Parking is a major consideration for those who live in West Hollywood and for out-of-towners. While trying on a dress, finishing up a meal, or downing a drink, one has to weigh whether a minute too long away from the meter is worth the risk of a $63 parking ticket.
Turns out parking was a major consideration for David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, owners of Rag & Bone. On Friday, they staged a quiet opening of their biggest store ever at 8533 Melrose Ave. The fact that the site came with 11 private parking spaces sealed the deal.
“I had somewhat of an epiphany sitting in a hotel with the manager of the LA store, who said the equivalent of foot traffic in L.A. was private parking or valet,” said Neville in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily. He described Melrose Place as pretty but “sadly deserted” and Robertson as “not appropriate” for the more casual brand.
The two-story location, with parking in the rear, is the first on the West Coast for Rag & Bone. The retailer, which launched in 2002, offers men’s and women’s clothing in a modern design tinged with the flavor of Wainwright and Neville’s native Britain.
Rag & Bone isn’t the first West Hollywood retailer for whom parking has been a big consideration. Sheila, one of the first fashion retailers to move to Melrose, left West Hollywood last year for Beverly Hills, with style manager Claudine Blunt citing lack of parking as one of the reasons.
A shift in the fashion character of the neighborhood, which the new Rag & Bone amplifies, also has been a factor in some moves. Blunt said Sheila also relocated because the fashion character of the neighborhood had become more casual (Sheila focuses on fashionable dresses, most of them by Australian designers). Indeed, the new Rag & Bone is not far from Artisan de Luxe, a premium retailer of jeans that opened in 2009 at 8574 Melrose.
Another flight of high fashion is occurring at the end of this month when Beckley opens its new store at Third Street and Crescent Heights Boulevard in Los Angeles. Beckley, whose apparel includes designs by Helmut Lang, Derek Lam and Hervé Leger, closed its shop at 8620 Melrose in May but continued to operate a “pop-up” shop on Melrose until the new store was ready.