At first I thought it must be a leftover prank from an April Fool’s joke or something. Walking by the former space once occupied by NOLA (the long-shuttered New Orleans restaurant) on 3rd Street in this burgeoning section of the Arts District, I saw the simple white sign announcing “3.1 Phillip Lim Opening April 2017.” I couldn’t believe it, but after checking Lim’s website, it confirmed that it wasn’t a joke after all. Indeed, the coveted and world-renowned designer is opening his new Los Angeles flagship store here in the heart of Downtown LA’s Arts District.
Apparently, the designer originally from Orange County who launched his successful fashion career in New York in 2005 has had his eyes set on the Arts District since late last year. After recently closing his Weho store location on Robertson near the famed Abbey bar and restaurant, the former NOLA restaurant space at about 5,000 square feet will be the new and only store for 3.1 Phillip Lim in Los Angeles (and for the entire West Coast for that matter).
There are only four store locations in the world including New York, Los Angeles, London, and Bal Harbour. There are actually 17 locations worldwide including three in North America (NYC, LA, and Bal Harbour) with the majority of his other stores located in Asia.
For me, this is another amazing sign that Downtown LA is on the rise. The momentum continues to grow stronger as businesses across the region consolidate into LA’s true urban center, forming a strong synergy in stark contrast to the suburban diluted sprawl LA has been notoriously known for. To have a designer on the caliber of Phillip Lim choose to close a location in West Hollywood in favor of moving to DTLA speaks volumes about how much things have changed here in downtown.
3.1 Phillip Lim is supposedly on track to open later this month in April according to its sign and will join a slew of other businesses that have opened here along 3rd St here in the Arts District including Shinola, Salt & Straw, Hauser & Wirth, Guerilla Atelier among many others.