Issue: Winter 2012-2013

Hollywood Shopping Spree!

by Susan Hornik

Whether you want a day off from being a busy Los Angeles visitor, or you are a local looking for unique places to shop, Hollywood and nearby environs offer an array of eclectic shopping opportunities.

Innovative clothing designers like Claudia Grau have made Hollywood their home for many years. “Everything here is one of a kind; there’s no mass production,” said Grau. “You see so many people wearing the same look these days—I wanted to do something different.” Claudia’s work has designed d istinctive, one-of-a-kind pieces for celebrities like Cher, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler.

At Grau nothing goes to waste. “I love making things out of other things,” Grau acknowledged. “I have recycled handwarmers that are made from old cashmere sweaters—people love them.” Actress Kate Walsh (ABC’s Private Practice) is a big fan of the handwarmers, recently buying several other items in the store as well.

Star sighting! Kate Walsh flaunts her bag of new treasures from Grau.

Cherokee Avenue

The stores on Cherokee (a side street off of Hollywood Boulevard) offer unique shopping experiences as well. “artstring is a knitters boutique where we work right on site, so if you want something handmade, you can purchase the yarn right there and we will create anything you might be interested in,” said store owner Emilie Odeile. “You name it, we can knit it--everything from baby or men’s clothing and accessories to women’s dresses and even hand crocheted jewelry.”

Since artstring opened, Emilie’s customers have included Shakira, The Voice/Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, Fergie, Natasha Bedingfield and Jennifer Hudson, and commercials for Converse, Old Navy, AT&T, Radioshack and Target.

At the corner on the Boulevard, you can find vintage and indie clothing at the Bettie Page store, which features outfits inspired by the 1950’s fetish modeling icon. “If you are looking for a retro cocktail dress that will give you that hourglass figure, you’ve come to the right place!” enthused Jan Glaser, co-ceo of The Bettie Page store. “Because the area is so popular, we get a lot of foot traffic, which is great.”

Bettie Page is the place to go for retro!

The store also carries souvenir shirts, coats, collectibles, limited edition art, Bettie-inspired jewelry and a variety of Bettie Page pin up shots. Celebrities love Bettie Page clothing; actress/singer Renee Olstead recently tweeted @bettiepagestore “I’m obsessed with ur line! Long live the hourglass!! #iwannabeabettiegirl.”

Close by is another intriguing vintage clothing shop. The equally unique Scout, attracts stylists, designers and a fashion informed crowd. “We love Hollywood, its central location and our lovely neighbors,” said owner Joey Grana. “Currently, our focus is on designer vintage from the 80's and 90's, although we are more interested in design and concept than historical significance or status items. We offer a curated and relevant selection.”

For the fall/winter season, Scout offers re-worked cashmere sweaters, artist Louis Dunn collaboration printed tees and cashmere, vintage and contemporary jewelry, with designers like Mikal Winn, Lou Zeldis Jewelry, Forever 21, Marc Jacobs and Libertine. Scout’s customers include Marisa Tomei, Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams, Chloe Sevigny and  Zoe Kravitz.

Music and Books

If you love music, look no further than Hollywood’s Amoeba Records to buy your favorite CD. Deemed "the world's greatest record store" by Rolling Stone Magazine, Amoeba is the world’s biggest independent record store. All styles of music in stock--including jazz, international folk and popular music, roots music, classical music, electronic and all branches of rock and soul music.

“We are not a huge chain store, but an independent music and media source,” said Amoeba’s marketing gal, Carol Phillips. “You can buy, sell or trade your records. Over half a million new, used and collectible CDs, LPs and movies are under one roof with the largest collection of vinyl anywhere.”  The store also features a huge selection of movie posters, books, memorabilia as well as t-shirts and turntables.

Up Cahuenga,  independent bookstore Hennessey + Ingalls is a books specialty shop that began. Three generations later, it’s thriving in its new location. According to Brett Hennessey, “ Our stores are custom built by local architects and the quality of the store itself is as amazing as the books inside. We carry new, used, rare and out-of-print books in art, architecture, photography, graphic design, interior design, fashion, landscape and gardening.”

Many of Hollywood and the country's leading architectural firms are Hennessey’s clients, along with museums, collectors, art galleries, students, interior designers, graphic design firms, and schools. “We are the primary book supplier to three large academic art libraries in Southern California, as well as to smaller schools and corporate libraries around the country. The broadness of our collections and the knowledge of our staff have Hennessey + Ingalls an important stop for art directors in film, television, and advertising,” Hennessey noted.

Knitting is high art at Artstring Boutique on Cherokee Avenue.

Shopping Nirvana!

When out and about in and around Hollywood, there’s always a chance of a celebrity sightings. Where to go!? The LA Times has called the Original Farmers Market the No. 1 place in Los Angeles to spot stars. Mario Lopez records his daily radio show at their Planet Dailies restaurant.  Dylan's Candy Bar, which is owned by Ralph Lauren's daughter Dylan Lauren, just opened; Nick Cannon was there recently for Nerd's Candy Anti-Bullying campaign.

"The Original Farmers Market is one of the true gems of Los Angeles,” said Ilysha Buss, director of marketing. “In addition to serving as LA's favorite gourmet grocery store and being known as a culinary haven serving cuisine from all over the world, we are also a terrific place to shop! We have an eclectic mix of stores that offer a wide variety of products. Around every corner of the market is a new discovery.”

She continued: “Perhaps it's a family owned business carrying that handmade treasure that you or someone you love will cherish or a retail hotspot introducing you to something new. High fashion at Zara and Camper, vintage memorabilia from the Shine Gallery, eco-friendly gifts from EcoXOXO and designer jewelry from Lustre are just a few examples of why Angelenos have been meeting, dining and shopping at the corner of Third and Fairfax for 78 years."

More recently, the Hollywood and Highland Center has brought a retail rebirth to the famed Walk of Fame area, with over 75 shops, restaurants, movie theatres and the Dolby (formerly Kodak) Theatre. Parking is available under the complex to make shopping effortless.

“Hollywood and Highland is well-positioned in Hollywood, next to Grauman’s historic Chinese Theatre,” said Lisa Abreu, general manager of Sweet! Hollywood. “Our owner and creator, Gary Shafner, grew-up in Hollywood and wanted the world to know how great it is so he built The Greatest Candy Store on Earth. With great reviews and feedback from our customers Sweet! is gaining momentum. People are amazed and excited that we have come to Hollywood!"

With an array of shops from Louis Vuitton, Nine West,  and Urban Outfitters to delightful kiosks that are fun to browse for that perfect gift, Hollywood & Highland is a convenient location. Shop into the evening when the tourism crowd is gone for the day. Explore Cherokee or Cahuenga Blvd. and feel like an urban insider.  You’ll never know who you’ll bump into and guaranteed your shopping excursion will be like none other! 

artstringBOUTIQUE, 1644 N. Cherokee Ave. 213.840.5624

The Grau Haus 6671 and 6679 Sunset Blvd. 323 461 4462

Scout, 1646 N. Cherokee Ave. 323 461 1530