Two blocks away from the pleather-and-faux-fur fashion of Hollywood Boulevard, Zainab is an unexpected oasis of style inside a cozy, 1926 apartment. Owner Zainab Sumu, a Sierra Leone native who has worked in the fashion and art worlds in New York, Paris and L.A., offers shoppers an expertly curated collection from the moment they enter her stylish foyer, which is filled with African artifacts and a case of dazzling, midcentury (20th century, that is) rhinestone cuffs and belts.
The store, open since May 2007 by appointment only, will have regular hours through the end of the month. The stock is an extension of Zainab’s incredibly chic closet, with pieces from such varied sources as African art collectors, New York vintage dealers and old friends in Paris who tip her off to the latest up-and-coming designers.
In the living room, there are racks of Azzedine Alaia dresses, Duro Olowu printed caftans and Junya Watanabe biker jackets, juxtaposed with African antiquities and stacks of Paris Vogue. Zainab is the only place in the U.S. to get the artsy-looking geometric plastic and wood necklaces, bracelets and brooches from Singapore-based label Vice and Vanity. Other exclusives are of-the-moment ostrich feathered bags from Swiss label Sunny Rose and sky-high stilettos with mirrored platforms by Parisian cobbler Larare. Just be forewarned: Quantities and sizes are limited. Until Aug. 31, select styles will be 50% to 70% off. Don’t miss Alaia black velvet ballet flats for $250 (originally $650) and a masculine, metallic silver Richard Nicoll blazer for $600 (originally $1,400).
As they say, there’s no place like home.
Zainab, 1843 N. Cherokee Ave., Hollywood. (323) 469-3848. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Through Aug. 31. After that, by appointment only.
Tough Cookies through tomorrow: Kids’ clothes up to 50% off just in time for back-to-school, including girls’ cotton dresses by Splendid (were $49 to $60, now $24.50 to $30) and flared J Brand jeans (were $99, now $49.50) and boys’ vintage-inspired T-shirts by Gold Rush (were $38, now $19) and polo shirts by Knuckleheads (were $35, now $17.50). And don’t forget baby: Dresses, rompers and onesies by Mikey Stars (Michael Stars’ baby sister) are in the mix. 13638 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. (818) 990-0972. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and Monday. www.shoptoughcookies.com
The Hundreds’ 5th Anniversary Pop-Up through Aug. 31: Five years ago, Ben and Bobby Hundreds started their line of limited-edition T-shirts, snap back hats and denim as an eclectic ode to street culture. Now, they’re celebrating with a pop-up shop and gallery featuring many of the retired styles coveted by collectors. Designs pay homage to such SoCal icons as the taco truck, graffiti and those bacon-wrapped hot dogs sold by street vendors. Foreign Family Gallery, 554 S. Western Ave., L.A. (213) 351-0024. Noon to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday. www.thehundreds.com
John Varvatos at Fred Segal Friday: The sleek menswear designer heads for the beach, with a temporary shop inside the Santa Monica Fred Segal. The 400-square-foot space is modeled after Varvatos’ music-inspired store on the site of the legendary CBGB club in New York, with vintage concert posters and an installation of 100 speakers. Suits, bomber jackets and velvet blazers will be on offer, plus more casual buttoned-downs, T-shirts, hoodies, rugged loafers and boots. Through December. Fred Segal Man, 420 Broadway, Santa Monica. (310) 395-9792. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.
A.B.S. Fashion Show Thursday: Though L.A. designer Allen Schwartz is known for gowns that resemble red carpet styles at a fraction of the cost, he does more than just formalwear. Satin shells, belted coats, wide wool trousers and leather jackets are among the office-ready fall looks coming down the catwalk at this party and fashion show. Sip champagne and enjoy 25% off everything in the store. Space is limited; reserve as soon as possible. 1533 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 393-8770. 6:30 p.m. www.absstyle.com.