los angeles

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Planet Blue

It began as an organic cotton clothing company almost 15 years ago, which clearly establishes that Planet Blue has always been a bit ahead of the curve. It's hard to determine which outpost of this local favorite is the best. The Santa Monica boutique is known for its rainbow-like racks (everything is sorted by color), while the Beverly Hills emporium is fancier (you can easily snag a red-carpet-worthy gown). The Malibu Country Mart used to be a hotel, and the Planet Blue in it occupies part of the former garage. The ceilings are low, which makes the shop feel like a cozy cave. Shopping here is a laid-back, casual affair: There's tons of denim, along with super-thin T-shirts and batiked Mara Hoffman dresses. Planet Blue Essentials is devoted to home goods, like simple bud vases and throw pillows.
From Los Angeles' Malibu neighborhood store listings, updated September 2008.

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Ron Herman

Legendary Los Angeles retailer Ron Herman was one of the first to attempt a boutique-style store, and he's still one of the people who do it best. His most famous outpost is on the top floor of Melrose's Fred Segal, but there are three other stand-alone spots scattered across the city. The Malibu offshoot is clean-lined and sleek with a decidedly '60s feel, and packed with designers like Boy Band of Outsiders, Alexander Wang, and Shipley & Halmos.
From Los Angeles' Malibu neighborhood store listings, updated September 2008.

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Santa Monica & Venice

Lucky's favorite stores in Los Angeles' Santa Monica & Venice neighborhood! (Updated September 2008)

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A+R

In 2005, Rose Apodaca and her husband, Andy Griffith, decided to open a modern home goods store on a whim, and three outposts later, it's clear their impulse has had staying power. Divided into color-blocked zones, the spaces are devoted to cleverly designed items, like Droog's self-balancing serving trays and Ora Ito's undulating, gold-plated hard drive.
From Los Angeles' Santa Monica & Venice neighborhood store listings, updated September 2008.

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Banana Republic

The Santa Monica Promenade is home to a Banana Republic flagship, which means that you'll find more of its chic, polished separates here than you will elsewhere in the city. Plus, it also hosts the new BR Monogram Collection, which is a small range of truly exquisite limited-edition dresses and tops.
From Los Angeles' Santa Monica & Venice neighborhood store listings, updated September 2008.

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Forever 21

The biggest Forever 21 is in Pasadena (at 40,000 square feet), but we prefer the new Santa Monica location. The layout and organization are just a little bit tidier, which makes it easier to snag that perfectly of-the-moment going-out top or super-soft tank.
From Los Angeles' Santa Monica & Venice neighborhood store listings, updated September 2008.

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Fred Segal

Spanning two buildings and 50,000 square feet, the Santa Monica branch of this L.A. institution (the two Fred Segals share a name, but are actually owned by different people) is separated into more than 30 departments: There's an excellent apothecary and a huge section devoted to green living, plus loads and loads of picks from covetable designers like Inhabit and Rozae Nichols.
From Los Angeles' Santa Monica & Venice neighborhood store listings, updated September 2008.

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Heist Nilou

Nilou Ghodsi's quest for a space in 2004 felt fated: She stumbled into her current store during the prospective tenant's lease signing (he failed to show), and the surrounding businesses share the names of her two daughters, Yas and Lily. Since then, she's quietly set the style precedent in Venice, bringing in labels like Humanoid and Vanessa Bruno. Part of the reason she's garnered such a stalwart clientele is her dedication to customer service: She sends thank-you notes after every purchase and won't let you buy something if it doesn't fit just right.
From Los Angeles' Santa Monica & Venice neighborhood store listings, updated September 2008.

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Madley

With a recent move to a more intimate space, owner Coryn Madley set out to do a careful edit, determined to stock only her favorite pieces. There are lots of her own creations, from web-like knit scarves incorporating vintage fabric to heavily worked charm necklaces, along with Luxury Jones' beaded lace tops. Madley's fantastical and identity-establishing fixtures, including the gigantic net of sequined poufs that hung behind the cash register, made the move too.
From Los Angeles' Santa Monica & Venice neighborhood store listings, updated September 2008.

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Royal/T Café

Part teahouse, part gallery, and part shop, this Culver City newcomer channels a quintessentially Tokyo experience. Waitresses dress up like French maids, 20-foot-tall vinyl toys loom in the corners, paintings by Hideaki Kawashima hang on the walls, and a range of cool straight-from-Japan items are arranged behind Plexiglas walls. Scoop up Yoshitomo Nara clocks and collectible plush flowers by Takashi Murakami.
From Los Angeles' Santa Monica & Venice neighborhood store listings, updated September 2008.

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