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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 via Dossier Journal
Rose Apodaca is a writer, text and exhibition editor, consultant and half of A+R, a source for modern design from around the world. Her features have appeared in Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Glamour, Style.com and Paper, and she spearheaded the launch of Image, the Los Angeles Times style section. Her first book, Style A to Zoe: The Art of Fashion, Beauty & Everything Glamour, hit the New York Times bestseller list in September 2008 and continues selling well worldwide, appearing in several translations including Korean and Russian. For all her traveling, she trusts one man with her feet—and he goes by the name of Mr. George Esquivel.
"George Esquivel is the man I trust my soles to. In fact, I never travel without a pair his shoes because they are more comfortable than sneakers—and certainly a sharper option. I own several styles...and counting. Each pair is handmade, meticulously and old-school style, in his factory in Buena Park. He keeps a secret salon, however, off West Third Street in LA that can only be accessed one of two ways: by walking through Douglas Fir and crossing a lovely courtyard, or via the alley and through an unmarked wrought iron gate. Oh, and you must make an appointment because it's not always open. Inside, it's like you're in George's well-appointed den, with its comfy couch and chairs and an adjoining kitchen. My quickie visits always end up voluntarily stretching out—between ogling at how he's re-imagined classic oxfords and desert boots and the equally enjoyable conversation on, well, life. From his craftsmanship to his charming service, George epitomizes the slow fashion movement and I am so very lucky to be able to walk in his shoes."
· Esquivel Shoes [Official Site]
· Rose Apodaca [Official Site]
· All Shopping Confidential Posts [Racked LA]