Whether I’m in the market for ready-to-wear or vintage thrift, Los Angeles never disappoints when it comes to shopping. From antique faucets to lacy lingerie, from neighborhoods to specific boutiques, from Rodeo Drive to Melrose, here are 10 essential Los Angeles shopping experiences.
Located in the Beverly Hills neighborhood, world-famous Rodeo Drive is home to most of the world’s top designer fashion houses from Louis Vuitton to Gucci, Prada to Versace and everyone in between. Celebrities are known to shop here. The planet’s poshest jewelers are also located here, including Harry Winston and one of the world’s largest branches of Tiffany & Co.
Also in the 90210 zip code, Beverly Boulevard is where to go for mid-century modern furnishings from the rat-pack era. Between Robertson Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, expensive showrooms line both sides of the street. Modernica is one of the originals, famous for selling a mix of vintage Noguchi tables and much more affordable replicas of the era’s top designers.
Just east of Rodeo in Melrose, I like to shop between Wilshire and Beverly boulevards at an assortment of designer vintage shops and chic boutiques. It is a favorite celebrity shopping spot, so keep an eye out for paparazzi stalking shop windows hoping for a glimpse of the week’s hottest it girls and boys. My favorite boutiques are Kitson and Lisa Kline. Dolce & Gabbana’s flagship U.S. shop is also here.
Located on La Brea, L.A.’s most artsy shopping street, Liz’s Antique Hardware is filled with century-old hardware and fixtures. Regardless of whether you are redecorating, it is easy to get distracted sorting through bags of antique ceramic doorknobs, brass window handles and hook latches.
Gigantic billboards, neon signs and a steady stream of red-and-white lights announce your arrival at Sunset Strip. The famed WeHo road between La Cienega Boulevard and Doheny Drive is packed with trendy restaurants, hotels and legions of eclectic boutiques.
Yes, it is a bit of a cheesy tourist trap, but shopping on famous Hollywood Boulevard is also pretty darn fun (especially if you don’t really dig holiday shopping). Take a stroll down the Walk of Fame between Gower Street and La Brea Avenue. The iconic Los Angeles lingerie shop, Fredericks of Hollywood, is also here. Look for it a block east of Hollywood and Highland.
Running between Fairfax and La Brea avenues, Melrose Avenue is one of the country’s most cutting-edge fashion-shopping streets. Home to a slew of boutiques selling everything from vintage couture to jewelry plus a number of happening cafes to rest your weary feet, this is where to go for an L.A. shopping culture lesson. Where else can you buy glow-in-the-dark condoms and a vintage Gucci purse in the same block?
My favorite vintage clothing shop on Melrose Avenue is Wasteland, offering a range of male and female fashion from the eclectic non-label to consigned haute couture. The store is large and fun to browse — it doesn’t feel too cluttered.
Another funky Melrose Avenue shop, hit up Off The Wall Antiques if you’re in the market for a life-size fiberglass cow or a working jukebox from half a century ago.
Picking up where Melrose proper ends, Melrose Heights runs from Fairfax to La Cinega boulevards and feels like Rodeo Drive’s hipster littler sister. It is anchored by longtime local retail favorite, Fred Segal and also includes a number of other designer boutiques from Marc by Marc Jacobs to Diane von Furstenberg.
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