8 L.A. happenings in May to get you ready for summer

A painting by Mickalene Thomas on left, a photo of a clothing store on the right.
Left: Mickalene Thomas, “A Little Taste Outside of Love,” 2007, rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel on wood panel, 108 x 144 in. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Giulia Borghese and Designated Purchase Fund 2008. © Mickalene Thomas. Right: Kinn Studio and Almina Concept store at Platform in Culver City.
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Balenciaga’s Le City bag is bringing back the early aughts

Balenciaga Le City bag photos by Balenciaga

Fashion is in love with the early 2000s right now, and Balenciaga, the Kering-owned brand, has brought back the signature Le City bag, which was introduced in 2001. The new bag, which comes in small and medium sizes with adjustable shoulder and crossbody straps, is available in black, yellow, green, light purple, metallic steel gray, metallic silver, white, blue and beige. The style and construction of the new versions of the bag — studs as well as leather-strung zipper pulls and rivets are included — were inspired by the archival bags. A small Le City bag is $2,350, while a medium bag goes for $2,850. (The small metallic silver Le City bag is $2,390 and the medium version is $2,900.) The bags are sold at and in select stores. Also, as part of the reintroduction, a campaign featuring portraits of Kate Moss, Danish model Mona Tougaard, Chinese actress-singer Yang Chaoyue and Korean singer Juyeon was shot by fashion photographer Mario Sorrenti.

Kinn Studio and Almina Concept collaborate on first retail space

On the left is a clothing store; on the right is jewelry.
(Lauren Moore / Design Assembly; Kinn Studio)

Jewelry label Kinn Studio and womenswear brand Almina Concept have collaborated on a new six-month pop-up space at mini style mecca Platform in Culver City. It’s the first bricks-and-mortar space for each brand. AAPI founders Jennie Yoon of Kinn Studio and Angela Gahng of Almina Concept wanted to give shoppers a personalized experience while acknowledging L.A. and their Korean heritage. You’ll find fine jewelry and vintage watches from Kinn Studio along with Almina Concept’s contemporary fashion pieces, which are made in Seoul, South Korea. The look of the minimalist shop was created by L.A.-based interior designer Lauren Moore of the Design Assembly. 8850 Washington Blvd., Culver City,,


‘Louis Vuitton: A Perfume Atlas’ explores the world of fragrance

The cover of a book from Louis Vuitton.
(Louis Vuitton)

Louis Vuitton is giving customers and readers a look at how its fragrances are made with the release of the book “Louis Vuitton: A Perfume Atlas” ($160, Thames & Hudson), which captures Louis Vuitton master perfumer Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud as he searches globally for ingredients used for the French brand’s fragrances. Through illustrations, photography and text, the 380-page book covers how flowers are cultivated, the seasons for growing and the techniques used at harvest. It also explores how essential oils are extracted and used to create fragrances. The book, which comes in three cover offerings (rose, lemon and jasmine), is by Cavallier-Belletrud and co-author Lionel Paillès, illustrator Aurore de la Morinerie and photographer Sébastien Zanella. Also, the limited-edition “A Perfume Atlas” box set ($5,000, in-store only) includes 45 vials with extractions of raw materials selected by Cavallier-Belletrud. The book is available at and book retailers.

Cartier renovates and reopens its South Coast Plaza store

The outside of the Cartier store.
(Kevin Scott / Cartier)

Luxury house Cartier’s renovated and expanded boutique at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa celebrates all things Orange County and Southern California. The Moinard Bétaille agency, which has collaborated with Cartier for decades including on the flagship store in Paris, took inspiration for the elegant revamped space from SoCal’s varied landscape and terrain. (Think Newport Beach and Laguna Beach meets Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree.) As you enter the store, which reopened in April, the first things you’ll likely notice are the three-dimensional facade as well as the large panel featuring a panther by François Mascarello. In the boutique’s mix of fine jewelry, watches, leather goods, fragrances and more, you’ll also find local flora, palm tree-inspired handcrafted staff columns and a hand-painted Moss & Lam mural. And don’t forget to spot the lacquer and mother-of-pearl panel by Atelier Midavaine in the bridal area, the dahlia-shaped custom chandeliers in the space and the Lasvit glass canopy light, which was inspired by the area’s skate parks. 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa,

