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Given Tomas Maier’s sunny aesthetic, honed during his time in that other golden state, Florida, it makes perfect sense that the designer would choose Los Angeles for his namesake brand’s first-ever pop-up shop.
The German designer, who has also served as the creative director of Bottega Veneta since 2001, announced Monday the opening of a 3,300-square-foot space on Melrose Avenue (the space was formerly Alexander McQueen and is just a stone’s throw from Marc Jacobs, Balmain as well as Bottega Veneta). The store, open through June, features a selection of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear pieces, accessories and swimwear. It’s turning out to be a busy spring for Maier, who is also releasing a cheap chic capsule collection for Uniqlo stores on May 18.
A longtime fan of California’s natural scenery and Spanish architecture, Maier has embraced the easygoing L.A. influence for the design of the store, drawing inspiration from Ed Ruscha’s iconic images of the Sunset Strip from the ‘60s. The resulting aesthetic is not too far off from the vibes of Palm Beach, where the brand was founded in 1997, but with a definite Hollywood touch.
Here, Maier opens up about the new space, his influences and his go-to L.A. hotspots — including Brentwood Country Mart.
Why a pop-up?
This will be the brand’s first and I am very excited it happens to be in Los Angeles, a town I have an affinity for and have been visiting since the early ‘80s. Pop-ups have become part of the retail landscape and are a good way to test a market. The lifestyle in LA corresponds well to our concept offering a wardrobe for “time-off.”
Tell me about the exterior artwork.
The artwork on the exterior is from an exclusive print that I designed inspired by the Futurism movement and used in the Spring and Cruise ’18 collections.
What about California inspires you? About L.A.?
The biggest thing that inspires me about California is the nature. You have beaches, mountain and deserts. I am an outdoor person and everywhere I go in California I see something to love. I am only missing on the extreme northern part of the state but I have visited most everywhere else. I am a particular fan of both Big Sur and Santa Barbara. The first thing I noticed in L.A. were the palm trees — the very high, very thin towering trees lining the streets — coming from Europe it seemed very glamorous.
A post shared by Tomas Maier (@tomasmaier) on
Is there an era of L.A. that stands out as an influence in your work?
I am a fan of many of the architects and artists who worked in California in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Ed Ruscha, David Hockney, John McCracken and James Turrell are a few of the California artists I really enjoy. The architecture taking place here at the same time was groundbreaking and so influential — I am a fan of Cliff May, Craig Ellwood, John Lautner and Richard Neutra among others.
What lifestyle items are special to the pop-up?
We have a beach capsule — items for the pool or beach in terry cloth toweling fabric perfect for the California lifestyle. Sunglasses, books, throws, candles and scent are just a few examples
What are your favorite spots to visit in L.A.?
I always rent a car at the airport and generally try to stop off first at Arcana bookstore in Culver City. Pizzeria Mozza is great for lunch, as is Farm Shop at the Brentwood Country Mart. The area around Highland has good galleries for furniture and antiques. I love the Getty Center and the Getty Malibu for antiquities. Dinner favorite is the Tower Bar — very L.A.
8379 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90069
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