We were so giddy about some of these stores opening in our fair city that we may have been first in line on opening day. Whether you're looking for cool gifts or just trying to be on-trend, head to these top new stores for men and women. Though some NYC, Paris and Tokyo transplants made the list, we're happy they're (finally) here. There's something for everyone—regardless of your personal style—at the best new stores of the year. Ladies and gentlemen, here are the best store openings of 2014...for ladies and gentlemen.
Iconic French apparel and accessories brand A.P.C. finally graces West Hollywood with a flagship store, exciting chic Angelenos everywhere. Within the shop's 2,500 square-foot minimalist A-frame interior, Melrose cruisers peruse simple yet high-end threads and accessories for women, men and the celebrity child contigent. Blinding white walls, lofted wood ceilings and a courtyard cactus garden make this outpost the ideal hybrid of French sophistication and California cool.
Let's be clear: if you're looking for a cheesy Hollywood souvenir, Poketo's not your gift shop. The indie retailer Poketo has opened up a second outpost at The Line Hotel in Koreatown. Diehard Angelenos familiar with their flagship store in the Downtown Arts District can find more of the same well-curated arts and crafts and other eclectic goods, handpicked by the store's owners, husband-and-wife team Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung. Guests of the hotel with discerning tastes can pick up LA-themed gifts, many designed and made by homegrown talents, at what may be LA's best hotel gift shop.
Tokyo-based chain retailer Uniqlo has now hit the LA scene with quality staples at seriously reasonable prices. The neat stacks of colorful basics will lure you in and their tees, dress pants, stylish coats, loungewear and more will hook you. It's a welcome addition to the Beverly Center, for sure.
With a focus on Scandinavian design, this store is more like a gallery space, home decor store and gift shop all rolled into one. At first look you might not realize Austere is actually a retail store, open to the public—there's even a large Volvo smack in the middle of the two-story space. But it is. Shop for everything from pots and pans to skincare products, cameras to artisanal coffee, all created by hand-selected designers, made of them being Swedish, of course. The focus here is on innovative design and community—there are monthly events, lectures, screenings, dinners and more.
The Kooples' long-awaited West Coast flagship store is finally here, bringing chic Parisian fashion to Robertson Blvd. Tote along your significant other for some quality couple's time—the store is split into men's and women's sections and encourages swapping wardrobes; the brand's famous ad campaign also features real couples who embody the Kooples spirit. Look at it this way: shopping at The Kooples is the perfect opportunity to exercise your veto power over what goes into your better half's closest, or ensure a piece you'll both wear gets purchased. Between the marble floors and quality fabrics, the store screams luxury and rock 'n' roll.
Top-quality purveyors of leather goods and menswear have set up their pop-up shop in Westwood Village (and it's much-needed). Basically a gentleman’s utopia, Clark & Madison also features bottles of whiskey, golf necessities, and other manly trinkets. It's a great place to shop for Father's Day gifts, or something special for your man's birthday or Valentine's Day surprise.
OAK NYC's LA flagship store brings top designers to Downtown's growing shopping district—from accessories to men's and women's apparel, OAK's minimalist statement pieces offer an edgy alternative to that laid-back California style. Enter the nondescript storefront, located just a stone's throw away from the Ace Hotel, to find an urban clothing oasis. The aesthetic here is urban-minimalistic, think: Rick Owens meets Alexander Wang, but with a more affordable price point. There are clothes for women, men, and covetable accessories (belts, shoes and candles). The store is packed with finds everywhere you look, so take your time as you go through the racks that are mostly comprised of black, white and grey ensembles—making this a stylish minimalists' dream store.