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Apr 6, 2012

A Few of Our Favorite Boutiques on Melrose.

There was a time when I would spend an entire Saturday browsing through all the funky boutiques on Melrose. At the height of its popularity Melrose was a shopping destination, and it was also a great place to people watch. Once filled with trend-setting shops the locale is now saturated with stores that sell cheap accessories and poorly made apparel from Downtown L.A.’s Fashion District. Melrose still has some great finds. It just takes a little patience to weed through the cookie cutter shops in order to find the boutiques that offer high-caliber apparel and accessories from up-and-coming designers. If you prefer to be a trend-setter as opposed to a trend-follower you’ll want to check out our favorite stores listed below.

B by Aperire: 7708 Melrose Ave.

I met Joshua Pinkay during LA Fashion Week. He’s charming, adorable, and has a great sense of style so I wasn’t surprised when he handed me his card and said he was the events and merchandise manager for B by Aperire.

Created by Hiromi Tatsuta, the LA based shoe line produces innovative footwear with an emphasis on comfort. Inspired by Japanese street culture, B by Aperire delivers shoes that are funky and fresh with a focus on bold, fashion forward heels. The shoes are made with a patented filler foam cushion, which makes them extra comfy, and each one comes equipped with a branded anti-slip sole to provide maximum slip resistance on wet surfaces.

These boots are the store’s best seller and they are a good representation of the brand’s motto, which is: B comfortable, B different, B original.

In addition to its distinctive footwear the boutique also carries an eclectic array of accessories. I could spend hours playing dress up in this store!

My Closet Italia-Melrose: 7716 Melrose Ave.

I attended My Closet Italia’s grand opening party back in October, 2010. Since then the store has created a reputation for its whimsical tees that feature iconic and artsy designs. A favorite among fashion-loving Europeans overseas, the Melrose location has become the “go-to” spot for finding unique Italian apparel and accessories with a high-end vintage look.

Owners Eiman Hamza, Gabriela Valenzuela, and Michael Scarpellini are all FIDM alumni. Therefore, all FIDM students receive special discounts and opportunities to work on in-store projects in order to help utilize and further develop their talents.

La Maison de Fashion: 7471 B Melrose Ave.

Located off the beaten path the hip style house known as La Maison de Fashion is home to today’s hottest up-and-coming designers. The shop features must have styles straight from the runway and one-of-a-kind pieces (carrying only one of each).

Founders Angelina Pitt and Maile Takahashi are stylists turned boutique owners who specialize in the promotion of up-and-coming designers, luxury fashion, and lifestyle brands. Their style house features an array of talented designers including Adolfo Sanchez, Alana Hale, Daisy Gonzalez, L’Une Collection, Lauren Elaine Designs, and Michael Costello to name a few. The shop is also frequented by celebrities like Lady Gaga and Nikki Minaj.

King (By Terri King): 7218 Melrose Ave.

Back in the day the talented Terri King had a boutique on Melrose. One day she closed up shop and took her creations underground. Sensing the time was right Ms. King returned to Melrose and opened a new store a few months ago. King Boutique features sexy rock star clothing with a dark, glamorous edge. The shop carries Terri King’s signature line in addition toV-Moda (a lifestyle brand she also designs for). Her corsets are made with a flexible spiral boning, which allows the wearer to breathe and move with ease. 

You’ll also find accessories from KBD and Saints and Sinners and vintage inspired jewelry by Sandra King. Terri has a very diverse clientele ranging from blue collar workers to corporate employees to rock stars to high profile celebrities. She frequently creates custom pieces for her clients, so if you don’t see what you’re looking for in her shop don’t be afraid to ask.  

So next time you’re out shopping keep this quote from Terri King in mind: “Think less about trends and dress for your body. Always make sure what you are wearing speaks for who you are as a person.”

Narrative and photos by Nikki Neil


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