Rios Clementi Hale Studios has developed an open-air, gritty meets glam, mixed-use industrial space next to the famous Alameda produce market in the arts district of Downtown Los Angeles. Built by the Southern Pacific Railroad between 1917 and 1923, the main rows of six buildings now holds what started out as a series of pop-up shops and galleries that has unfolded into a fully-fledged destination for office space, shopping and cool coffee bar hangouts. The popular Smorgasburg food hall from Brooklyn was the first to land in the space with a Sunday market that has been drawing crowds for unique artisan tastes and local food trucks.
The projected 100 stores curated by The Runyon Group (also responsible for the Platform development in Culver City), spans from BDGA, a Boston-based men’s sneaker store that has collaborated with Nike, Puma and Adidas, to women’s fashion boutique LCD, featuring Mexico City designers inspired by street culture, contemporary art and the beach. Venice favourite A+R was one of the first retail stores to plant a flag in the complex with mid-century modern furnishings, lighting and accessories. Hancock is a luxury lifestyle and concept store who will source will everything from out of stock Chanel shoes or a cool lipstick from Milan to a vintage sofa or the best paper towels from London.
Tokyobike is a small, independent bicycle company from the suburb of Yanaka based on the concept of ‘Tokyo Slow’, designed to explore and enjoy the journey. While you are biking around the complex, stop into Mission Workshop from San Francisco where they make tailored performance technical apparel such as waxed canvas jeans, and weatherproof bags that the company started by selling to professional bike messengers.
For more chic clothing, stop by Article Indefini for a handmade cashmere beret from France, or Paris-based 13 Bonaparte carries an urban contemporary transeasonal wardrobe for men. BANKS JOURNAL creates sustainable and organic surf apparel and accessories like organic cotton tees or recycled boardshorts. There is even a Bridge & Burn transplant from Portland, Oregon with casual-cool Northwest apparel – think plaid and corduroy with a tent for a dressing room.
For women there are ethereal vintage wedding gowns at Gossamer but dRA is an independent Los Angeles line with modern day meets feminine designs featuring floaty floral blouses to more structured plaid shirt dresses. At jewelers Vrai & Oro you can find wire-thin, simple gold bands and delicate diamond pendants; next door, perfume connoisseurs seeking unique niche fragrances from around the globe can pull up a seat at Scent Bar and have a glass of bubbles while you take in the artisan aromas.
For quirky finds, Poketo is a lifestyle brand born out of the philosophy ‘Art for Your Everyday’. From notebooks to backpacks they have collaborated with 200 international artists and companies from Nike, SF MoMA, and De Young Museum. Yolk from Silver Lake in east LA features cute wooden kids toys and creative glass housewares for hostess gifts.
If you want to learn and create while you shop, Still Life Ceramics offers ‘art as entertainment’ with a programme of classes as well as a retail space with functional art. Lastly, you can learn to box at New York transplant Shadowbox, practice yoga on the rooftop, or get an edgy new haircut at Nova Arts Salon. Over a dozen more restaurant developments are also on the way and soon the wide streets that were frequented by produce trucks will lead way for a mass of pedestrian foot traffic.