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Wow, a lot of stores opened in 2010. And unfortunately, a lot of stores also closed, including a few that just opened. Join us for a highly subjective, though thoroughly well reasoned, look back on some of 2010's best and most interesting and noteworthy new store openings. You think we missed something? Weigh in through a comment.
- The mega-sized Forever 21 at Los Cerritos Center. For a while, it was the biggest one anywhere!
- The battlin' bunnies at E.P.I.C.
- The Madison Outlet may not offer the most chi-chi furnishings, but when you sell Elizabeth & James shoes for $25, you don't need to be too fancy.
- Women's shoes at the SaMoPlace Bloomingdale's
- One of the men's displays at Bloomie's at Santa Monica Place
- Could James Perse anchor a neighborhood revitalization? There's already a Cupcakery and a yoga studio in the neighborhood, so the streets aren't THAT mean.
- Mohawk General Stores's furnishings
- Zero + Maria Cornejo
- Zero, again.
- Flight001 made a long-delayed though much celebrated landing back on West 3rd Street.
10. E.P.I.C. (Echo Park Independent Co-op). The store is basically a galaxy of some of LA's brightest stars, some pretty well established (like Brian Lichetenberg and Skingraft); others, like Smoke & Mirrors, on the rise. It's a beautiful space in a currently too-hip stretch of Sunset in Echo Park. And man, those guys throw good parties.
9. James Perse. We're not saying there's anything revolutionary about an established brand or $80 t-shirts. But we hope the tawny store's opening on a rough-and-tumble stretch of Highland in Hollywood is a harbinger of good things for the neighborhood. Free City opened across the street not long after; if a few other shops get the hint, this could be one of the most interesting retail centers in LA.
8. Assouline at South Coast Plaza. Yay, books! Though the books in Assouline's catalog are as much a fashion statement as they are something to read, it's hard not to be thrilled by what's basically a really fancy, indie bookstore. SCP used to be home to a really terrific, high-end bookstore called Brentano's, so it's nice that the uber-mall now has a bookstore that doesn't stock Twilight or anything in the "books for dummies" series.
7. Zero + Maria Cornejo. A bunch of super great stores opened around Melrose Place this last year; why this one stands out is how elegantly the design of the store mirrors the aesthetic of the clothing. And the clothing -- once we learned that many of the prints on the dresses come from snaps Maria took from her iPhone, that made us love it even more. And you know who else loves the brand? Michelle Obama.
6. Mohawk General Store. It's not technically new -- just a relocation to a bigger space and the addition of the high end mid-century furnishings, but this store made the list because they have one of the most refined perspectives, and the coolest indie offerings. And we're suckers for the Generic Man and Generic Surplus shoes.
5. Forever 21 at Los Cerritos Center. This is equal parts carnival and shopping experience. The 85,000 square foot megaplex has every piece of Forever 21-abilia you could possibly want; it's so big, throbbing and filled with shiny objects, even if you're super into F21, it's still slightly traumatic.
4. Flight001. A no-brainer, since everyone's happy to see this fave come back to the neighborhood. And since airplane travel now sucks like it's never sucked before, bless this store for providing little doodads to help make the process easy, and even fun.
3. Madison Outlet on Melrose. We're not sure how "important" or high-profile this hidden little nook is, but it's definitely become one of our favorite spots. Why? How about $250 Giuseppe Zanotti for Balmain, $150 YSL sandals, $90 Phillip Lim dresses, and racks of deeply discounted Vanessa Bruno, Alexander Wang, Kova & T, Stella McCartney and Elizabeth and James? Love.
2. Trader Joe's on Vine. Again, probably not a game-changer -- and we could do without the hokey Hollywood artwork and puns, but a nice addition to a neighborhood that's movin' on up. Since we all know that TJ's parking lots tend to be clusterfucks of mythological proportions, its centrality to the Red Line and about a hundred different bus routes is sweet. And according to Curbed, everyone wants a Trader Joe's these days?so don't hate on us for including it in the mix.
1. Bloomingdale's at Santa Monica Place. This entire post could have easily been about all the stores in the lavish new center, which is probably the only major mall to have opened in the country this year. But this Bloomie's is so sleek, overall; and each department is both so well-curated and thematically decorated. And it offers a distinctly local take on Bloomingdale's. Plus, there's fro yo, and those crazy futuristic dressing room pods!