Online fashion emporium Nasty Gal opens its first shop on Melrose Avenue to the public today. We chatted with the woman behind it all, LA-resident and entrepreneur, #GIRLBOSS author and fashionista, Sophia Amoruso.
Time Out Los Angeles: Why did you choose to expand the online retail site to a brick and mortar?
Sophia Amoruso: The nature of online made it easy for me to be an entrepreneur, because I was in my bedroom. If I had to take out a big lease and buy a ton of inventory and open my doors and cross my fingers, I think that I would have been a very different kind of entrepreneur and business owner. So it has come eight years after I started selling vintage on eBay, which feels like a really good time. It’s on the heels of the book tour, where so many awesome girls came out that were so excited about Nasty Gal and so excited about our story.
Time Out Los Angeles: And now you’re a role model for these "gals."
Sophia Amoruso: I know, it’s crazy. To be able to give them a really positive shopping experience that’s just for them, and a boutique experience is the most exciting thing in the world. So it’s almost like a "why not?"
Time Out Los Angeles: Why did you choose to open your first retail storefront in LA, and specifically this location on Melrose Avenue?
Sophia Amoruso: Melrose has been a shopping mecca for so long. Businesses have come and gone and hopefully we won’t be one of them—we will not be one of them. It’s a central spot in LA and we’re right across from Fred Segal. They’ve been there for 45 years or so. It’s also a beautiful space. I just fell in love with the space, and the daylight: There are skylights and so much natural, beautiful light in here. I think really picking a central location was important for our first store.
Time Out Los Angeles: Are there plans to expand the Nasty Gal store in LA and to other cities?
Sophia Amoruso: Yes, but we don’t know exactly where yet. We’ll probably open something in the spring. In other cities—New York is obvious, Miami would be probably pretty obvious, but there is no roll out plan. We want to open our doors and learn. It looks like we know what we’re doing but it’s a first! We’re going to learn a lot.
Time Out Los Angeles: There’s a mix of vintage finds and regular retail items throughout the store. Is there vintage here that’s exclusive to the store?
Sophia Amoruso: Yeah, none of this is on the website. It’s vintage that we curated for the store. It’s kind of mixed in instead of having a vintage section. We just really wanted to make it a part of the shopping experience because that’s how people dress… and it’s fun to merchandise.
Time Out Los Angeles: Where do you like to shop for vintage in LA?
Sophia Amoruso: I really like the Paper Bag Princess. It’s a weird location but she has good stuff. Golyester is good and The Way We Wore.
Time Out Los Angeles: How would you describe the Nasty Gal girl?
Sophia Amoruso: She’s excited about fashion but it’s not her whole life. She’s into food and travel and interiors and all kinds of stuff. And she mixes vintage with new, and high with low and is just really excited about life. Our customer is so enthusiastic and so positive and just very ambitious. Not too cool for school. Nasty Gal is inclusive, it’s cool but it’s inclusive. It’s something I’m really proud of.