Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Real Rock Star Style from the Sunset Strip for Real Folks.

By Laura Medina


If you go to the Sunset Strip, that strip of Sunset Boulevard between Doheny (that marks the border line at Beverly Hills proper) to Laurel Canyon (where it Hollywood starts) where legendary, career-breaking/making nightclubs clog "the strip," is undergoing a lot of transformation...and traffic-snarling traffic.

Sunset Strip folks and West Hollywood resident just shrug their shoulders and call it a normal progression of the Strip where being progressive is a normal course of life there.

Despite that change, there is that stalwart "Rock Star" look, which isn't surprising since a majority of musicians have either landed there or nested above the Strip, up in the Hollywood Hills then called the Strip home.

So, it make senses that they shop down to the Sunset Strip for their clothing gear, a few steps down.

KIN Los Angeles has around for eleven years and seen the changes immediately.  They're across the street from the West Hollywood H&M.  They're in the midst of a major hotel construction boom that clog Sunset Strip traffic; but they know they're in a prime real estate, 8555 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069.  Once the new mega-hotel is up & running, KIN hopes they'll benefit from all those visitors and tourists.  They're pretty zen about being a destination boutique at 8555 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069

The general manager, Siera, is pretty sage about the changes happening to the Strip now.  She and her tight crew of sales staff/buyers know if they can tolerate the major traffic snarl for now, big things are going to happen to KIN and all those potential visitors will discover KIN Boutique and all the unique, progressive fashion and style that KIN has to offer.

The insightful Siera is pretty hip enough to predict what people want, since she got her start at KIN's website, studying the buying habits and analytics (what educated marketers call demographics and psycho-demographics) based on existing shoppers' preference and behavior.  Due to her sensibility, Siera was promoted to be the general manager and head buyer, adjusting to the shoppers' changing tastes, buying the hottest and the latest from New York and Europe while still representing that Sunset Strip Rock Star style.

As a recent college graduate, Siera is aware that Los Angeles' biggest H&M store is across the street.  Like most Gen-Yers and her fellow staff, she knows that people her age and older, more budget-conscious folks are cost-aware.  Here's her simple formula without busting the bank, buy your basics at H&M then shop at KIN for your statement pieces that best represents this season's trends at the most progressive style in premium fabric with quality stitching.

Here are Siera's style tips.  Remember, trends may come and go but style is forever.

If you want statement pieces that will become investment pieces, look no further than KIN.

Siera's style tips...


You can't go wrong with a leather motorcycle/motocross/scooter/biker jacket, thanks to Marlon Brando in the iconic Americana bad boy movie, "The Wild One."  Whether it be a simple white tee or tank top, slipping on a black motorcycle jacket is instant hip style.

Today's and future motorcycle jacket is still black but in mixed-media where the the torso body is still classic black motorcycle jacket...in black leather with snap-button patch pockets and zippered pockets doubling as a wallet and purse...but the sleeves are knitted for better adjustments, feel, fit, and should and arm movement.  Siera would invest in that then save on the other stuff.

It is the details that make or break a clothing.  You can see it at KIN Los Angeles.  What simply appears as a basic tank or camisole, it's the details that makes it special enough to make it a wardrobe staple that you will wear the heck out of, for a good five years.

KIN Los Angeles' shoppers are a pretty educated, cultured bunch, enough to be branded as "influencers."  Too bad a white "Victorian" blouse, from Derek Lam's last Spring/Summer 2015 collection is no longer being manufactured.  It's Siera's "go-to" blouse.  From a distance, it appears to be a plain, classic...traditional...white, button-down blouse.  However, up close, it has historical Antebellum Victorian sleeves with braided, peek-a-boo banded cut-out sleeves that real Victorians used to do to be "flirty risque."  For us twenty-first century folks, we call "subversively suggestive."  Who would had thought a basic white shirt would be "steam-punk."  The folks at KIN Los Angeles did.

As a trend-forecaster...with common sense...Siera knew that women have been mushing their feet in sky-high silhouette high-heels for a good five years, due to Lady Gaga's theatrical flair.  Thanks to that, women's feet are mush now.

God bless Isabel Marat for designing the ultra-comfy wedge sneaker.  Thanks to Isabel's ingenious, this enables Siera to be "cool hip," where common sense meets style.  Siera advised you don't have to kill your wallet or your tendons to be hip.

This current Fall/Winter season has a cool and comfortable array of ultra-fashionable sneakers and high-tops that an Hollywood Hills star and hipster can literally walk down the hills in.


True fashionistas know nothing goes out of style.  They'll come back, sooner or later.  Real fashionistas are hoarders.   In NU Denmark's case, it's the revival in Nordic/Viking heritage, thanks to the History Channel's hit "Vikings" and don't forget HBO's "Game of Thrones."

Nu Denmark calls itself, "Fashion for the raw and sophisticated Woman."  The rough and rumbled "warrior woman" look of a "Valkyrie" (a female viking warrior) and the Gothic nobility of "Game of Thrones" noble ladies are re-tooled for the twenty-first century at NU Denmark.

Expected a lot of fashion history for today's streetwear at reasonable prices.


Rock stars and musicians and the fans who emulate them, like spangles.  Move over sequins, the bedazzlement has move onto studs, no different from Byzantine beading.

Yep, there is still a lot of luxurious faux furs...in black.  Black leather, slouchy ankle warmers for the incoming El Nino, to slip over your existing closet of heels, turning them into impromptu booties.  

What's cool about using Viking/Nordic chain mail is that they make great double-duty strands of chain necklaces-slash-shawl.

Another cool item is Los Angeles' idea of year-around wear, a white tank top that's plain white business on the front then sequin firebird with a plunging keyhole in the back.  You can switch it around for that naughty, rock babe look for the Grammys or New Year's Eve.

What's the coolest thing about NU Denmark?  The prices.  Majority of the stuff, considering the craftmanship and handiwork, are reasonably within reach, rarely reaching beyond $350 for a Byzantine beaded blazer.  Not only will NU Denmark give H&M a run for their money, H&M probably knocks off them in return.  For the same price for the real deal, get the original at NU Denmark.

The craftsmanship and handiwork are so true to sturdy Viking and Gothic lacing and braiding and stitching, that you will set the trend when you return home with goodies from NU Denmark and KIN Los Angeles. 

Paying homage to the neighborhood's heritage, NU Denmark used it's second floor landing as a mini-concert stage.  No Darlings performing a mini-set at the grand opening.

Both KIN and NU Denmark share similar ethos, "Shop new fashion clothes before it becomes mainstream."  Once the major hotel construction is done and it's up & running, tourists should keep this in mind, once they hit the Sunset Strip.  Being the first to wear the hottest fashion before anyone else as souvenirs.  You'll make everyone jealous in your hometown.

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