From its origins in the late 19th century as an unincorporated railway town, just outside the reach of the law, West Hollywood (WeHo to the locals) has long attracted the unconventional, the free thinkers and the glitterati.
Although the grit and lawlessness are gone, the creative thinking and trendsetting styles linger on and WeHo remains the epicentre of cool. Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood sprawl to the east while Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Venice Beach sit to the west. As a result, pioneers in design, art, fashion, furniture and architecture continue to gravitate to WeHo.
The influential manufacturer of modern furniture, Herman Miller, known for the Noguchi table and Eames Lounge Chair, opened its Charles Eames-designed showroom in 1949 on Beverly Boulevard. In 1975, the Pacific Design Center, an architectural gem known for its outsized blue, red and green buildings, was built by noted architect Cesar Pelli, famous for the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Designer Alberta Ferretti and Italian fashion house Moschino chose to open their first boutiques in North America in this densely packed design mecca.
West Hollywood Design District
If you venture down to southwest WeHo, you’ll find the West Hollywood Design District, a square mile of tree-lined streets and the highest concentration of design businesses on the West Coast. More than 300 merchants line Melrose Avenue, Robertson Boulevard and Beverly Boulevard featuring a mix of luxury brands, quirky boutiques, high-end fashion houses, art galleries and design showrooms.
Want to rub shoulders with a celebrity or two? Duck into Christian Louboutin or 3.1 Phillip Lim. Looking for the finest in contemporary furnishings? Visit Italian furniture maker Minotti Los Angeles at their global flagship store. If art and design appeal more, visit established fine art galleries such as Denenberg Fine Arts, Trigg Ison Fine Art and George Stern Fine Arts.
To explore emerging talent, visit De Re Gallery, Art Angels and Galerie Montaigne. Or walk over to the MOCA Pacific Design Center, which features a rotating exhibition of architecture and design from the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.
Explore, Browse and Learn
For a collaborative and learning opportunity, participate in DIEM: Talks Design on November 11, an annual one-day symposium in the West Hollywood Design District, which brings together luminaries in design, decorative and fine arts, architecture and fashion for discussions, keynotes and panels.
For spring fun, attend the West Hollywood Design District’s newest event, A Street Af(fair), a European-style street design fair, which debuts on April 30.
Whatever your creative impulse, WeHo will satisfy every design aesthetic. Enjoy!
For more information on West Hollywood, log onto: City of West Hollywood: weho.org
Visit West Hollywood: visitwesthollywood.com
West Hollywood Design District: westhollywooddesigndistrict.com