Pret-a-Reporter

Shinola from Detroit Opens at The Grove

Courtesy of Shinola
Shinola at The Grove

Great Lakes region wood fixtures, a watch bar and a rare American flag from the 19th century that costs $15,000 are on offer at the brand's L.A. flagship.

Detroit-based Shinola has opened its highest-profile store in L.A. to date.

After debuting its first brick-and-mortar in L.A. in Silver Lake in 2014, Shinola expanded to Venice's Abbot Kinney Boulevard and now has set up its two-story flagship at The Grove.

Situated next to Tommy Bahama and Vince, replacing what used to be part of Nike Running, the two-story space falls in line with Shinola’s clean and polished aesthetic. The boutique, designed by Shinola creative director Daniel Caudill and the brand’s design team, features women’s watches (starting at $475), leather tote bags ($595) and mini backpacks ($795) displayed in fixtures made from white-oak wood from the Great Lakes region. Sustainably made journals and men’s watches — including the first watch style the brand ever made, The Runwell (a Bill Clinton favorite, which sells for $550 to $850) — are displayed toward the back.

The second floor of the store is expected to open by fall as an audio lounge, timed to Shinola’s launch of turntables, speakers and headphones.

Among the highlights for sale in the 3,000-square-foot space?  A one-of-a-kind copper bike, $6,000, and a rare American flag from the 19th century, $15,000.

The store also boasts a watch bar (named the Willard Watch Bar), where customers can choose from different case styles to pair with a colorful selection of straps (from nylon to leather) on full display. Prices start at about $475. Complimentary personalized monogramming on all leather and paper goods is also available.

Given how much folks like to customize everything these days, the watch bar and monogram stations are sure to be a hit among the L.A. set.

"In L.A. the neighborhoods vary so much from one to another, so it would be a missed opportunity if we didn’t expand here," says Shinola president Jacques Panis. "The city is an important market for us because there are very savvy consumers here who understand Shinola’s mission in the United States, and they support the core values of our business."

Since Shinola was founded by Tom Kartsotis in 2011, the company’s mission has been to create quality goods in the U.S. (although many parts are manufactured in Switzerland), which then would lead to more manufacturing jobs based in America. Although the company dropped its "Where American Is Made" slogan earlier this year after the FTC ruled that too many of its products are created with foreign-made parts, its "Built in Detroit" slogan remains.

"Shinola's mission has always been to create jobs here in the United States," explains Panis. "The focus of our company has been to deliver high-quality goods to our customers that include a transparent story about the origins of the products."

Indeed, Shinola at The Grove reflects the brand’s ethos. The boutique showcases portraits of its employees near the entrance with a statement that reads, "A true manufacturing company is built not by the things it makes. It’s built by the people who make them."

All photos courtesy of Shinola

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