THE PARTY SHOPS HERE A HANDFUL OF L.A. FASHION RETAILERS SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THEIR STORES BY HOSTING WEEKLY CLUB NIGHTS.
Byline: ENID PORTUGUEZ
>LA.COM (1) (Computer Output Microfilm) Creating microfilm or microfiche from the computer. A COM machine receives print-image output from the computer either online or via tape or disk and creates a film image of each page.
It's half past midnight at the West Hollywood West Hollywood
A community of southern California northeast of Beverly Hills. It is mainly residential. Population: 36,600. lounge Seven, and the place is bursting at the seams with young, beautiful, impeccably dressed garmentos.
What's a garmento? It's insider shorthand for a designer, sales representative or merchandiser at the center of L.A.'s vibrant and innovative fashion industry.
Showroom chatter about late shipping dates, new accounts and industry gossip can be heard above the clank of cocktail glasses and the thump of the DJ's dance mix.
It's a far cry from the halls of the Cooper Building in L.A.'s downtown fashion district, but it's the norm at Seven on Saturday nights, when Sunset Boulevard Sunset Boulevard is a street in the western part of Los Angeles County, California, that stretches from Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Coast Highway at the Pacific Ocean in the Pacific Palisades. clothing boutique Kin hosts its weekly party.
Since June, Kin owners Darrel Adams and Alex Mouracade have filled a void in Saturday night (which Hollywood hipsters scoff at as being the worst night to go out) by throwing parties that target the industry in which they work. And they're not the only local store owners to do so.
In the city's competitive retail market, it takes more than a PR strategy and advertising to help boutiques stand apart from the rest. While in-store events remain a popular practice in building brand awareness, a handful of fashion retailers are going another route by hosting weekly club nights at local nightlife venues.
A rich Rolodex of well-connected customers, clothing reps and designers makes packing the clubs easy. E-mail, text messages and MySpace postings also help spread the word quickly.
"If we can do it at the stores and get so many people we know to come, why not take it to the clubs," says Arsen Salatinjants, 30.
By day, Salatinjants runs his two stores, the Melrose Avenue Melrose Avenue is a well-known Los Angeles street that starts from Santa Monica Boulevard at the border between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood and ends at Hoover Street in Silver Lake. Melrose runs north of Beverly Boulevard and south of Santa Monica Boulevard. sneaker shop Kendo kendo: martial arts.
Japanese sport of fencing with bamboo swords. Derived from the fighting methods of the ancient samurai, it was introduced in the 18th century. and the new fitted cap shop Hall of Fame on Fairfax Avenue Fairfax Avenue is a street on north central Los Angeles, California. It runs from La Cienega Boulevard (which separates the Westside from the central part of the city) with Culver City at its southern end to Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood on its northern end. . Every Friday night, he promotes the party Private at the Hollywood lounge Holly's along with another retailer, Doug Wu, from the Pasadena sneaker shop Greyone.
For Salatinjants, promoting is just for fun. "My main focus is the stores," he insists. "The parties are just something I do on the side."
He says he can't track if they boost sales significantly, but he's often used his night at Holly's as a means to entertain potential vendors or valued customers.
It's also been a place for networking among friends and colleagues in the streetwear industry.
Building a social network centered around the fashion business also was a goal for Adams and Mouracade, who worked together as party promoters and DJs prior to opening Kin in 2005.
More importantly, they say, the focus of the parties reflects the focus of the shop, which carries men's and women's clothing by high-end designers such as Vivienne Westwood Dame Vivienne Westwood, DBE, RDI, (born 8 April, 1941) is an English fashion designer largely responsible for modern punk and new wave fashions.
She is linked with the Sex Pistols via Malcolm McLaren and their SEX/Seditionaries and Alexander McQueen Alexander McQueen CBE (born Lee Alexander McQueen, 17 March 1969) is an English fashion designer. Biography
Born in the East End of London, the son of a taxi driver, McQueen started making dresses for his three sisters at a young age and announced his intention of as well as casual lines like Morphine morphine, principal derivative of opium, which is the juice in the unripe seed pods of the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum. It was first isolated from opium in 1803 by the German pharmacist F. W. A. Generation and Ella Moss Ella Moss is a fashion line of clothing founded by designer Pamella Protzel. Fashion Style
Known for bright color palettes, simple shapes, soft, wearable cottons and tonal stripes, Ella Moss strikes a delicate balance of being edgy and vintage, without being over-the-top .
"We wanted a place for people who work in the industry as reps, buyers, designers and publicists to network and have fun with like-minded people," says Mouracade, 30, a native of France. "It's also a way for up-and-coming designers to meet established designers."
Each week, they enlist a clothing line sold at Kin to co-sponsor the night, giving designers an opportunity for more exposure. So far, hip L.A.-based lines Cassette and Fremont as well as New York-based line Triple 5 Soul have sponsored a night.
