City Guide: Los Angeles

Looking for more L.A. hotspots? Check out L.A. rock band Haim's recommendations, too!

Canvas

Owned by husband and wife Arlington and Jacqueline Johnson Forbes and Jacqueline's best friend from childhood, Anthula Nunes, this accessories-centric emporium is devoted to a slew of artily cool labels, like Surface to Air, Comme des Garçons, and A.P.C. In keeping with the name, the limited-edition sneakers, straightforward tops, and neon-hued sunglasses are shown alongside paintings by local artists.
23410 Civic Center Way, 310-317-9895, canvasbg.com

Earnest Sewn

The interior here is rustic and old-world-feeling (brick walls, rough-hewn wood shelving, and vintage signage are key elements). The full line of denim is at the Malibu shop, along with a bar for creating a custom pair of jeans. Plus, there are art tomes, DL & Co. stationery, already-worn-in Filson bags, Jorge & Olif bikes, and Santa Maria Novella fragrances. In late 2008, Earnest Sewn is opening a second Los Angeles shop in the old Town Tire landmark building on Beverly Boulevard.
3835 Cross Creek Rd, Ste. 17, 310-317-9200, earnestsewn.com

Henry Beguelin

The beautifully crafted handbags are suspended by rope at this earthy-feeling spot. With their super-supple, richly tanned leathers and unusual closures (nuggets of wood, elks' teeth), the totes here perfectly embody a cool rich-hippie sensibility. There are only a handful of Henry Beguelin shops in the U.S., which makes the pieces feel all the more one-of-a-kind.
23410 Civic Center Way, 310-317-6177
henrybeguelin.com

Madison

When it launched in 1989, Madison was exclusively devoted to shoes, but in 1995 it added clothing to the mix and has subsequently spawned five more shops. It has such staying power because it combines the depth of a department store with the edit of a boutique: Madison carries the best choices from loads of popular lines (Daughters of the Revolution, Crispin & Basilio, Jenni Kayne) along with a handful of spot-on accessories. While the Robertson location is the poshest, the Malibu locale is appropriately low-key, specializing in easy-to-wear dresses, T-shirts, and bathing suits.
3835 Cross Creek Rd., 310-317-9170,
madisonlosangeles.com

Madison Gallery

Occupying a gorgeous, slightly gothic duplex hidden away in the back of the Malibu Country Mart, this recent endeavor from the team behind the beloved local chainlet Madison is all about luxe, big-ticket collections. There are stone-studded Marni dresses, Pucci caftans, and Pierre Hardy stilettos in green patent. And the lower level also hosts a handful of excellent gifts, like oversize coffee-table books and Lucien Pellat-Finet pillows.
23410 Civic Center Way, 310-317-8787, madisonlosangeles.com

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.
3835 Cross Creek Rd., 310-317-9975
shopplanetblue.com

Ron Herman

Legendary L.A. 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.
3900 Cross Creek Rd., 310-317-6705, ronherman.com

Santa Monica & Venice

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

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.
1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd., 310-392-9128; 311 Arizona Ave., 310-394-4267, aplusrstore.com

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.
1202 Third St. Promenade, 310-394-7740, bananarepublic.com; plus other locations
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