Construction on the Row DTLA, the Art District’s newest massive mixed-use space, isn’t complete just yet. But parts of the complex are open for the holidays, and heads up: Those parts rule. Located in the former L.A. Terminal Market, the Row DTLA takes up 30-acres behind the American Apparel Factory on Alameda St. It’s the future home of 100 restaurants and shops including A + R Home Décor (November 2016), Rappahannrock Oyster Bar (Spring 2017), coffee shop Go Get Em Tiger (2017), and the Boston streetwear/sneakers boutique Bodega (2017). The Runyon Group—creator of Culver City’s PLATFORM L.A.—is behind the retail-end of this venture.
We paid a visit to the space this week to peruse a handful of innovative pop-ups that recently opened–just in time for holiday shopping. A lot of the complex is still a work in progress; right now, big swaths of it resemble Javier Bardem’s abandoned island lair in Skyfall—empty buildings, chunks of concrete, and great music coming from … somewhere. But the Holiday Collective shops are worth exploring, especially since some of them have exclusive offerings and are only open until December 30. (Pro tip: Stop off at Smorgasburg L.A., for some frozen pudding while you’re there).
Local + Lejos – Home Décor
Artisans from around the globe create one-of-a-kind home goods ranging in price from $15—$185. Popular woven Akazi Bowls are made by a Kwizera Cooperative in Rwanda and your purchase pays for the health care for one of the Cooperative’s family members. The new tabletop line, handmade in Uganda out of cow horn, may launch next week, but you will find it in-store now.
tokyobike – Bicycles and Accessories
This is the indie Japanese bike company’s first solo L.A. brick and mortar (you’ve seen them at The Ace, Aesop, etc). The bikes come in five models, many colors, and are lightweight enough for city riding and carrying. Plus, the store smells like gorgeous Hinoki wood. They partner with tons of local bicycle shops so when you purchase a bike, they ship it to a nearby shop that assembles it for you.
notNeutral – Home/Lifestyle Accessories
Rios Clementi Hale Studios is the design firm behind Row DTLA and notNeutral is their “lifestyle object” line. One side of this pop-up consists of amazing mini-models of their architectural projects, while the other side is full of incredibly well thought-out objects. Vases can be turned over and to become votives, plates are stamped with city maps, and there is an incredible mod birdhouse on the back wall. You can also thank them for designing the best parking garage ever at the Row DTLA. It’s a ten-level thing of beauty, complete with lights that turn on when you or your car moves.
Daniel Wellington – Watches/Jewelry
Inspired by (and named after) an English gent who founder Filip Tysander met on his travels, this minimalistic watch line is chic yet affordable. The elegant, slim watch faces come in white or black with rose gold or silver accents. There are also cuffs that go along perfectly with the timepieces.
Away Travel – Luggage and Accessories
Carry-on luggage with built-in USB chargers. Need we say more? The hard shells on their bags—and the prices—aren’t bad either.
Rolling Greens – Home and Garden
If you’ve been to their Culver City and Fairfax District nurseries, you already know how gorgeous this home and garden shop is. They’re pitching this pop-up as a bit more of an “elevated version of the brand.” What does it mean? It’s a little sexier, sleeker, and more of a reflection of their buyers’ European trips. Also, everything is for sale in this store—from the tables and chairs to the succulents. The Row DTLA workshop schedule includes holiday classes at this location, including “Foraged Winter Advent Calendars” and “Creative Gift Wrapping.”
Milla Chocolates – Chocolates and Confections
You’ll find exquisite hand-painted bon bons and candied organic California orange chips at Christine Sull Sarioz’s first solo brick and mortar venture. The sweets are made in Venice and The Hazelnut Praline Bar is so good it won Gold at the International Chocolate Salon this year. The Weck glass jars the candies come in are reusable.
This Is Ground – Tech/Travel Accessories
For This is Ground founder Mike Macadaans—whose cord taco and other innovative products manufacturing hub is nearby in DTLA—the Row was a natural spot to open his first retail outlet. “We’ve only ever been available digitally,” says Macadaans. “But what people ask most is ‘what is the leather like?’” His Voyager Weekend Bag has optional WiFi integration, as well as pockets for your phone, cords, and even a notebook. For the pop-up he’s also created leather duffels inspired by the L.A. Athletic Club and camera straps influenced by local photographers.
Modern Citizen – Women’s Clothing and Accessories
This pop-up woman’s clothing and home goods brand will also feature different female-powered brands each weekend. They will be hosting weekly events in the shop amongst the pleated vegan leather skirts and marble geometric coasters.
Capsule Home – Furniture and Home Accessories
Capsule couches are for those who have graduated from IKEA, yet don’t want to drop 5K for a sofa. The L.A.-based design studio’s furniture is created with modularity in mind, and supports emerging design talent.
The Cartorialist – Art Gallery/Studio
Carly Kuhn’s sketches have only ever been available on her website … until now. The former Chelsea Lately producer-turned-artist boasts 164k Instagram followers who adore her chic fashion-inspired prints. Her pop-up gallery/studio is the ultimate digital-meets-analog moment where she invites fans (via Insta, of course) to come create art in the space. You gotta like a place where the first wall you see when you come in is covered in what she dubs her “mistakes.” Certain prints are only available in-store.
Kari Mozena is the Special Projects Manager at Los Angeles magazine. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @karimozena. The last time it rained, she wrote Where To Find The Chicest Rain Gear In Los Angeles.