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Just like stylists know how to turn a celebrity into a red carpet star, designers can skillfully transform fabric into wearable art. Most of the magic takes place behind a sketch pad and sewing machine, but once a look is born, fashion storytellers often rely on local help for quick fixes, last-minute alterations, and overall maintenance of their creations.
Whether you're a fashioner in the making or are simply looking for ways to breath new life into your wardrobe, here LA's top designers reveal the mom-and-pop tailor shops, dry cleaners, cobblers, and DIY supply stores they swear by.
Designer: Cydney Morris, Stone Cold Fox
Best tailor: Elias Custom Tailor (1212 11th Street, Santa Monica). I go there probably once a week. I love those guys so much and they do an amazing job.
Best cleaner: Bowers and Sons Cleaners (2509 Central Avenue, Downtown).
Best shoe repair: Pasquale Shoe Repair (5616 San Vicente Boulevard #1). They can turn a shoe that's been through war into a sparkly, clean pair. They also dye shoes!
Best for design supplies: Vintage stores and estate sales.
Designer: Amber Kekich-
Best cleaner: Milt & Edie's Drycleaners (4021 W Alameda Avenue, Burbank). They're open 24/7 and do an amazing job.
Best shoe repair: The guy sitting in a little chair below the Academy Awards building on Los Angeles between 8th and 9th. He will repair anything for under $10!
Best for design supplies: Zip-Up Zipper (828 Wall Street, Downtown). They have everything you need, and if not they can get it.
Designer: Jerome C. Rousseau
Best shoe repair: Willie's Shoe Service (1174 S La Brea Avenue). Ask for Raul, he has to be one of the nicest guys in the city. And for very delicate high quality work, you can always trust Pasquale on San Vicente.
Best for design supplies: Graphaids Art Supply (3030 La Cienega Boulevard, Culver City). It has everything I need to kickstart the design season!
Designer: Elena Howell, TomTom Jewelry
Best tailor: Laura of Beverly Hills (8320 Wilshire Boulevard). This place is expensive, but the tailoring is exquisite because Laura is one talented seamstress. I wouldn't pay her prices to have jeans hemmed, but for a special dress she is perfect.
Best cleaner: Larchmont Cleaners (415 N Larchmont Boulevard). Hands down the cutest, best family-owned dry cleaners in LA. Even though I no longer live in Larchmont Village, I still go out of my way to take my clothes there.
Best shoe repair: Aram Shoe Repair (1445 N. Highland Avenue). Affordable, great, and fast!
Best for design supplies: Graphaids Art Supply (3030 La Cienega Boulevard, Culver City). A holdover from my architecture school days. If you want to stay up all night building a tiny model of a house, pick up supplies here first.
Designers: Oren and Yarden Katz, Carbon & Hyde
Best tailor: Linda's Couture (239 S Robertson Boulevard, Beverly Hills). This woman is a gem of life and will fix anything to perfection in lightning speed. We would never go anywhere else.
Best cleaner: Pico Cleaners (9150 W Pico Boulevard). Our family has been going here for years.
Best shoe repair: Andre No. 1 (7914 Sunset Boulevard). This is a small shop in the parking lot of the Rite Aid on Sunset and Fairfax. There are true shoe magicians here that bring your shoes back to life. They do handbags and leather goods, too!
Best for design supplies: Melrose Trading Post (7850 Melrose Avenue). Every Sunday in the parking lot of Fairfax High School you can find anything, from trunk show displays to lookbook shoot props. There are so many interesting, one-of-a-kind vintage finds here, you just have to be ready to sift!
Designer: Amanda Thomas, Luv Aj
Best tailor: Elias Custom Tailoring (1212 11th Street, Santa Monica). They're insanely amazing; I've been going to them for years. Not only is Elias the best on the westside, but he's also really affordable and fast.
Best cleaner: Fazio Cleaners (11702 San Vicente Boulevard, Brentwood). It's like a little factory in there. Your clothes are ready in 12 hours or less, and best of all, they deliver!
Best shoe repair: Inside Fazio is the best leather shoe repair guys. It's nice that it's a one-stop shop because you can get all your cleaning and repairs done at once. Plus, they fix all leather goods, which is great when you rip your leather J Brand jeans because you were trying to be Britney Spears on the dance floor the night before.
Best for design supplies: Graphaids Art Supply (3030 La Cienega Boulevard, Culver City). They carry the coolest art supplies, from a rainbow of spray paint, every color Gelly Roll pen you could imagine, pre-cut stencils, gorgeous notepads, etc. It's like CVS- you can't go in without spending $100!
Designer: Raissa Gerona, Lovers + Friends
Best cleaner: Mom & Son Cleaners (7152 Melrose Avenue)
Best shoe repair: Escobar Shoe Service (8250 West 3rd Street #106). They're the best. They make my five-inch heels feel comfortable!
Best for design supplies: The Button Store (8344 West 3rd Street). Great for new and vintage buttons.
Designers: Laura Hall and Gillian Rose Kern, For Love & Lemons
Best tailor: Gold Finger Tailor (975 S Vermont Avenue #102, Koreatown)
Best cleaner: La Brea Cleaners (310 S La Brea Avenue)
Best shoe repair: Culver Shoe Repair (14310 Culver Drive, Irvine)
Best for design supplies: Ace Sewing Machine & Thread Co. (214 East 8th Street)
Designer: Nikki Erwin, Donatienne
Best tailor: Wild Lotus (8539 Sunset Boulevard #18, West Hollywood)
Best cleaner: Leonard's Custom Quality (8901 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood)
Best shoe repair: Arturo's Shoe Fixx (9643 Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills)
Best for design supplies: Zip-Up Zipper (828 Wall Street, Downtown). It's a shit show, but there's something for everyone!