If you haven't sported an Eastpak backpack since you were an undergrad, you should take a fresh look at the carryall, now that white-hot designer Raf Simons has brought a chic sensibility to the brand's new line of packs, knapsacks and duffels.
Raf Simons for Eastpak brings together the Belgian designer, who helms the Jil Sander label and two signature collections, and the 50-year-old U.S. maker of canvas totes. Their collaboration runs for three seasons, and for season two, in stores now, Simons gives his Eastpak pieces a dose of his minimal aesthetic (hence, a spare logo). You'll also notice his preference for the color black and use of high-tech fabrics such as soft foam-filled nylon and "cracked" canvas.
The unisex backpack retails for $234, a shoulder bag for $144 and duffel for $252 at men's boutique South Willard.
Everything's functional -- but you'll probably refrain from lugging heavy books in these sleek bags.
8038 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles. (323) 653-6153. Open daily, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. www.southwillard.com.
Calypso Christiane Celle: The St. Barts-inspired women's fashion boutique known for its colorful resort-ready wear is gearing up for fall with a special offer for in-store and online shoppers. Purchase one of Calypso's women's coats and jackets before Oct. 15 and get a $100 gift card or coupon toward your next purchase.
8635 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 652-4454. Brentwood Country Mart, 225 26th St., Unit 30, Santa Monica. (310) 434-9601. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. www.calypso-celle.com.
Earnest Sewn: Thursday: Denim brand Earnest Sewn opens its first West Coast store in Malibu's Country Mart, next door to Nobu. The New York-based jean maker's 1,200-square-foot shop is chock-full of vintage Americana with early 1900s artifacts and industrial fixtures. The Country Mart location will carry the entire Earnest Sewn collection, including the popular Harlan 18 women's tapered-leg stretch jean ($198) and the straight-leg Fulton 06 ($195), a five-pocket jean for men, plus selected apothecary products.
3835 Cross Creek Road, Malibu. (310) 317-9200. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. www.earnestsewn.com.
Polo Ralph Lauren: Lauren brings its classic American style to the trendy Robertson Boulevard corridor with an 11,000-square-foot boutique. Polo Ralph Lauren on Robertson takes its design cue from the Mission Revival exterior, which features a red tile roof and courtyard fountain, with an interior inspired by the local architectural style. Inside, you'll find the Black Label tailored collection for men and women plus Purple Label sportswear and the Polo heritage collections of polo shirts and basics. The entire accessory collection is available, including handbags, luxury shoes, sunglasses and gifts for home. The next-door children's store features apparel for boys, girls and infants.
141 N. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles (310) 274-0171. 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. www.ralphlauren.com.
Nike Sportswear Presents the Montalban: Sportswear giant Nike opens a pop-up store inside Hollywood's historic Montalban Theatre. The temporary shop is a West Coast interpretation of the new "21 Mercer" Nike Sportswear concept store in New York. The pop-up stocks classic apparel and footwear such as the Nike Dunk, in addition to the new NSW Collection, which features a highly coveted AW77 Loopwheeler of Japan men's hooded sweatshirt ($240). Also worth checking out are free film screenings, sports and music events. Just do it before Oct. 31 -- the schedule closing date!
1615 Vine St., Hollywood. (323) 461-0663. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. nikesportswear.com.
Balenciaga: A reason for the real housewives of Orange County to rejoice! The 70-year-old legendary French couture house opens its second Southern California boutique at South Coast Plaza. The 2,200-square-foot space continues the futuristic feel of Balenciaga's Melrose Avenue flagship with metallic blue-and-black steel-detailed walls. The popular Giant handbag collection is back-lit in its own niche with prices starting at $1,295.
3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa. (714) 668-0557. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday. www.balenciaga.com.
Gen Art 11th annual Fresh Faces in Fashion launch party Thursday: Gen Art hosts a sneak peek at the emerging designers in its biannual Fresh Faces in Fashion show on Oct. 10 to kick off Los Angeles Fashion Week. You can channel your inner Tim Gunn and query the designers on their inspiration, then admonish them to "make it work." Free beverages and hors d'oeuvres will be served poolside at the W Hotel. $85 for nonmembers.
930 Hilgard Ave., Westwood. (323) 782-9367. 7 to 9 p.m. www.genart.org.