Store Report: Lot, Stock & Barrel
It’s taken a while for Downtown Los Angeles to receive a second wind. For years Downtown L.A. has remained more or less desolate and void of any businesses. If you asked anyone what was downtown, most responses would either be, I don’t know or Skid Row. While the change is still a slow burn and not a massive exodus, things are looking better for L.A.’s urban core. Little by little, both new businesses and residential units move into vacant space, rebuilding and reshaping the community.
A few times a year we head west and each trip affords a fresh look at all that’s happening Downtown. During our last visit we stopped in to see Lot, Stock & Barrel’s new outpost. Taking up residence Downtown LS&B is, at its core, a vintage destination. Not to be confused with the random places that sell used goods, where you’re expected to dig and dig hoping to find a rare piece that slipped through the cracks and only costs a couple bucks. The passion for the past is genuine here, and the selection on hand is proof.
The meticulously merchandised space, filled with wearables ranging from the early 40’s and younger, looks and appropriately smells vintage. Throughout you’ll find a heavy dose of militaria, traditional Americana, and Navajo influences, mixed-in among staple vintage pieces such as work shirts, Levis, and the like. As with anyone who understands their inventory, a great deal of time & energy goes into sourcing and preparing every item. And as expected, sources remain a secret.
Separate from the usual vintage offerings, LS&B is also happy to do some repair and custom work, the latter done by Chain Gang LA who has a permanent residency. With over 20 years of chain stitch embroidery and chenille patch work under their belt, Chain Gang’s reputation is solid. The zero automation process is all done on-site and uses traditional methods and machines that date back over 70 years. It’s an art form with few people left at the helm, making it a special and fitting addition to the LS&B assemblage.
When they opened their doors in mid-February of this year, owners Ben Phillips & Florence Tang coupled their experience with their passion for authentic vintage clothing. With solid backgrounds in the apparel industry, each having held titles with Polo, Levis and others, the attention to detail and level of quality comes at no surprise. Having known Ben for nearly two decades, I’ve witnessed the refinement of his tastes, specifically in the vintage industry, first hand. He lives for the details. A typical conversation covers a whole host of topics and includes a discussion about washes, dyes, fabric, stitching, production dates & locations, extinct processes, previous owners, the list goes on. These conversations are refreshing and proof that some people still care about the little things. It’s also proof that LS&B is breathing fresh air, not only into Downtown Los Angeles, but into vintage clothing.
Visit Lot, Stock & Barrel in their new store at 801 1/2 Traction Avenue, Los Angeles, CA., 90013 or check them out at the rotating Loft space in the new Stag store at 1338 Abbot Kinney Blvd.,Venice, CA