Just last Friday, we reported some exciting retail news that Acne Studios (pronounced ACK-nay), a Swedish global fashion chain selling high-end men’s and women’s clothing, leased the corner retail space at the Eastern Columbia at 9th and Broadway. This is a huge win for Downtown LA (and the Bringing Back Broadway effort) since international retail chains on the caliber of Acne Studios usually open their stores on the Westside in areas like Melrose and Robertson, and more recently, Abbot Kinney in Venice.
However, Downtown LA is unique compared to all the other aforementioned areas because it is the largest “4-directional” walkable urban center in the entire metropolitan region. While Melrose, Robertson, and Abbot Kinney are all wonderful in their own way, their limitations stem from being strictly linear commercial streets flanked by large swaths of purely residential communities, which unfortunately, makes them inherently less walkable or dynamic compared to a large commercial grid like Downtown LA, with many distinct neighborhoods that are all still relatively walkable to each other, unlike most of the rest of LA. Basically, this will be good for Los Angeles in general when we finally establish a bona fide shopping district in an authentic urban setting that will be dynamic and serendipitous more akin to cities like New York.
As someone who is very excited about Acne Studios coming to Downtown LA, I made an effort to stop by their SoHo, New York store today to learn more about them to get an idea what to expect for Downtown LA. Located at 33 Greene Street a few blocks from Canal and Broadway, this is currently the only Acne Studios location in the country. Selling high-end clothing for both men and women, the modern classic design collection reminded me of their French counterpart A.P.C., which also only has two stores in the country (NY and LA, but off of Melrose in LA, unfortunately). I spoke to a very courteous sales associate who expressed excitement about their new upcoming LA store opening later this year.