West Hollywood’s Iconic LASC Apparel Store Is Closing Its Doors

LASC stretches along Santa Monica Boulevard in the same building housing 24 Hour Fitness. (Photo by Michael Jortner)

LASC, West Hollywood’s best-known local men’s apparel retailer, is closing its doors after completing a liquidation sale that will begin Thursday.

Don Zuidema, who founded LASC with his partner Mike McGinley in 1983, announced the closing this morning.

“LASC has been a part of the West Hollywood community for over 36 years,” Zuidema said. “We are especially grateful to all our employees, past and present, who have worked tirelessly to make LASC one of the premier men’s stores in the country. As we enter the next chapter in our lives we take with us the wonderful memories and special experiences that LASC has afforded us.”

Zuidema, with a $10,000 loan from his parents, opened LASC in 1983 in the space on Santa Monica Boulevard currently occupied by Power Zone and Capitol Drugs. In 1988 the store grew and moved east on the same block to 8592 Santa Monica, which is adjacent to the 24 Hour Fitness Gym and across the street from Starbucks and Trader Joe’s. From 1985 to 1995 LASC also operated a store on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Robertson, the space now occupied by Salt ‘n Straw, the ice cream shop. LASC operated a satellite store that stood for five years at 8000 Sunset Blvd. at the corner of Crescent Heights and Sunset. 

Don Zuidema, co-owner of LASC (along with partners Mike McGinley and Alfredo Izaguirre not pictured) near the entrance of his iconic menswear store in West Hollywood. (Photo by Michael Jortner)

In 1998 Zuidema and McGinley were joined by Alfredo Izaguirre, who is their partner in business and life.

From its beginning, LASC has carried major fashion brands such as Scotch & Soda, Fred Perry, Nike, GStar, Parke & Ronen and Emporio Armani. It has been the go-to store in West Hollywood for local gay men and visitors looking for stylish casual and sports apparel. It also created an in-house brand of LASC swimwear, thanks to McGinley’s passion for swimming.

In the announcement of the closing Zuidema noted that “retail brick and mortar has changed dramatically over the past 15 years. Online continues to grow while commercial rents and operating overhead has increased. West Hollywood continues to morph into a center for a new wave of urban living and 21stcentury businesses.” LASC itself operates an online apparel retail business, https://www.shoplasc.com/

That morphing is taking place to the east of the building in which LASC is located with a project by Michael Talla, who owns the building that houses LASC, Capitol Drugs, Power Zone and 24 Hour Fitness. The three-story 8550 Santa Monica Blvd. project, which is nearly completed, has 25,000-square-feet that will house Sprouts Farmers Market, a restaurant and café and a gym and fitness center. Already occupying the third floor is The Wing, an women’s co-working space that has been controversial because of its ban on men, a ban that it says it no longer enforce. While approval of membership is connected to one’s support for women’s issues, The Wing says it now doesn’t take gender into consideration.

LASC is not only known for its apparel. For most of the past nine years it has hosted a Halloween party and an LA Pride Party on the rooftop of the parking structure above it.  It also is known for its support for the Varsity Gay League, a group of athletic teams that includes softball, golf, volleyball and dodgeball.

LASC also has been a supporter of organizations such as The Trevor Project, the LA LGBT Center, Project Angel Food and Labor Day LA. Zuidema has been an active member of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Thursday’s closing sale will include all clothing, displays, store fixtures and lighting.


32
Please leave a reply of no more than 300 words, focused on the issue and not fellow commenters.

avatar
2000
19 Comment threads
13 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
27 Comment authors
Joshua88MaxCurtis BeersAwesome WehoDuran must go Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Max
Guest
Max

Of course LASC is closing. I’m surprised they lasted this long. They must have had a nice long lease which finally just ended. My own store on Melrose was forced to close when after the sale, the new building owner raised the rent from $2,300 a month for a small store-front with no parking or central air to $19,000 a month. In the middle of the recession. We closed. The younger, less affluent gays attempting to move to WeHo are already priced out. The rents for everything is now sky-high and only older, more established citizens will be able to… Read more »

Curtis Beers
Guest
Curtis Beers

I liked their sidewalk sales

Jim
Guest
Jim

Sad to see the store and its team move on…. Congrats on a great run you guys, you’ll be missed.
I agree with the comments below about West Hollywood becoming overly gentrified. I’ve been living in the city for a while and it’s not the magical place it used to be to live in or have friends visit. Just this year there have been at least half a dozen small shops close in the neighborhood. I blame the city leaders and the greedy business property owners for pushing out the shops with high rents and little support from the city.

