FASHION

Blaine Halvorson's MadeWorn makes for an unusual retail experience

Blaine Halvorson's MadeWorn in Hollywood is an appointment-only, changing 'experiential retail' experiment

Tucked behind a black cast iron gate near Fairfax and Melrose avenues, artist-designer Blaine Halvorson's new retail space is a world of its own.

The 12,000-square-foot, indoor-outdoor compound houses his MadeWorn clothing and lifestyle brand in addition to a taxidermied giraffe and lion, a Montana schoolhouse, a butcher fridge packed with fake raw beef made of a rubber and plastic mix and a room styled to look like a bathroom — nonfunctioning but complete with graffiti — that replicates the Rolling Stones' "Beggars Banquet" album cover. Floors are covered in gravel in some places, blackened wood chips in others.

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For the Record

April 17, 5:50 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said Blaine Halvorson had attended the Montana schoolhouse that is now in his store. He didn't. It also said that the butcher fridge in the store contains raw beef. It contains fake meat made of plastic and rubber.

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The space, which opened to private clientele in January, is part of Halvorson's new "experiential retail" model encompassing art, music and fashion that he hopes will trigger innovation in his clients.

"I want to inspire clients to go to other places, to get people away from home and more into a dreamscape of sorts," he said. "I want people to come here and leave inspired by the fact that we do create so many things."

The concept behind the shop is that anything can be purchased. This keeps the space changing as things sell, creating a new experience every time customers return.

Each of the seven rooms of the Hollywood space has its own theme and accompanying merchandise for sale. The former recording studio was gutted last year to make way for Halvorson's one-of-a-kind space, at the center of which is a garden and acoustic stage used for private functions.

Halvorson, known for co-founding the music nostalgia T-shirt company Junk Food Clothing in the late 1990s, created MadeWorn in 2013 as a luxury lifestyle brand that harks back to simpler times. Composed of fine art, ready-to-wear apparel, customized footwear, accessories and beauty products, the collection reflects Halvorson's aesthetic of using vintage materials to craft goods with a modern, edgy twist.

"I wanted to continue to push that old-world tailoring to clients, building their look from ground up," he said. "[The product] is a bit more of a keepsake, artistic experience like the old days where everyone had that one suit signature."

Each piece from Halvorson's brand touches his hands and reflects his vision. The store, a private, appointment-only location, allows him to customize designs, and the experience, to specific clients of varying interests.

Artists, for instance, might want to purchase any of the installations throughout the space, such as a mixed media skull display made of 30,000 cigarettes or oil paintings of black-and-white mug shots.

Shoe aficionados can have a custom pair of kicks within a week. They can choose from a variety of materials, even leather and denim excavated from ghost towns and mines. No shoe produced will ever look like another.

"They continue to break down through these different layers of colors, and like an oil painting you get a beauty as the colors mold together," Halvorson said. "What a shoe looks like when it leaves here, when a client comes back in three weeks, it looks completely different."

And still others can take home the MadeWorn signature fragrance Smoke, handcrafted knives made of vintage plow blades, leather hats and suspenders or tattooed pigskin duffel and messenger bags.

The Hollywood property is the first of a slew of experiential spaces Halvorson hopes to see. He plans to open another on New York's Lower East Side this summer.

Appointments to visit the shop can be made online at madeworn.com.

trevell.anderson@latimes.com

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