A joint venture between Douglas VanLaningham and Jeremy Friend, Akai Ito Boutique brings custom design and avant-guard selections to the Los Angeles Artist District. The boutique gets its namesake from the Akai Ito japanese tradition.
According to this myth, the gods tie an invisible red string around the ankles of those that are destined to meet each other in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way. It certainly is fate as the industrial design of the store is highlighted by accented red pipes that are original to the space. This is coupled with the liquid rubber and twine installation piece hand-done by Friend which serves as a unique dressing room facade.
Each piece in the store carries an interesting story. The exclusive handbags, Balatsos, are designed by Rick Owens alum, Dafne Balatsos, the ‘punk rock’ country kitchen cupboard’ is stocked with artisan jam from Three Little Figs, founded by the once stylist of David LaChapelle and Central St. Martin’s alum now turned jam craftsman, Liz Cowan; and the store’s signature fragrance is designed by ‘PR maven’ Serene Cicora under her Zuzuz Petals line.
The curation done by VanLaningham and Friend which is deeply seated in their fashion roots, (Vanglangintam is stylist having worked with Tony Duran, Sheryl Nields, David LaChapelle, Michel Comte, Sam Bayer and Friend is formerly the sales and brand director at Skingraft) positions Akai Ito Boutique as a soon-to-be outpost for stylists, and vanguards alike.
Editor’s Note: Included in Akai Ito’s principals is also stylist, Gara Rose Gambucci.Akai Ito Boutique 941 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 By Appointment Only (213) 687-6688 Photos: PLATFORM et cie