Where Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Barbra Streisand and More Shop for Boho Dresses in Los Angeles
Inside L.A. designer Natalie Martin's first store.
Who creates the resort-ready boho dresses that Gwyneth Paltrow, Busy Philipps, Reese Witherspoon, Rihanna, Louise Roe and more wear every day to school drop-off, the farmers' market and more? Los Angeles designer Natalie Martin, who has finally opened her first store. You might call it the house that Bali block prints built.
“The Fiore dress has a life of its own. Every day, I get emails saying I want the dress that Busy is wearing on Instagram,” says Martin, adding that sometimes people mistake the actress' favorite dress for a nightgown. Meanwhile, Amy Adams has been spotted rocking her Fiore at Bristol Farms, and Barbra Streisand wears hers lounging at home.
The designer's Moroccan-inspired store — with shearling-covered chairs, stump side tables, arch details and Eagles’ “Peaceful Easy Feeling” playing on the soundtrack — is sandwiched between the starry Ken Paves and Sally Hershberger salons for ease of shopping. It features the full array of easy-to-wear and accessibly priced Martin merch, including the famed Fiore maxi dress ($245), Renata blouse with tie-sleeves ($163), Bianca lounge pants ($183) and Sierra skirts ($348), plus kimonos, quilted jackets and more in zig-zag, tile and orchid silk and rayon prints.
“I’m glad I have something for every woman to feel good in,” says Martin, noting that she is developing a considerable plus-size customer base, too.
An Aussie transplant, Martin founded her label in 2011, and has built a devoted following in L.A. and beyond through word of mouth, by selling online, at Barneys New York and Anthropologie. “I’ve tried to do it slow and steady and make it manageable,” she says. “I don’t want to be that number one seller and massive brand. I just want to have longevity. I’m really proud we have our own factory in Bali and I love that it supports the community. I don't need much more.”
At the same time, she says, “We were at our wits' end working around a dining room table,” adding that she built an office and design studio into the new space.
Martin has a background in fashion marketing, putting in years at Italian leather goods brands Tod's and Hogan. "I always wanted to start my own line, and especially do dresses," says the designer, who embodies her brand, living in Coldwater Canyon with her husband, Kevin Martin, a musician, and their son Jasper.
Coming soon? Martin's first rompers, men's swim trunks and garland necklaces made out of her fabric remnants. Says the designer, "For the first time in a while, I feel really inspired."
Natalie Martin, 804 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.