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Los Angeles has more stores than anyone could physically tackle, but somehow we always keep returning to the usual suspects. To break out of the rut, we've asked some local shopping and fashion gurus to provide their hidden retail gems—those unique stores around LA that we might not all know about. Cue the Beatles: We're about to get a little help from our friends.
Image courtesy of HybeBeast
Kristin Levy may be new to the Los Angeles core, but that hasn't stopped her from navigating her way around the city. She's based in Echo Park and designs a line of jewelry under the name Kristen Elspeth, and draws inspiration from, among other elements, the North American and African Porcupine (you have to see her designs to get a sense of what we're talking about). One of the spots she found throughout her ‘discover phase’ is RTH, a spot on La Cienega that specializes in all things leather.
A place I love is RTH on La Cienega. It's a lovely little cottage, a quiet and peaceful desert-ish feeling oasis on a bustling thoroughfare that you can easily miss if you're not looking for it. The owner was a stylist for a number of years and makes his own leather goods in his workshop located out back behind his store. Wallets, belts, key chains, handbags, etc. The leather goods have that perfect mix of raw and heritage that makes you know instantly that you'll love it forever and that over time it will wear in beautifully. He also carries a small assortment of yummy candles and special handmade accessories from other vendors, vintage textiles, ponchos, and scarves. I've seen some of the textiles worked into vintage Levi's that he sells as well. While I shopped, he came and talked to me about his leather goods, inspiration, the textiles- he's so sweet and genuinely interested. I rarely part with my money and I left with one of his leather cardholders and a vintage Afghani indigo dyed scarf. I'm going back soon for a leather portfolio that will work nicely for me as an oversized clutch?that idea met with his shining approval!
Story by Yale Breslin