Sita 1910 Creates a Curated, Personal Shopping Experience
In an effort to “retell how we retail” Sita 1910 provides a unique shopping experience that harkens back to a time that catered to the client and presents clothes as works of art.
The store was named after the nickname of founder Cio Soler’s grandmother Rosita and her birth year. The word “cita” also means appointment in Spanish, which Soler thought was a funny coincidence and often jokes she has “a cita at Sita.”
The idea for the space began taking shape at the start of 2021, beginning as a small project to help smaller designers Soler had met on her travels. Using her vacant condominium in Los Angeles, Soler set up racks and displayed products from the designers and invited her friends to come shop. The store officially opened its location in Beverly Hills two months ago behind the Peninsula Hotel and offers a cozy, homey vibe, lending to its nickname “The Apartment Store.”
“You walk in and feel like you’re in your grandmother’s old wardrobe room or like your dream closet. We made it about the clothes and wanted to keep the integrity very simple and let it be about the clothes—let the clothes be the art that everyone is looking at,” Soler said.
The store features a mix of products from ready-to-wear to accessories. Soler said she believes in love at first touch when it comes to choosing what products and brands will be featured in the store, and her biggest criterion is if she wouldn’t wear it she wouldn’t want it to be on someone else. Soler lets the products speak for themselves and said that her clientele consists of very stylish women and even stylists for celebrities—those who have graduated past the need to be cool and whose personal style is much more important to them.
“About 80 percent of what’s available comes from abroad and is not available in stores in the U.S., so we’re talking one-of-a-kind and few-of-a-kind pieces,” Soler said. “Everything from dresses to ready-to-wear to resort and swim. We have cardigans and a collection of vintage Levi’s and highly curated vintage T-shirts and flannels. We have custom-made boots. It’s really an eclectic mix. Your 18-year-old daughter can shop here and your 86-year-old grandmother can shop here—everyone will find something.”
In addition to offering and showcasing product handpicked by Soler from designers around the world, Sita 1910 offers its own line of products under the Sita 1910 label.
“I’m doing some private labeling and co-designing with different manufacturers and designers,” Soler said. “So there are Sita 1910 products throughout, which include such as Pima cotton onesies from Peru. We also have crocheted clutches, which are probably one of our top sellers.”
Soler said that the store is by appointment and referral only mainly due to the size of the business. She also believes the exclusivity of the products found in Sita 1910 calls for a more exclusive one-on-one experience while shopping. The business model creates an elevated experience for shoppers, and the store offers healthy snacks and robes and slippers to make shoppers truly feel as if they are walking into a big closet.
“I love the personal experience with the client. Having one-on-one time with them allows them to get into a comfortable space where they are not there to be sold clothes but are there to be presented works of art and then they can choose what they want,” Soler said.
Soler would like to see the store continue to grow in both collections and clientele but has also adopted a more conscious, value-based approach that includes reducing waste and repurposing materials. Soler noted that she works closely with creators to ensure a fair and sustainable practice and does her best to avoid all waste. The store offers reusable shopping bags and even repurposes old drawstring shoe bags to wrap the more delicate items.
“I feel the key right now is to be different. I look at retailers I admire, and I’ve never gotten a marketing text or been told ‘This is here but might not be here tomorrow.’ When it’s good, you go back,” Soler said. “It’s the trust you build with the owner or the people there that keeps the longevity of the clientele. We need to start being unique and not look over our shoulder to see what other people are doing.”
Photos courtesy of Sita 1910.