L.A. Stores So Chic, They Scream Out For an In-Person Visit

You can let your fingers do the walking, but these new upscale retail locales, designed almost like art galleries, are actually worth visiting firsthand

You can let your fingers do the walking, but these new upscale stores, designed almost like art galleries, are actually worth visiting firsthand.

Anine Bing Melrose After years on WeHo’s West Third Street, the Swedish former blogger/model and designer of classic clothes with a rocker-chick vibe has relocated to Melrose Avenue. But her silhouettes haven’t changed: the perfect blazer, silk shirt, flared pants, tweed bucket hat—she’s L.A.’s laid-back Isabel Marant. Major selling point: Bing’s slightly boyish clothes are absolutely trend-proof, yet still current and edgy. 8211 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, aninebing.com

Bottega Veneta Pacific Palisades The hot but très cool Milanese brand that starts 90 percent of style trends these days has opened its second store in SoCal after the Melrose Place flagship. The new green-walled offshoot, situated in Rick Caruso’s Palisades Village, is strategically placed among that other kind of green, if we may be so blunt. But know before you go: this Bottega Veneta shop focuses only on the company’s singular leather goods and other accessories. 15261 Palisades Village Lane, Pacific Palisades, bottegaveneta.com

Bulgari Serpenti Pop-Up The Italian jeweler to the stars celebrates the 75th anniversary of its famed Serpenti icon with a three-month pop-up—Bulgari’s first in L.A.—selling what the Roman brand is best known for: serpentine bracelets, watches, and rings. Bulgari has devoted an immersive, art-inspired exhibition stocked with Serpenti “high jewelry”—one-of-a-kind pieces made by the best craftspeople from highly precious materials with highly precious price points. 431 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, bulgari.com


Chanel The French luxury giant closed its longtime Rodeo Drive space and purchased the shuttered Lladró space next door (for $100 mil), allowing Chanel architect Peter Marino to raze both stores and rebuild a new 50,000-square-foot, three-story chateau Chanel—one of the company’s largest stores in the world—opening May 4, with exclusives to Beverly Hills. The cruise collection will arrive on May 9. 400–408 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, chanel.com

Cult Gaia From a hit handbag to a temple in ten years: L.A.’s sexy, cool-girl brand, founded by designer Jasmin Larian Hekmat—whose crescent-shaped Ark handbag put her on the map in 2013—dubbed Cult Gaia’s new store on Melrose Avenue “the Temple” for its ancient Greek vibe, stonework, and sculptural furniture. The brand wants you to think of it as a “serene sanctuary.” In fact, it resembles a gallery more than a store—until you lay eyes on those sexy duds. 8440 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, cultgaia.com

Gucci Melrose When Gucci, with a boutique on Rodeo Drive since 1968, snapped up the old Marc Jacobs space in the triangle where Melrose Place meets Melrose Avenue a year ago, the company was somewhat sketchy about its plans for a second store. Opened momentarily last summer for its Adidas collab (and killer party), the brand is now ready to roll out a high-end, appointment-only store with appropriately luxe men’s and women’s clothing and accessories only—no Gucci fragrance or cosmetics. 8400 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, gucci.com

Chanel (Peter Larsen/Getty Images for Chanel)

Maison Margiela Melrose Place The famed 1980s Belgian-created avant-garde line, reinvented by creative director John Galliano, relocated recently from its cramped Century City-adjacent boutique to a big, airy, ecru-colored space that includes a garden, large olive trees, cacti, and a white plaster installation in the center of the store for the new 5AC collection and other pieces from Maison Margiela’s main line. 8451 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, maisonmargiela.com

South Coast Plaza There’s always movement within South Coast Plaza, but this spring, Orange County’s luxe megamall is truly kinetic: recently opened boutiques include Reformation, Anine Bing, Coach, Hugo Boss, and John Varvatos. And there’s sparkle aplenty: Graff diamonds is coming, Cartier is upgrading to an expanded space, and Van Cleef & Arpels will hold a two-week pop-up exhibition, “A Journey Through the Poetry of Time,” this month. Speaking of upgrades, the Gucci, Dior, and Hermès boutiques are all getting new, improved emporiums. 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, southcoastplaza.com

Supreme There’s finally a WeHo store hip enough to fill that hole Tower Records left in our hearts when it closed on Sunset Boulevard. Supreme opened mid-February to lines around the block. With surprise drops and constant new merch, the most in-demand streetwear brand now has a massive, modern store to match its enviable cool. Center stage: a giant blue race car decorated in four-letter words. 8801 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, supreme.com

Cult Gaia

Ulla Johnson L.A.’s first Ulla Johnson boutique has been gestating for several years but will finally come to fruition in early June. And New York’s top designer of silky highbrow boho chic, opening in the old Stella McCartney indoor/outdoor space on Beverly Boulevard, has put as much sophistication into the store as she does her fluid clothes. She hired top interior designer Kelly Wearstler, who installed pieces from Ulla’s own art collection. 8823 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, ullajohnson.com

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