This story first appeared in the March 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
With its bounty of midcentury architectural gems, Palm Springs has long been heralded as a go-to destination for L.A. aesthetes. Now a crop of new stores and a bounty of locally-based fashion designers give all the more reason for weekenders to delve deeper into the area's mix of prime shopping options.
Amy Cox opened the first incarnation of her vintage clothing and accessories haven, Mr. Cox, in 2011, and expanded to a larger space -- complete with a European-style water bar and lounge -- in late 2013 (106 S. Indian Canyon Drive). What started as a hobby for Cox has grown into a full-time project for the former fashion exec, who cut her teeth in licensing and design for Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. Look for a large but well-curated selection of men's and women's pieces across all price points at the new location, including plenty of Pierre Cardin, Paco Rabanne and Andre Courreges.
Mark Wallaert and Bill Fidrych have opened a second incarnation of their beloved San Francisco boutique, Pelago (901 N. Palm Canyon Drive). Offering midcentury-influenced pieces in a sun-drenched space, the store carries items as varied as high-concept Black + Blum table accessories to handcrafted, vintage-inspired upholstered furniture from Austin-based artists Iron Threads. "Our items work with both contemporary and traditional homes," says Fidrych.
J. Chris Mobley isn't just the chairman of the most recent Palm Springs Modernism Week; together with partner Stewart Penn, he's also the founder of Just Modern Decor (901 N. Palm Canyon Drive). A showcase for works by artists and niche brands such as Modfire and Loll Designs, the store blossomed from the couple's original concept of selling Gainey Ceramics' elusive orange planters online. "Our audience is anyone who loves Palm Springs' aesthetic," says Mobley.
Another newcomer to the desert, The Shops at Thirteen Forty-Five design collective boasts 11 boutiques under one roof, including standout The Towne (1345 N. Palm Canyon Drive). Founded by interior designers Stephen Wilson and Brandon Hoskins, who also own the complex, Towne mixes pieces by iconic Mad Men-era designers Billy Baldwin, John Keal and Milo Baughman with a selection of candles, books and local art.
Palm Springs also lays claim to its fair share of notable fashion designers, including Robert D'Amour, the name behind clothing boutique Highest Form (668 N. Palm Canyon Drive). A former head designer for French Connection, among other places, D'Amour has channeled his talent into a line of both men's and women's clothing and an accompanying gallery, which speaks to his own personal style preferences. "It's high-end casual luxury," he says of the in-store collection, which features his own made-in-America luxe tees and tailored sweatpants, alongside complementary laid-back California lines such as J Brand and SeaVees shoes.
And you can't reference Palm Springs style without mentioning Trina Turk. Her namesake boutique (891 N. Palm Canyon Drive) made its debut in 2002 and has continued to hold sway over locals and visitors alike for its addictive, print-splashed, pattern-happy pieces. This season, the designer debuts her first activewear and shoe collections, giving you all the more reason to pound the Palm Springs pavements in style.