We had the honor of getting a Q&A with them about the shop and their favorite spots in the neighborhood.
CLAE: We opened our doors officially in the beginning of March. It has been a rolling opening, with the official launch event on the weekend of May 27th.
L’Usine: What was your inspiration for the design of the shop?
The inspiration came from how various shapes related to each other in the space. We also wanted a design that would be versatile and could be transformed with relative ease. From this concept came the idea of creating modular square, triangle and rectangle fixtures. We primarily worked with architect Nathan Lentz, furniture designer Shin Okuda from WAKA WAKA
for the main design, with the shelving system coming from architect Francis Irefej. The whole project was a blending of ideas from several different people and pulling in concepts from random places. To the extent that we applied the functional design of wood blocks used as a sound diffuser, that we saw at Lindsay Lai
’s recording studio in Hong Kong, to create a strong topographical/textural feel on the overhanging soffits above the windows.
L’Usine: What are some non-Clae featured items (records, books, etc.) currently in the shop and what led you to include these as part of the curation of the shop’s opening?
CLAE: Accessories by Claw Money, Baron Von Fancy, SLB Sal Barbier, Black Pine Workshop and Babutunde Hats. Books and periodicals including Rostarr, O.H.W.O.W., Sneeze, Wax Poetics, Huge, Inventory. Audio compilations by Masterpiece Sound, Deadly Dragon Sound, plus a selection of new and vintage LPs, CDs, & DVDs. Grooming and personal products like Yumaki toothbrushes, Portland General Store grooming kit, Marvis toothpaste, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Matt Singer Dopp Kit, Kuumba incense. We want to have a range of products, in addition to our shoes, which creates an environment that reflects our interests and inspirations whether it’s books, music, or accessories. All the products we bring in to OFS have a unique point of view and a certain charm…we created OFS to support independent creative endeavors from artisans near and far…with new items being added weekly.
L’Usine: If I was spending the day hanging out from shopping and eating on and around W. Pico Blvd, what are some of your favorite hang-out spots and why? CLAE:
There is a lot of diversity in the neighborhood and it is reflected in the food choices, a French bakery, La Maison du Pain
, for baguettes to great desserts; a great Jamaican restaurant Wi Jammin
, which has daily specials and fresh juices; CJ’s café
, an underground LA institution, specializing in American comfort food and some Mexican specialties; and just up the street is Bloom
, for the healthier alternative. Our section of West Pico also has some eclectic shops to visit, Mike’s Bike Shop
, some vintage furniture stores and City Spa and Health Center
, an authentic Russian spa, Russians included are all within walking distance. What you find on West Pico is a true representation of real LA and we are happy to have OFS join the mix.
If living or visiting LA, stop by OFS and send our L’Usine love to the CLAE crew!
Our Favorite Shop
5455 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Tuesday - Sunday (11am-6pm)
CLAE is available at L’Usine.