Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
As shows like Unique LA and Thread continue to flourish, they become harder and more taxing for Joe Consumer. How do you wade through the sheer volume of stuff -- most of it good, much of it unnecessary -- to score legitimate treasure?
To us, the newly opened Co-op 28 looks like it's the highlight reel from the indie designer shows. They took over the Vermont Ave. space left by Atmosphere, and they've brought a completely different look, vibe and concept. While Atmosphere championed larger So. Cal indie brands, Co-op 28 is even smaller batch, with an emphasis on the artisanal, handmade and unique. CO28's proprietor Marci Siegel has created a space that feels like it's more about building relationships and discovering new talent, as opposed to just selling tee shirts (though she does that, too).
Co-op 28 is a "soup to nuts" lifestyle store: besides clothing for men, women, children and dogs (and presumably cats), there's art, knickknacks, accessories, a few foodstuffs, and more. They're currently working with about 70 local artists, artisans, designer, and creators, but that number changes daily. Marci is equipped with a terrific eye and a hands-on approach to maintaining the store with products that reflect a certain sensibility, but are all practical, too.
If we had to pick a single word to describe the place, we'd begrudgingly offer boho, because it does offer that carefree, worldly vibe, but it's much more than that. For example, they stock a few of Tess Virgil's 50 Dresses line, which is only maybe 10% boho, 90% sweet chic. We also found a line of handbags to die for?and dye for: M. Andonio bags use supple leather, classic shapes and a rainbow of tie-dye/dip dye colors.
Another item in Co-op 28 that earns some major points: the cashwrap is made from recycled books. (Marci's from a family of book sellers, which explains a lot.) We've never seen anything like it, and it definitely adds a touch of whimsy to the store. Wonder if anyone's tried to pull one out and read it.
· Co-op 28 [Facebook]