Christion Lennon and Tommy Zavala of Brotherhood

Apolis: Common Gallery , a pioneer of high-end retail in Los Angeles’ Arts District, is scheduled to reopen its flagship store this summer, which might further cement the district’s reputation as a place to shop.

The menswear retailer will open in a new loft building called Third & Traction at 806–820 E. Third St., which should open its doors in March on the district’s main drag.

The flagship will be a return engagement to the Arts District for Apolis, which makes denim, outerwear and accessories with a sustainable and fair-trade edge. A pair of the brand’s chino pants retail for $98.

In 2011, Apolis opened at 806 E. Third St. and was one of the first high-end shops to test the retail waters in the Arts District.

The Third & Traction building

When the Third & Traction building started its renovation in 2017, Apolis had to close its doors but maintained a long-running pop-up shop up the street in the Alchemy Works boutique.

Apolis co-founder Raan Parton, however, said he remains bullish on the district’s potential to become a vibrant retail center. “The Arts District is our home,” Parton said. “We have seen steady growth for the last eight years, and I think it’s just the beginning.”

Los Angeles’ Arts District is much different than it was more than a decade ago when it was a blighted, sparsely populated area. The artists living there were more like homesteaders in an urban landscape of warehouses and empty buildings rather than gentrified residents. The area continues to change.

Lucky Brand is located at the edge of the Arts District.

Big residential buildings are popping up everywhere. The 472-unit Aliso Apartments , up the street from Third & Traction, recently opened.

In 2017, designer Phillip Lim 3.1 opened a flagship store down the street from Third & Traction. Boutiques including Wittemore , Hatchet Supply Co. , Shinola , H. Lorenzo Archive and Rogue Collective all moved there in the past few years. The opening in November of Dover Street Market garnered headlines from national newspapers and glossy magazines when the edgy, high-end emporium took a bow.

Art gallery Hauser & Wirth and attractions such as the Museum of Ice Cream also brought affluent people to the once-tough neighborhood.

In addition, a slate of high-profile creative companies are scheduled to move into the Arts District in the next year or so. Music and video streaming service Spotify is scheduled to open a regional headquarters this year at a new office campus called At Mateo , at the corner of Mateo and 6th streets, a couple of blocks away from the headquarters of the Lucky Brand denim label.

Spotify will be moving into the At Mateo campus.

Soho House , a members-only club for high-flying creatives, is scheduled to open at 1000 S. Santa Fe Ave. in the Arts District. The more-than-six-story club will feature hotel rooms, a gym, a music-performance area, screening rooms, a pool, as well as bars and restaurants.

These new places will give the area a special momentum, said Christion Lennon, who founded the clothing brand Brotherhood with Tommy Zavala. In July, he opened a 570-square-foot Brotherhood store at 1325 Palmetto St.

“Once Soho House comes in and a couple more retail centers move in, it will be a retail center,” Lennon said. Tourists and downtown Los Angeles locals shop the neighborhood. But Lennon estimated that the majority of consumers dropping by his shop are people working at local offices that house companies such as rideshare concern Lyft and Califia Farms , whose almond-milk beverages are sold at supermarkets such as Whole Foods .

Lennon said the growing momentum of businesses with a hip edge will guarantee that the Arts District will continue to enjoy a reputation as being a haven for cool for a long time.

Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

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