‘Mickalene Thomas: All About Love’ arrives at the Broad

Mickalene Thomas, Afro Goddess Looking Forward 2015 Rhinestones, acrylic, and oil on wood panel 60 x 96 x 2 in.
Mickalene Thomas, “Afro Goddess Looking Forward,” 2015, rhinestones, acrylic, and oil on wood panel, 60 x 96 x 2 in.
(Mickalene Thomas)

In these challenging times, the “Mickalene Thomas: All About Love” exhibition at the Broad could be the antidote we need for healing and redemption and truly being able to love others and ourselves. After all, the exhibition takes its name and several themes from the acclaimed bell hooks text centering around the question, “What is love?” As the first international tour of Thomas’ work, this showcase features more than 80 works from the last two decades and examines topics including beauty, politics, memory, erotica and sexuality, with a focus on the people who have been marginalized and excluded in art history. In the exhibition, you’ll discover mixed-media painting and collage, photography and more, including large-scale works, from the innovative Camden, N.J., native. The exhibition’s themes also are part of fresh programming in collaboration with Thomas, with a summer concert series in the works and in-gallery programs focused on women and Black and queer communities. “Mickalene Thomas: All About Love,” which was co-organized by the Hayward Gallery in London, the Broad and the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, runs from May 25 to Sept. 29. 221 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles,


‘Simone Leigh’ exhibition comes to LACMA and CAAM

Simone Leigh, "Sentinel," 2019. Right, "Dunham," 2023, courtesy artist, Matthew Marks Gallery.
(Timothy Schenck)

The exhibition “Simone Leigh” is the first comprehensive look at the artist’s work, with Los Angeles County Museum of Art and California African American Museum’s joint showcase featuring about 20 years of the artist’s production in ceramic, bronze and video in addition to her powerful 2022 Venice Biennale presentation. According to a synopsis from the museums, Leigh has continued to explore questions around “Black femme subjectivity and knowledge production” as well as addressed “historical periods, traditions and geographies with her art referencing vernacular and hand-made processes from across the African diaspora, as well as forms traditionally associated with African art and architecture.” “Simone Leigh,” a traveling exhibition that was organized by the ICA Boston and co-presented in SoCal by LACMA and the CAAM, runs from May 26 through Jan. 20. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles,; 600 State Drive, Los Angeles,

Michael Kors Collection returns to Beverly Hills

A store with chairs and clothing racks and mirrors.
(Michael Kors Collection)

Designer Michael Kors is having a full-circle moment by bringing his Michael Kors Collection boutique back to Beverly Hills after about a four-year hiatus. The new two-level space, which recently opened at the European-inspired Two Rodeo Drive, has a spare yet luxe residential vibe thanks to a large video wall, blackened steel, raw concrete, antique brass, gold Calcutta marble, oxidized maple and natural light. (This is the North American debut of this new Collection store concept.) In the stylish mix, look for women’s pieces from the spring and summer collection and other goods at street level along with handbags and other accessories on the lower floor. 242 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills,

Billy Reid opens a new Venice store

Inside a clothing store with racks of clothes, and tables and shelves with clothes and rugs.
(Billy Reid)

Designer Billy Reid is thrilled by his brand’s 12th store location — this one on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. That’s because, although he has Southern roots, Reid, a Council of Fashion Designers of America multiple award winner, spent four years living in Los Angeles. The new SoCal outpost also allows Reid’s luxe brand to connect with customers face-to-face, after having built L.A. into one of the brand’s biggest markets largely through e-commerce. The store will carry the men’s and women’s collections as well as accessories — all within a space that features Reid’s take on modern Southern decor along with tall ceilings, exposed trusses and brick, and a large glass storefront. The look of the space includes Turkish rugs, various artworks and a large bookshelf spanning the back wall. 1351 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice,