By Far Shuts Down Melrose Place for Opening Party With Bulgarian Sister Maria Bakalova

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Maybe not since 2005 when Marc Jacobs had a block party to open his Los Angeles store has Melrose Place been shut down in the name of fashion.

But such was the case Wednesday night, when By Far laid out a pink carpet on the street, and set an orange dinner table for 100 guests to celebrate its first retail boutique with actresses and influencers, including Talulah and Scout Willis, Delilah Belle Hamlin, Jaimie Alexander, Soko, Kitty Cash, Elsa Hosk and more.

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The digitally native affordable luxury accessories label that helped bring back the ’90’s tuck-under-your-arm bag, was launched in Bulgaria in 2016 by three cofounders — sisters Sabina Gyosheva, who is the chief executive officer, and Valentina Ignatova, who is the chief marketing officer, and their friend Denitsa Bumbarova, who is chief creative officer.

Denitsa Bumbarova, Maria Bakalova, Sabina Gyosheva and Valentina Ignatova. - Credit: Courtesy/Getty Images for BY FAR
Denitsa Bumbarova, Maria Bakalova, Sabina Gyosheva and Valentina Ignatova. - Credit: Courtesy/Getty Images for BY FAR

Courtesy/Getty Images for BY FAR

Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova, Oscar-nominated for her role in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” was the guest of honor, dressed in a sparkly pink set by Good American with her stylist Jessica Paster in tow. “I love a pair of pajamas,” she said of the easy glam look, paired with By Far boots.

At dinner, talk among the brand founders and their adopted Bulgarian sister turned to food, and the question of why one can’t find a banitsa pastry in L.A. Made with a mix of yogurt, cheese and filo, the secret ingredient is sparkling water, according to Bakalova, who said her mother makes it best. “I should start a business,” she joked of the banitsa-free zone.

Guests attend the By Far L.A. store opening party. - Credit: Courtesy/Getty Images for BY FAR
Guests attend the By Far L.A. store opening party. - Credit: Courtesy/Getty Images for BY FAR

Courtesy/Getty Images for BY FAR

Also at the soiree, stylist Mimi Cuttrell, who helped boost By Far’s business by introducing it to her influential clients Gigi and Bella Hadid.

Cuttrell became such good friends with the brand founders, she did a capsule collaboration with them that is in store now. “The only thing I regret is not being able to travel to the factories,” she said of designing the platforms, kitten sling-backs and mini bags while working during COVID-19 restrictions.

New mom Emma Roberts was wearing shoes and a bag from the collaboration, as well as a By Far belt. Her next project, “Abandoned,” out June 17, is a horror film that deals with postpartum depression, something she thankfully did not experience in real life.

Emma Roberts - Credit: Courtesy/Getty Images for BY FAR
Emma Roberts - Credit: Courtesy/Getty Images for BY FAR

Courtesy/Getty Images for BY FAR

The best part of a COVID-19 pregnancy during lockdown, was having even more time to read, said the cofounder of Belletrist, an online bookworm community. Her summer reading pick? “Everybody Thought We Were Crazy” about Dennis Hopper’s and Brooke Hayward’s stylish, wild, art-filled life in L.A. in the 1960s. “It’s like Eve Babitz came back from the grave,” she said of author Mark Rozzo’s voice.

After shopping and dinner, attention turned to the stage and the surprise performers — Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum and their Prince cover band, Princess. Taking the mics in minidresses and By Far go-go boots, they got the crowd on its well-heeled feet with their “Delirious” jam.

Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum of Princess perform at the By Far party. - Credit: Courtesy/Getty Images for BY FAR
Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum of Princess perform at the By Far party. - Credit: Courtesy/Getty Images for BY FAR

Courtesy/Getty Images for BY FAR

FOR MORE FROM WWD ON BY FAR, SEE: 

By Far Opens First Retail Store on Melrose Place in L.A.

Hollywood Stylist Mimi Cuttrell Designs Capsule for By Far

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