences off your bucket list

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Beverly Hills

Peek into the land of the rich and famous

Opulent estates. Palm-lined Rodeo Drive. Lavish hotels and stretch limousines. Look around Beverly Hills, and it’s no wonder this city gets its...

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World-class accommodations in world-class locations

Head to the heart of California’s cities for luxurious stays at world-class hotels and resorts. From San Francisco’s historic hotels to celebrity hot spots in Hollywood and Beverly Hills,...

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Where to release your inner fashionista

Shopping is an art form in California. Whether you are in search of the perfect cocktail dress or an authentic Mexican piñata, you will find it here. Want to sample fresh fruits and...

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Taste the delicious dishes from these amazing California chefs

From a pastel coloured pastry shop to Michelin-starred dining rooms, top restaurants run by celebrity chefs dot the Golden State. And even if you don’t know these chefs from the TV...

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Venice

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Surfers, skateboarders, and stars

Venice is the ultimate L.A. neighborhood where the surf meets the human circus. Spend a day along Venice’s palm-lined, beachfront boardwalk and...

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Discover quintessential sun and fun at these coastal charmers

Take one part water, one part sand, one part sun-soaked coastal charm, and you’ve got the recipe for some of the Golden State’s most appealing destinations....

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Long Beach

Experience the many sides of a dynamic coastal city

With beaches and marinas along its waterfront and a busy dining and shopping scene on Pine Avenue, Long Beach blends big city sophistication with...

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L.A. Architecture

See eye-catching icons and stately landmarks

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Amazing Agritourism Experiences

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February or March

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Unleash the kid within at California’s ultimate play lands

From Disneyland classics to beachfront carousels, the Golden State’s best-in-class theme parks deliver something for everyone, from tots and teens to film buffs and daredevils. Find out what is...

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Warner Bros. Studio Tour

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This classic Hollywood tour lets you see TV and movie history in the making

Hollywood magic still resonates at this huge studio lot in Burbank, where you can witness pieces of cinematic and television history—and also have...

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La Brea Tar Pits

Find fossils and family-friendly fun at this prehistoric excavation site

Your idea of old may be 100, but that will undoubtedly change after you spend several hours at the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum. You will learn...

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Great L.A. Food Trucks

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Tacos, grilled cheese, and health food all live in harmony on the streets of Los Angeles

From gourmet chefs experimenting with tacos to funky ice cream sandwiches, you might be surprised what you can find on the streets of L.A. Food...

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Pasadena

Tour an Arts and Crafts masterpiece and more in the home of the Rose Bowl

Set at the base of the towering San Gabriel Mountains, Pasadena is best known as the home of the annual Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose...

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The California Questionnaire: Margaret Cho

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The Emmy- and Grammy-nominated stand-up comic, actress and singer clues us into her love of Los Angeles and California culture

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