LA hot spot: Abbot Kinney Boulevard

WGSN, February 15 2007
Fiona Harkin, Lindsey Dupler, Bonita Halm

WGSN heads to the LA beachside community of Venice to explore trendy Abbot Kinney Boulevard’s shopping hot spots.

Barely a mile long and just a few blocks from the beach, Abbot Kinney Boulevard has really come into its own in the past few years. It boasts an eclectic mix of independent boutiques, art galleries, interiors shops and vintage furniture stores.

There are also plenty of coffee shops, restaurants and bars. With the majority of the clientele local, this shopping strip carries a wonderful neighbourhood vibe.

Many store owners tell WGSN that their merchandise reflects the essence of Venice: a laid-back mix of casual, slightly bohemian style with a touch of easy-going beachwear and a dash of dressy-Hollywood flash.

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Where to shop

At the intersection of Abbot Kinney and Westminster you’ll find Heist, a women’s boutique carrying contemporary basics with a twist from the US and Europe. The minimal interior features concrete planters with bark and lush ferns, adding an unusual touch to the shop’s design.

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The two-level store has an area upstairs called “Land of Casuals”, which carries an abundance of shorts, T-shirts and cargos. Downstairs has a slightly more sophisticated edge; you’ll find brands like Sass & Bide, Willow, Christopher Deane, Paul & Joe, Theory, Vince and Generra. They also stock plenty of cool denim brands like Serfontaine, 1921, Rock & Republic and Notify.

Nearby, Dewey offers designer footwear from the likes of Kate Spade and Hollywould. Don’t miss the two vintage furniture stores next door: Bazaar and the playfully highbrow Arch Modernist.

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Set back from the street in a cute cottage is anglophile boutique Brick Lane. Owner Amanda Dugan travelled frequently to London as a young girl and opened the store in March 2005. Brick Lane offers a good cross-section of men’s and women’s apparel and accessories, ranging from young, hip, urban UK streetwear, to more upscale labels. Some of the featured brands for winter include Betty Jackson, John Smedley, Ted Baker, Sophia Swire and Orla Kiely. However Dugan likes to introduce new lines each season to keep stock fresh.

Drop by the house next door, home to the magical Lynne Leventen Venice Flower Garden, which is packed with great flower and garden displays. Then soak up the scents at independent perfumer Strange Invisible.

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