"The parties Alex and I throw were driven by musical talent," explains Adams, 31, from Huntington Beach Huntington Beach, city (1990 pop. 181,519), Orange co., S Calif., on the Pacific coast, across from Santa Catalina Island, in an oil-producing area; inc. 1909. It manufactures aerospace vehicles, aircraft parts, optical instruments, and heat transfer equipment. . "Now we have fashion-driven parties. We cater to the fashion industry with our parties."
"Without alienating al·ien·ate
tr.v. al·ien·at·ed, al·ien·at·ing, al·ien·ates
1. To cause to become unfriendly or hostile; estrange: alienate a friend; alienate potential supporters by taking extreme positions. anybody, though," interrupts Mouracade. "We want to bring everybody together. But they do have to look the part."
Garnering a similar-looking crowd as hotspots Teddy's and Hyde Lounge -- so far, minus the drunk C-list celebrities -- Kin's Saturday party has become Seven's most popular night.
"Our goal is to bring something unique and sophisticated to the scene, and Kin brings that," says Seven co-owner Noah Silverman. "It's more of a fashion industry crowd as opposed to Hollywood kids that just want to get drunk to become intoxicated.
See also: Get and party."
Hosting regular club nights can also be lucrative for online retailers who face just as much competition as non-virtual establishments.
Belle Nguyen, the proprietress pro·pri·e·tress
1. A woman who has legal title to something; an owner.
2. A woman who owns or owns and manages a business or other such establishment. See Usage Note at -ess.
Noun 1. behind Huntington Beach-based clothing and accessories Web site www.80spurple.com, promotes Manic Mondays, a biweekly summer party at the Hollywood club Tokio Bar.
For her, the parties help shape the overall image of her online store, which sells both streetwear and contemporary looks for men and women.
"Whether you're online or not, it's a way to get customers involved with your store that doesn't have to do with shopping or sales," says Nguyen, 23. "It's more of an image thing. It's for recognition."
The second Manic Mondays party this summer had a cheeky cheek·y
adj. cheek·i·er, cheek·i·est
Impertinently bold; impudent and saucy.
cheeki·ly adv. "Get Your Nails Did" theme and featured an airbrush airbrush
Pneumatic device for developing a fine, small-diameter spray of paint, protective coating, or liquid colour (see aerosol). The airbrush can be a pencil-shaped atomizer used for various highly detailed activities such as shading drawings and retouching artist creating works of art on partygoers' nails for free.
"We chose that theme because we have always had airbrush designs on our acrylic nails since high school," Nguyen says. "It's fun, bright, flashy and definitely makes a statement. It definitely fits the '80's fashions, and all girls love having their 'nails did!"'
Enid Portuguez, (818) 713-3902,
Here's where to go to check out the parties mentioned and other store-hosted shindigs (things usually get going at about 10 p.m. -- but call the stores for exact times or to get on the guest list):
7929 Santa Monica Santa Monica (săn`tə mŏn`ĭkə), city (1990 pop. 86,905), Los Angeles co., S Calif., on Santa Monica Bay; inc. 1886. Tourism and retailing are important, and the city has motion-picture, biotechnology, and software industries. Blvd.
West Hollywood, 90069
>Organized by: Kin, 8555 Sunset Blvd Sunset BLVD is unreleased material and remixes by the rapper 2Pac. It was released on September 12, 2005 internationally and the United States. Track listing
1651 Wilcox Ave.
>Organized by: Kendo, Hall of Fame and Greyone. Kendo is at 7218 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, (323) 934-9450. Hall of Fame is at 449 N. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood, (323) 655-6002. Greyone is at 15 E. Holly St., Pasadena, (626) 578-1582.
1640 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
>Every first and third Monday of the summer months through August.
>Co-organized by: Belle Nguyen of the online fashion boutique www.80spurple.com.
1645 Wilcox Ave.
>Organized by: Greyone and Brooklyn Projects. Brooklyn Projects is at 7664 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, (323) 658-7182.
Dance Right (Thursdays)
336 S. Hill St.
Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. , 90013
>Co-organized by: Barracuda barracuda, slender, elongated fish of tropical seas. Barracudas have long snouts and projecting lower jaws armed with large, sharp-edged teeth. They are ferocious, striking at anything that gleams, and are considered excellent game fishes. , 7600-B Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, (323) 852-7179.
9 photos, box
(1 -- 4 -- cover -- color) clubbing with couture
Boutiques dress up their images - and clients - at fashionable parties
(5 -- color) KIN
Darrel Adams, left, and Alex Mouracade sponsor weekly parties for their clothing boutique at Seven in West Hollywood.
(6 -- color) HALL OF FAME
Arsen Salatinjants, shown at his Fairfax Avenue store, promotes the party Private every Friday night with retailer Doug Wu of Greyone.
JOHN LAZAR>STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
(7 -- color) 80sPURPLE
Belle Nguyen holds Manic Mondays at Hollywood's Tokio Bar to help shape the image of her online clothing and accessories store.
(8 -- 9 -- color) A recent 80sPurple party themed "Get Your Nails Did" featured an airbrush artist, above, who did partygoers' nails free of charge. At left, Tokio Bar is jammed for a Manic Mondays event.