How did the Weho Design Salons are attracting a lot of District come about? celebrity clientele, and the Originally, the West Hollywood fashion stores, too. Craig’s is a Design District was the Avenues really popular restaurant right of Art and Design, which has been now. I don’t think I’ve ever been around for 19 years. Three years there and not seen a celebrity. ago, we changed the name to What’s your favorite thing to create more of an umbrella term order there? for all the types of industries Their honey truffle chicken is we have here—like art, fashion, unbelievable. Gracias Madre, beauty, and food. It’s an official right across the street, is also business improvement district; packed on a regular basis with within our borders, we have more people you’d recognize. than 300 businesses. Our mission Do you have any tips for is to build awareness that this is a getting around the area? great place to visit. They can even Every concierge desk has design an entire home here. We walking maps of the area that have the largest concentration of are produced by the district design businesses on the West and by Weho’s official guide, Coast. We also have really great Visit West Hollywood. It’s fashion brands and some amazing broken down into categories, restaurants. like a mall directory. We’ve What are your major fashion done maps before, and shared retailers? them with the hotels. They We had the first Moschino store were going through them so in the country, and we also quickly. Apparently a lot of have 3.1 Phillip Lim, Balenciaga, people designing their homes in Christian Louboutin, Helmut Lang, the area stay in the hotels and James Perse, John Varvatos, the want to know where they can Elder Statesman, and others. buy lighting or carpeting, and Are there plans to add more? used our maps. Ever since, Look out, L.A.! The West Hollywood Design District is making they Definitely. We have new we’ve been producing usermajor strides—seriously, it’s been declared Cali’s most walkable friendly maps. buildings coming in with the goal to get fashion into them. South city—to become a hub for fashion, art, and culture. Ryan Farber, Anything coming down the Robertson has a lot of fashion pipeline? the district’s executive director, explains how Weho is having businesses, and the presence The business community is creeping north and onto and the neighbors in the area a serious moment. BY KRISTEN HEINZINGER Melrose. Fashion is overtaking got together with the city to design and has the secondit all, within walking distance, which is really rare develop a new streetscape largest presence here. in L.A. We’re considered one of the most walkable plan. In the next six to 10 years the entire area is Have you seen the city’s style change with the cities in California, and it shows. People are on foot going to be beautified and made even more walking influx of fashion retail? constantly. friendly. Sidewalks and lighting will be improved with People have definitely gotten more serious about What are some of the more chic places to stay? the idea that we want more people on foot. We’re style in L.A. They’re looking to button themselves Definitely the Mondrian, the London, and the Andaz. trying to get people to understand that you can walk up a little bit more, in terms of the ways they’re Then you’ve got more boutique-y hotels, like the this entire district so easily. I live in the district as dressing and where they’re shopping. I’ve done it Charlie, and Sunset Marquis is still one of the coolest well. I haven’t driven my car in three months. myself—when I was younger, hidden hotels. There are so many new You’re kidding! it was very casual…shorts and projects coming in. I don’t think I’m going to renew my lease. So it’s that a T-shirt kind of thing. But now What time of year do you friendly of a walking area. there’s more of a serious nature. recommend visiting? Why do you think more New Yorkers seem to be People are definitely looking In November, we have an amazing flocking to L.A.? better, more put together, and event called DIEM: Design Intersects Los Angeles is just experiencing this creative that’s new. Or newish. I’m not a Everything Made. It’s a design show in boom right now, with downtown really coming into fashion expert! which two curators, Frances Anderton its own. I think New Yorkers feel like they’re in a Why would you recommend and Mallery Roberts Morgan, create transition place, where it’s still like New York, but staying in Weho versus L.A. content for these talks and put them it’s a little more accessible. In our area specifically, proper or other areas? into six showrooms in our district designers Hedi Slimane and Jeremy Scott live here. West Hollywood is 1.9 square miles…tiny. I like to that are on a path. It’s a very progressive, smart event I think that people want to be where the creativity describe it this way: It is the center of everything about what’s happening in design, art, and fashion, is fresh and new. L.A. has been here for a long time, that’s cool in L.A. There’s Santa Monica and Beverly and how they all intersect. but people are kind of rediscovering it, as things go Hills to the west, and Hollywood and Downtown to Who are some frequent celebrity sightings? in cycles all over the world. It’s just kind of our time the east, and we are smack-dab in the middle of George Clooney is here a lot, getting his hair done. right now.
Fashion is overtaking design and has the second-largest presence here.”
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