Retailer Leona Horowitz refers to "the Westside man" with almost sociological precision. "He's a 25- to 45-year-old career man. Going places. Successful and fashion conscious," says the tiny, curly-haired woman, who lives in Marina del Rey but has set up shop in the nearby bluff-side neighborhood of Pacific Palisades.
Her menswear boutique, Gables--named for Clark Gable--opened one year ago in the quaint village atmosphere of Swarthmore Avenue. And since then, Horowitz has fine-tuned her notion of the Palisades customer. He's more conservative than the Beverly Hills man, she says, and more casual in dress.
The wilder gear she initially brought to the 700-square-foot store went without takers, she confesses.
"The baggy pants big enough for five people--that didn't go at all." Likewise, the colored, metallic bomber jackets never found homes, she says.
What worked, though, was sportswear that straddles the line between traditional and contemporary. A big chunk of her menswear is by Matinique and L.A.-based Axis. She also carries pieces by Hugo Boss and WilliWear. Prices range from $25 to $500.