RUTI VENICE: Interior of the Ruti boutique in Venice

RUTI VENICE: Interior of the Ruti boutique in Venice


Iro, Ruti Join Bustling Fashion District on Abbot Kinney in LA’s Venice Neighborhood

Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Los Angeles’ Venice district is quickly becoming one of the city’s most-popular shopping streets, and the latest addition to the diverse thoroughfare is Iro, a Paris-headquartered fashion brand that will move into the former space of the Mystic Journey bookstore at 1319 Abbot Kinney Blvd.

The high-end Parisian brand’s store will take a bow in February 2014, the same time its upcoming Beverly Hills store will open, said Rahav Zuta, U.S. brand manager and chief executive officer for Iro USA. Iro Beverly Hills will move into 325 N. Beverly Drive, which currently houses a shop for pioneering multi-brand retailer Ron Herman.

While the Beverly Hills store will feature marble floors, Zuta said that the design for the Abbot Kinney store would be much different.

“We’re going to design it to fit with the spirit of the street,” Zuta said. “It will not have marble floors. It will be polished concrete. I want to blend in. I don’t want to stand out. I want to let the clothing speak for itself.”

The Venice Iro will offer the brand’s main collection. It also will sell the brand’s new line of Iro Jeans. The jeans line’s first delivery is November. Iro is in the midst of a global rollout of branded boutiques. It runs six stores in Paris and maintains boutiques in Rome, Madrid, Zurich, and Beirut. It soon will open stores in London and Munich as well as a line of shops in Korea, Zuta said.

Another recent entry to Abbot Kinney is Ruti, a multi-brand store specializing in Israeli designers.

The boutique opened at 1410 Abbot Kinney Blvd. on Oct. 1. The new store looks similar to the Ruti boutique that opened at 1406 Montana Ave. in nearby Santa Monica, Calif., in June 2012. There’s a graphic of a gold disc in back of the cash wrap, and the rest of the store offers the ambiance of an industrial loft space. Ruti’s Venice space formerly housed the fitness club Circuit Works.

Like the four sister Ruti stores, the Venice shop sells Tel Aviv–based designers including Maya Negri, Alembika and Noritamy, said Shelby Crane, the manager of Ruti in Venice. “We feel at home with Venice’s eclectic, artistic nature. Ruti’s clothing is unique and eclectic like the Venice lifestyle,” Crane said in a company statement. Along with shops in Venice and Santa Monica, Ruti runs boutiques in San Francisco as well as Berkeley and Palo Alto, Calif. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto.

Abbot Kinney’s lively street scene has been a magnet for independent boutiques this summer. Canadian brand Roots Canada Ltd. moved a shop into a bungalow at 1505 Abbot Kinney Blvd. in June. Unlike its store at 371 N. Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, the Venice store mostly sells Roots’ leather jackets. Currently, Roots only maintains two stores in California.

San Francisco–based brand Margaret O’Leary opened a boutique at 1410 Abbot Kinney Blvd., adjacent to the Ruti boutique. Margaret O’Leary runs 10 boutiques on the West Coast.

While Abbot Kinney has attracted better priced, contemporary stores, “fast-fashion” retailer Heavenly Couture opened a boutique at 1358 Abbot Kinney Blvd. in June. The company sells stylish women’s apparel for $16 or less, and it runs 19 locations across California, according to the company website.