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New in L.A.'s arts district: vintage shop Storefront

August 16, 2012|By David A. Keeps
  • The new vintage shop Storefront is on Traction Avenue. New lines of pottery and clothing will be part of the mix, but the emphasis will be on vintage.
The new vintage shop Storefront is on Traction Avenue. New lines of pottery… (David A. Keeps )

With an opening party Thursday night, production designer and set decorator Coryander Friend will officially launch the vintage shop Storefront in downtown Los Angeles' arts district. Tucked behind a steel door on Traction Avenue, Storefront reflects her aesthetic (formed as a poetry and art student at what's now called Naropa University in Boulder, Colo.) and the industrial character of the neighborhood (also home to Poketo, whose opening and DIY tables we blogged about last month). 

Storefront is "like if Gertrude Stein, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Ernest Hemingway and Richard Prince were having a garage sale,” Friend said. The shop is opening with earthy, surfy inventory that includes a metal duck target ($350), long boards (from $800) and Navajo rugs (from $850) and is guest-curated by actor-writer Jonathan Pessin, who sold vintage goods at the now-defunct Appt Only. “It’s a very mantiques vibe,” Friend said.

In a few months, however, she expects her fledgling shop to look entirely different. Storefront will have handmade pottery by Victoria Morris and Friend's line of Parachute jumpsuits in addition to her flea market finds, all displayed with merchandise from a rotating roster of like-minded collectors. One thing that will remain the same: Friend’s affection for as-is pieces, particularly primitive work with great patina.

“I’m not going to powder-coat metal or refinish wood,” Friend said, pointing to a Thonet chair with a graffiti tag on its back. “I’ll leave that to the purchaser. The most beautiful things are perfect just the way I found them."

You can read my previous interview with Friend, about her set decoration for the Mike Mills film "Beginners.” And you can check out the opening party for Storefront, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at 801-½ Traction Ave., Los Angeles.

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