What was once a medical cannabis dispensary on Fountain Avenue in Los Angeles, off the lively residential streets of Little Armenia and near the 101 Freeway, is now home to Eckhaus Latta. The cult brand – founded by Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta in New York City in 2011 – has been bicoastal for two years, after Latta moved back to her home state. She came across the space while riding her bike, and soon, the design duo turned it into their West Coast studio. A year later, they’ve converted part of that functioning atelier into a 270-square-foot storefront, and last Friday officially opened their doors.
With its colorful window display of assorted objects – a current installation by artist Nora Jane Slade – the shop easily stands out amidst nondescript, generic stores and businesses (a smoke shop here, liquor store there). There’s certainly nothing of the kind for miles, and one might expect such a hyped brand to be in a trendier part of town, say Silver Lake, Echo Park, Los Feliz or perhaps Downtown. But Eckhaus and Latta, who met as students at the Rhode Island School of Design, have continuously marched to the beat of their own drum, and this latest endeavor is no different. They aim to make inclusive, unisex garments for any age, any gender - blurring lines, while blending fashion and art. Their pioneering spirit has caught the eyes of many – this year, reaching new heights and landing a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List.
At their store opening party last week, the designers said they are looking forward to interacting with their customers and plan to utilize the space to continue to collaborate and question ideas. Alongside Slade’s “Waggy Tee” project - a selection of repurposed, hand-painted T-shirts that are being sold at the store - shoppers can also find beaded designs by Sophie Andes Gascon. And, in a month and a half, Eckhaus Latta’s autumn/winter 2016 collection.
Tribes Little Armenia's curious passersby; the new wave of cool art kids and their devotees.
Fans of the Brand India Salvor Menuez, Mike Bailey-Gates, Bjarne Melgaard, Juliana Huxtable, Susan Cianciolo, Alexandra Marzella, Hari Nef, Devonte "Dev" Hynes and Solange Knowles, who attended Eckhaus Latta’s spring 2016 show.
The Mix A range of pieces, from a comic print, two-piece bathing suit ($250) to a mint, glass bugle seed bead harness ($375); “spill” dresses ($420) and skirts ($325) with detached hems and accessories like their sterling silver plated chokers ($250) and “double nipple” rings ($280).
Best Sellers All things denim, T-shirts, knits and blouses, i.e., flair jeans ($360), “baby tees” ($140), diagonal mock turtleneck ($600), and a floral “burnout” blouse ($485).
Design Minimal with a subtle grey-green color scheme and a built-in curved wall showcasing a mounted copper rack displaying the garments and separating the storefront from the back studio space.
Pièce de résistance A colorful, abstract and eye-catching window display and installation of paintings and miscellaneous objects by artist Nora Jane Slade.
Location 5204 Fountain Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90029.
Customers can call the Eckhaus Latta hotline for store hours: 323-90-LATTA (323-905-2882).
Currently: Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
For those who prefer to shop from home: Shop.eckhauslatta.com; Eckhaus Latta is also available at various e-commerce sites including openingceremony.com.