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 RIF LA/Facebook
Tech-entrepreneur-turned-menswear-designer Derek Mattison created a suit-happy haven for dapper gents in LA when he debuted an immaculate flagship boutique on Melrose Place last year, which houses his expertly crafted line of suits, all handmade here in LA. The tailoring genius has been pimping out fellas ever since with his forward-thinking signature skinny lapels and short-sleeved tuxedos. Although razor sharp suits are the name of his game, the impeccably-dressed dude holds a soft spot for vintage sneakers, too. To unearth coveted kicks for his collection, he heads to one go-to shop in Little Tokyo.
Vintage sneaker shopping is not like any other type of shopping. It's a psychological mindfuck. Oftentimes I walk into a boutique and there's a sales person pressuring me to buy something I don't need and sometimes I crack under this unconscious social pressure to buy a pair of designer socks or adult diapers. But with vintage sneaker shopping it's all about the store having your size available, which is a complete crap shoot. You might start salivating over a pair of Series 1 Celtics (aka Spartans) when they appear to be in your size, but you turn them over and realize that even if you cut off half your big toe they're not gonna fit. So when the store guy asks if he can help, you can honestly say, "sorry dude, size is too small." He gives you a head nod that reads "you win some you lose some" and you walk out guilt-free and don't drop another $400 on a pair of shoes that you already have in six other colors and live to fight another day. Now, the flip side to that is when they do have your size. The store guy knows it's your size. You know how hard these things are to find. You know there's only one pair left and walking out empty handed is not a possibility; That's the fun part about RIF LA. You don't determine the purchase—fate does. That said, better bring your American Express as fate can be expensive.
· RIF LA [Official Site]
· Mattison [Official Site]
· All Shopping Confidential Posts [Racked]