Immortalized in film, the iconic shopping of Los Angeles is known worldwide and Los Angeles has long been known for its retail tourism. For being so well-known for its urban sprawl, LA has always managed to maintain its commitment to the customer and several world famous shopping districts thrive in the sunny city. Check out these tourist-friendly shopping streets to grab a bite, wander and enjoy some retail therapy.
Whether you’re getting serious about doing that home makeover you’ve always talked about or you’re just daydreaming about the day you can swap out your futon for a four-post bed, La Brea’s Furniture Row offers a dream in interior decorating. Lounging between postmodern art galleries and the occasional Banksy mural, La Brea’s boutique high-end furniture stores range from Organic Modernism’s, well, organic modernism, to Fat Chance’s luxury modern antiques. Modern, mid-century aesthetics are the game here and it’s likely no accident that the smooth, clean lines of Eames-era stylings goes so perfectly with a drip-paint mural.
A word on LA’s outdoor malls: yes, the Americana’s outdoor fountains put on a great show and everybody loves the Grove’s purposeless trolley, but the shops aren’t anything special. In most cases, the biggest thing separating these from the big-box malls is extra UV rays. The Citadel is another outdoor mall, but if you’re committed to a serious shopping spree, the outlet bargains are hard to beat. They have high quality name brands – American Apparel, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Kate Spade, Fossil, etc – and the discounts vary widely depending on the store and the season. If you have membership cards, like AAA or a military ID, bring them, as many of the stores offer specific discounts.
If your style is yearning for the good old days, the Vintage Row shops along Magnolia Avenue in Burbank will be like a glorious fashion time machine. Magnolia is almost always the first stop for set decorators and wardrobe personnel in the entertainment industry for its high quantity, good quality selection and fair prices. With over two dozen highly praised vintage shops like Playclothes, Toadstool Farm Vintage, Unique Vintage and Reclaimed, you begin to see each store’s personal sense of style and eye for collection. Several boutique designers with a classic flair have set up shop here as well, such as Pin Up Girl, 8 Ball and Audrey K. Top off your classic look with a trip to family owned Besame Cosmetics store where an array of lipstick hues from the 1920s to the 1970s have been crafted into all-natural, luxury modern cosmetics.
If you’re looking to make a bold statement with your style, Melrose Avenue has you covered. While its high profile shops like Fred Segal put Melrose on the tourist map, one of its charms is its mix-and-match of styles, adding to a sense of experimentation. Melrose absolutely knows how to rock out with punk-infused Kill City and Posers toward the east end but it gets fancy further west with the likes of Betsey Johnson and Diane von Furstenburg. When you need to refuel along the way, Melrose has dining options as varied as its shops, ranging from Johnny Rockets and the Melgard Public House to Mario Batali’s Osteria Mozza.
Since window shopping absolutely counts, indulge your tastes for the finer things with a stroll down Rodeo Collection's 70,000 square feet of shopping that nabs the highest price for square foot anywhere in Los Angeles. Building off Rodeo Drive’s reputation for elite shopping, 2007 brought in a new outdoor shopping destination with Two Rodeo Drive. Faux European buildings take the place of traditional storefronts, evoking the feeling of a shopping spree in Paris or Milan. High-end luxury brands are the style here and brands like Versace, Tiffany & Co, Jimmy Choo, Bulgari and Chanel are all represented in the Walk of Style street.