Gregory Davalos may be an L.A. native, but you’ll find the men’s fashion blogger on hotel rooftops trying to soak in sunshine like a tourist. And why shouldn’t you? Bored with working in menswear wholesale, Davalos launched DowntownDava.com two years ago, and he’s enjoyed working on the go ever since. The online influencer to talk about blogging in L.A., the importance of loafers, and how to look like an Angeleno:
What do you love about style in L.A.?
In general, when people think of L.A., they think of the beach and Hollywood, the celebrities and the glamour. But L.A. is one of the few cities in the world you can live and feel like you’re on vacation. And the style here really reflects that. It’s about looking like you didn’t try too hard. It’s not the most polished of looks, but it’s definitely very stylish and very fashion forward. You can always tell who has been here for a while because their style is effortless, like a pair of vintage jeans, a tee, and some staple high-end item.
How has the local fashion scene evolved as you’ve been studying it?
L.A. was really having its moment around the time The Hills was on TV and Paris and Nicky were going to Kitson everyday, but then when the recession happened and L.A. hit a hard point with fashion. Robertson was just a ghost town. Nobody was shopping. But in the past two or three years it’s really turned around with a ton of stores popping up and Hedi Slimane from Saint Laurent even moved his operation here. L.A. is becoming a fashion destination and is giving New York a run for its money.
How is blogging about style in L.A. different than places like New York?
A lot of the fashion blogs based in L.A. are not so much about fashion; they’re more about lifestyle. They include a lot of things like travel and encompass more of the L.A. lifestyle whereas with New York blogs you get the feel of the hustle and bustle of NYC but they are more strictly about fashion.
What one thing is missing from the L.A. shopping scene?
There aren’t a lot of independent stores where you can get great menswear pieces for an affordable price. Nasty Gal, for example, is a great store where women can get a lot of trendy pieces that are inexpensive. There’s nothing like that for men.
Where are your favorite places from which to blog?
I’m a very avid hotel hopper. I love the Montage Hotel or Soho House when somebody can sneak me in. I love the rooftop at Hotel Wilshire. I really like areas where the sun is shining. I mean, I grew up here in L.A., but I’ve always felt very grateful that I can just sit outside by a pool with my laptop in the middle of February.
What three specific pieces of clothing should every Angeleno own?
I’m someone who is very focused on closet staples. You don’t need a lot of things, but a few good things. So every person in L.A. should own a really great pair of designer jeans (I really like Acne jeans right now, that’s been my jam lately) and a pair of everyday shoes like a simple loafer. My everyday shoes are Cole Haan loafers with little tassles, which I’m just constantly buying as my pairs get worn out. They’re great because they can be casual but also totally work for a night situation. And sunglasses, obviously.