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Talk about an ambitious endeavor for college credit. Beau Wollens, along with his partners, has sprouted two C'est Beau pop-up shops in New York and Los Angeles. The shops feature new and local designers with products from current or recently-past seasons at discounted prices. After retail schooling as an eager intern at Nom de Guerre, Beau abandoned the enticement of endless har gow by departing early from a semester abroad in Hong Kong, and proceeded to open C'est Beau's newest incarnation in a previously unused space on Abbot Kinney. As for the vibe: imagine if Gilt for men had a semi-permanent space and went a little more street.
Beau works with small labels on a consignment basis, so it's an interesting opportunity to check out younger designers. If you have a sartorially-minded young man on your holiday shopping list - perhaps one who dabbles in skating and wears his hoodies a touch oversized - this is a good place to check out, with prices from $20-$150 for most items. Especially cheery stuff: excellent colorblocked sweaters and windbreakers by Pegleg ($60-$130). Ladies clothes are poorly represented, though Claw Money, the well-known graffiti artist, has an interesting selection of vintage sunglasses, pocket scarves, and restyled satin sports bombers for your fave wannabe b-girl.
Some local labels include Keep's canvas trainers, Guns Germs & Steal's hard-shelled gold wallets embossed with pithy comments, and Osea, a skincare line. These are also your last few weeks to pick up one rare item of note by George Guest, a label which doesn't officially launch til spring 2011: a perfect canvas-leather backpack, with all-season, ergonomic styling and tough-as-nails construction, made by the same factory that fabricates a well-known French luxury luggage line. Think Want les Essentials de la Vie meets Filson, with the latter's more appealing price point. Plus, new merchandise in weekly. Stop by when you're waiting for a table at Gjelina. C'est Beau closes January 10.
· C'est Beau Abbot Kinney [Official Site]