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British skate brand Palace picks West Hollywood for second U.S. store

British skate brand Palace picks West Hollywood for second U.S. store
At left, the exterior of the new Palace Los Angeles store at 9006 Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood. At right, merchandise on display includes an exclusive-to-L.A. hoodie (top row center, $148) and polo shirt (second row far left, $128). (Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times)

Palace, the London-based, skate-influenced streetwear brand known for its irreverent sense of humor, pop-culture appropriation and limited-edition product drops, officially opens the doors of its second freestanding U.S. boutique Friday on the western edge of West Hollywood, just five months after establishing its first SoCal retail presence at Dover Street Market Los Angeles in downtown Los Angeles.

The boutique, which joins standalone stores in London, New York and Tokyo, boasts approximately 2,000 square feet of retail space appointed in a joyfully cartoonish take on classical Roman architecture, including a mosaic tile floor depicting Romulus and Remus suckling a she-wolf at the front entrance and a fountain-like structure toward the back of the store that instead of water projects video clips upward onto the domed ceiling.

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“The old-school skate culture of L.A. makes this like ancient Rome basically, so I think that’s quite proper,” said Levent Tanju, 36, who co-founded Palace with fellow skater Gareth Skewis, 41, a decade ago.

At left, a Roman fountain that projects video clips against a domed ceiling. At right, a mosiac tile design depicting Romulus and Remus and a she-wolf greets visitors at the entrance to the Melrose Avenue store.
At left, a Roman fountain that projects video clips against a domed ceiling. At right, a mosiac tile design depicting Romulus and Remus and a she-wolf greets visitors at the entrance to the Melrose Avenue store. (Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times)

Tanju said opening the store on a stretch of Melrose Avenue, where nearby neighbors include Acne Studios, James Perse, Bathing Ape and Maxfield rather than amid the streetwear and sneaker shops clustered along La Brea and Fairfax avenues, is in line with the brand’s philosophy.

“It’s just nice to have [the store] somewhere that’s different, you know? We’re a brand that tries to do things a bit differently from everyone else,” he said. “So we decided to switch it up and be in the [West Hollywood] Design District [and] be next to the art galleries. Also, it’s a bit obvious to open up on Fairfax, isn’t it?”

(Obvious enough that when a trio of billboards announcing the store’s imminent arrival popped up earlier this month, they were situated along, you guessed it, Fairfax Avenue.)

A billboard over Fairfax Avenue advertises the opening of Palace's West Hollywood store, the fourth standalone store worldwide.
A billboard over Fairfax Avenue advertises the opening of Palace's West Hollywood store, the fourth standalone store worldwide. (Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times)

Palace, which approaches streetwear through a distinctly British lens (influences include soccer culture and nightclub wear as well as skateboarding), engages in the same kind of logo-tweaking riffs as streetwear stalwart Supreme; examples include a T-shirt featuring Chanel’s double-C logo that singer Florence Welch donned for a photo shoot, and the brand’s triangular symbol (known as the Tri-Ferg) aping the rainbow-striped ’80s-era Apple logo — right down to the bite mark — on a spring 2019 hoodie.

Since its 2009 founding, Palace has also had official collaborations with a roster of recognizable brands including Umbro, Reebok, Adidas, Oakley and Ralph Lauren.

To celebrate the new SoCal store, Palace has reteamed with Lake Forest-based Oakley for an exclusive-to-L.A. capsule collection that includes a co-branded wetsuit ($800), logo-festooned polo shirts that riff on cycling jerseys ($128) and sunglasses ($208), all swirling in bright shades of pink, orange and blue.

A shirt, left, and a pair of sunglasses are part of an exclusive-to-L.A. collaboration between British skate brand Palace and Oakley.
A shirt, left, and a pair of sunglasses are part of an exclusive-to-L.A. collaboration between British skate brand Palace and Oakley. (Palace)

Other items that will only be available in the West Hollywood bricks-and-mortar store include an assortment of pieces that supersize the “LA” in the middle of the Palace name including sunny orange hoodies ($148), graphic tees ($48) and New Era caps in Dodger blue and a baseball-diamond embroidery on the left side ($48).

In keeping with Palace’s long tradition of Friday-morning product releases, the exclusive merchandise is set to drop when the store officially opens for business at 11 a.m. Friday.

Palace Los Angeles, 9006 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

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