Lane Tatman
Guest
Lane Tatman

So very sad to hear this – was introduced to y’all in the 80s by Tom Johnson when he was still in Atlanta and then would come there every time I visited him in LA. So hope the next chapter of your lives is so rewarding …. Thanks, Lane Tatman

Steve
Guest
Steve

It’s quite heartbreaking that a city practically created as a refuge for both the LGBTQ and Russian Jewish communities would fail to see how it has become the latest poster child for gentrification. I understand if smaller businesses start to fail, but the City Council has a responsibility to it’s diminishing founding population to keep them seen. When a place like the San Vicente Inn closes and is replaced by a members-only club that is founded on privilege and exclusivity just FEET from Boys Town, we need keep our leaders in check. Unfortunately, unless we mobilize like residents do in… Read more »

Michael GraceCit
Guest

The new building is another 98% of Modern Architectural “ShXt” according to Frank Gehry. It would be a big plus if they were actually gentrifying WEHO.. But the taste of the West Hollywood City “Student”:Council and their planning commissioners looks like their combined design education happened in a strip mall in Cucamonga. Big sets of ugly buildings, a few that look OK, plus endless billboards that hide more grotesque new buildings with the Sunset Strip going from Hollywood glamour to selfie mundane. Look who is developing West Hollywood. Check them out. Look at their taste. Look at their lobbyists. Look… Read more »

Ken Howard
Guest
Ken Howard

Let me get this “straight”, so to speak. So, a gay-owned business focused on providing clothes and accessories appealing to gay men is closing, but an extremely expensive, elite business that discriminates against gay men (and all men) like “The Wing” is allowed to remain? What’s wrong with this picture? Has the gay male community of West Hollywood, and its leadership, completely abdicated the vision of West Hollywood as one of the most uniquely gay-friendly neighborhoods in the country, and possibly the world? Businesses like Sprouts, Bottega Louis, straight bars like Tom-Tom, and other businesses owned by that carpet-bagging mega-rich… Read more »

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

The people have spoken during the last election and now we will start seeing the results. I give West Hollywood 7 -10 years before it is unrecognizable. The “golden” days for the gay community in West Hollywood are numbered.
Even those members of City Leadership who are Gay have other priorities which don’t include the Gay community. It’s sad but becoming more and more obvious everyday.

Steve
Guest
Steve
Brad Marks
Guest
Brad Marks

I think a woman’s touch is just what that block needs. Thank you gay thruple owners for giving it your best but let the power of Female step in to show how its done.

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

They can have their own business as long as men can have a men’s only business to get away from women and make it a men’s only club. Do you see how ridiculous it is when a man says if? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Duran must go
Guest
Duran must go

Then we agree to stop calling WeHo, “boys town” right.

Horatio
Guest
Horatio

Except The Wing does allow men so the men can stop mansplaining and complaining about not being allowed membership when that’s not true anymore: https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/08/womens-co-working-space-the-wing-adjusts-membership-policy-to-allow-all-genders/.

Duran must go
Guest
Duran must go

It’s always from the men who claim to be “feminists,” but are the first to complain about women in WeHo. We all know that there are/have been male only clubs, but it’s just not talked about. Times have changed a little and the nasty sin bin is gone, but I surmise there are a few more that are MALE ONLY.

Awesome Weho
Guest
Awesome Weho

Haha, the Wing is “allowed” to remain? Honey, it’s called signing a lease, not getting special dispensation from King Duran. You don’t like Sprouts or Tom Tom, don’t go there. You want stores that cater to gay men, give them your business. I’ve bought a few shirts from LASC, now and then. Have you?

Jim
Guest
Jim

Mike, Don and Alfredo did an amazing job and always had a great collection of fashion-forward selections. I’m going to miss this local diamond-in-the-ruff. I remember when it opened and have been a happy patron all these years. Best of luck guys and enjoy the next chapter.

Rob Bergstein
Guest
Rob Bergstein

Wow…end of an era! I remember scraping together $200.00 back in 1990 (and that was a LOT of money for me back in those days) to buy some stylish clothing to wear to the gym and my very first pairs of Calvin Klein white briefs.

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

It’s always sad to see a long time business close. Especially gay owned and one who has done so much for the community. I hope this isn’t a sign of the slippery slope which has happened to many gay friendly towns. I have shopped there many times over the years. They were friendly and helpful. I never thought I paid too much and believe me, I am very financially conservative (cheap). I can understand why people want to retire. Life is too short to work forever. I wish them well in their future endeavors.

mark scharaga
Guest

Always enjoyed seeing all of the sexy guys inside.

Joshua88
Guest
Joshua88

I loved the fact that the bathroom had air conditioning.

mark
Guest
mark

I’ll miss the cute sales guys, wow, did they have a selection over the years.
Kidding aside, sad to see a brick and mortar gone. Maybe it was time for retirement.
Maybe it was just time to let it go. It will be missed, though I’m not into wearing clothes anymore unless I have to so I didn’t give you much sales this past decade. I went there to check out the hot guys. LOL. Be well!

Carlos McKinney
Guest
Carlos McKinney

Their clothes were way overpriced. I would purchase my Diesel jeans at the Diesel store as they were so much cheaper than LASC. I understand you have to make a profit but ripping off your own community is sad.