Stand Out From the Crowd: Luxury Clothing Boutiques in Los Angeles
Southern California stands alone. Maybe it’s the endless summer climate or the ubiquitous celebrity sightings; maybe it’s because the state has the 9th largest economy in the world. But, there’s something undeniably special about this West Coast region. The distinctive area has a bold but friendly attitude that coolly oozes a winking confidence. The stylish denizens of Los Angeles, the infamous City of Angels, pride themselves on individuality, something they excel at showing through their chosen outfits. New York may be flush with brand name labels, haute couture pretention and black-wrapped fashion lemmings, but L.A. favors the cutting edge luxury of independent designers who make small runs or one-of-a-kind pieces; L.A. favors character.
Still somewhat a secret fashion capital, visitors may find it surprising that high-end boutique designers are so common in Los Angeles it’s a grind to narrow down the best. However, there are several extra-shiny stars among the skilled set, and here are some of the most notable names in L.A. apparel scene today.
Brand new and desperately welcomed, The Foundry is a design enthusiasts’ dream. This trend-setting boutique doesn’t make any clothing in house, but it sells some of the best collections from up-and-coming local designers in Los Angeles. Buyers curate only the highest quality pieces from labels that typify the individualist spirit of the city. The rotating selection includes Silvia Hillman, Samantha Pleet and Antipodium. Flattering, asymmetrical cuts, delicately embellished fabrics and expert tailoring are standard. Mostly ready-to-wear everyday items, The Foundry carries both men and women’s casual wear.
Though Southern California gets a bad reputation for brassy flare, minimalism is still the preferred style for tastemakers. Which makes Mike Vensel, and his collections of eco-friendly, architectural and monochromatic pieces, so highly in demand. Vensel makes womenswear that is powerful and feminine. The draping flatters curves, while the singular cuts draw the eye all over the clothing. The palette is muted — after all, he has his New York clients to consider — but the technical expertise is apparent in every line. Sold in a number of luxury boutique shops and online, Mike Vensel is perched to become a household name in a few short years.
A legacy in her own right, Mila Hermanovski is the product of several generations of artists and designers. Studying and working under the venerable Calvin Klein before being selected for competition on Project Runway, Hermanovski developed a taste for quality from the beginning. Her eponymous line, MILA, focuses on geometric patterns, fashion-forward cut outs and tightly woven knitwear. Her capsule collection of cashmere samples showcases her attention to detail and her preference for sumptuous materials. She is available for contact in regards to specialty work, and her current collection is for sale online.
Originating from Sardinia, and also boasting artistic forbears, Valerj Pobega got a head start in design when her mother taught her to sew clothing for her dolls. Modeling for iconic fashion houses was the next step in her education before launching her own line, which was sold in many European boutiques. Pobega’s call to fame is her handcrafted clothing; each piece is made entirely by her and considered a work of art. Mysterious and whimsical, feminine and fierce, her gauzy womenswear has attracted the attention of celebrities like Shirley Manson, Estella Warren and Rachel Bilson.
As home to thousands of talented independent designers, each with a singular vision and stand out style, Los Angeles is poised to overtake the established international cities of fashion in the near future. Affluent apparel devotees with an eye for asymmetry, hand-finishing and premium fabrics should flock to these burgeoning boutiques and couturiers for the best in high design before the whole world discovers them, and they become just another brand name.