High-end Stores Opening on Robertson Boulevard
Robertson Boulevard used to be one of Los Angeles’ high-flying retail corridors but started to suffer once the economy took a tumble in 2008. But a couple of high-end stores have recently signed leases for space on the street.
Ryan & Walter, a bridal store co-owned by designer Walter Mendez, opened quietly in January on 120 S. Robertson Blvd. where once there was a Sky Boutique. Mendez—who has made gowns for stars such as Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears—plans to hold a grand opening for the store later this year.
The 2,000-square-foot Ryan & Walter will feature some ready-to-wear bridal styles, but it will specialize in made-to-measure gowns with prices starting at $7,500.
Also new to Robertson Boulevard is an upcoming James Perse furniture and home accessories flagship, which is scheduled to open this fall, according to a statement on the company’s website. The Los Angeles–headquartered brand runs a clothing store a few blocks away at 8914 Melrose Ave. The company did not return requests by press time to comment on its soon-to-open store.
There are around 11 store vacancies on the once-bustling street, near the intersection of Robertson with Alden Drive. But new tenants moving to the street show that Robertson Boulevard is making a rebound, said Chuck Dembo, a partner in the retail-real-estate firm Dembo Realty.
“It’s going to take a little while for it to come back,” Dembo said. “It’s an important street. It’s surrounded by a great neighborhood. It’s got all of the right ingredients.”
Since 2015, Mendez has been running a self-named atelier called Walter Collection in Los Angeles’ Fashion District, where he has operated the Ryan & Walter bridal line with business partner Ryan Patros. But with demand growing for the bridal line, Mendez and Patros thought the consumer for bridal and eveningwear lines was different enough to warrant having separate retail spaces.
They chose a Robertson space because it was located down the street from fashionable restaurants such as The Ivy, still a popular spot for celebrities to eat. Robertson also is a short drive from many affluent Los Angeles neighborhoods, Mendez said.
“For us, it’s about catering to the more fashionable bride with runway couture,” Mendez said of the line’s looks. “It balances the right amount of sexy with the right amount of traditional. It balances modern styles with romantic looks.”
Mendez and Patros designed the interior of their store with a palette of golds and silvers, which they said brings out the colors and finer points of the bespoke dresses.
Store services include styling appointments with Mendez and Patros.