Made For And By Californians: Venice Boutique Features Vintage, Worn-In-Looking Designs

By Booth Moore Los Angeles Times.

VENICE, Calif.

There's more to Current/Elliott than just boyfriend jeans.

That's clear when you step inside the L.A. label's first boutique, now open on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice.

The 1,500-square-foot space is a beachy oasis with a marble center table, white oak floors and warm brass fixtures. Leather sling chairs, potted cactus plants and an old record player spinning Fleetwood Mac tunes set the scene for Current/Elliott's worn-in universe.

On the racks are women's fringed suede trucker jackets, camo-patterned cardigan sweaters, plaid flannel tie-front shirt dresses, hand-drawn "Laurel Canyon" and "Venice" map T-shirts and canvas coveralls inspired by Rosie the Riveter. The brand plans to launch menswear next fall.

"We wanted everything in the store, every material, to get better with age, like our denim," said Brett Ramey, vice president of creative for Current/Elliott and sister brands Equipment and Joie.

"Ninety percent of the collection is made in California, so it would make sense that our first store would be here."

Born out of a love for vintage Americana, Current/Elliott was founded in 2008 by Emily Current and Meritt Elliott, who were instrumental in bringing the slouchy boyfriend style back into fashion. They left the brand in 2012. "It girls" like Katie Holmes and Reese Witherspoon were early boosters.

The label sells through department and specialty stores, but a vacant spot on Abbot Kinney's coveted stretch of retail real estate was too good an opportunity to pass up, said Current/Elliott Chief Executive Jack Schwefel, who acknowledged that he considered putting the first store in Brooklyn before market research about its strong connection to California changed his mind.

The boutique carries Current/Elliott's full assortment of denim, including the classic Boyfriend cut, and the new Low Bell, Girl Crush and Flip-Flop flared styles. There are one-of-a-kind embroidered shirts and work-wear jackets. Weathered-looking blankets, pillows and bags made from denim remnants round out the lifestyle offerings. Prices range from $88 for a T-shirt to $1,298 for a leather jacket.

"We didn't want it just to be about five-pocket denim," Schwefel said. "We want everyone to understand the full picture of what we do, and all the details that go into the garments."

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