The location for Thirteen Lune's first standalone store is anything but random. Opening on Larchmont Blvd. in Los Angeles wasn't even a strategic business choice, though the area has become a beauty destination in recent years. It's much more personal than that: Co-founder Nyakio Grieco lives in the neighborhood, Larchmont Village, raises her kids there and even founded her beauty brand, Relevant, right on the store's very street in 2020 while social distancing.
"I really feel like we manifested it," Grieco says of the empty space she walked by every day to grab coffee. "This is a brand born on Larchmont, and the support of this community has been a part of the process of developing a brand." She co-founded beauty e-comm destination Thirteen Lune in 2020 with Patrick Herning, who is also the founder of plus-size retail platform 11 Honoré.
The store, which opened its doors to the public on Friday, is technically Thirteen Lune's 601st outpost. But 600 of those stores are shop-in-shops in JCPenney locations across the country. In this larger, freestanding 1,700 sq. ft. outpost, Grieco is able to bring even more emerging and BIPOC-founded brands to the brick-and-mortar shopping experience.
When you walk into the store, you can tell right away it's unlike others in the area — or anywhere, really. It shies away from the neutral trend that's happening right now and instead skews more inviting, with loads of color and texture. Picture the opposite of Kim Kardashian's beige-covered home.
The store was designed by local interior designer Brigitte Romanek, whose star-studded client list includes Beyoncé, Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow and Joe Jonas. Keeping with the local theme, Grieco's artist husband, David, provided some of the store's artwork, along with other Larchmont residents.
To the left of the entrance is an inviting lounge space, complete with an oversized sofa, which Grieco says was intentional because she wants "people to come and hang out." Across from the lounge area is a set-up for Relevant with a larger-than-life perfume bottle replica, a photo of Grieco and products displayed on clear neon pillars.
This isn't the only brand that gets a dedicated section. Pattern by Tracee Ellis Ross, CTZN, Ranu, Inala, and By Rosie Jane are all what Grieco calls "brands-in-residence," and have distinctive spaces throughout the store for a more experimental moment. I can see many Instagram stories happening in front of Pattern's round mirror, which is emblazoned with "Sometimes it's just all about the hair."
These highlighted brands will change, but will still be available in the store, along with more than 100 other beauty and wellness companies. Ninety percent of Thirteen Lune's brands, both in-store and online, are BIPOC-founded, with the other 10% being touted as "ally brands," or by brand founders who have supported Grieco's mission since the start, such as Goop, by her friend Gwyneth Paltrow, who was an early investor in Thirteen Lune.
At the center of the store is a smattering of beauty products divided by brand, lined up with samples set out to play and discover. In true L.A. fashion, they sit beneath flowers and crystals on a shelf. Customers will find up-and-coming brands, such as Ami Colé and Axiology, alongside ones that may be more well-known to customers, like Freck and RMS.
Along the right wall are wellness items such as Maude sex toys and Movita vitamins, plus skin care from Joanna Vargas and beauty tools from Luce. Keep walking toward the back, and you'll bump into a flower outpost from actress and florist Abigail Spencer's brand, County Line Florals. The phrase "one-stop shop" is overused, but this store really could knock out a handful of errands at once.
Heading more toward the back of the store is another shop-in-shop, or salon, in this case. Damōne Roberts closed his Beverly Hills studio to open inside Thirteen Lune, where he'll be offering his eyebrow shaping services, the same ones Rihanna and Tracee Ellis Ross get on the regular. (He's not called the "Hollywood's Eyebrow King" for nothing.) His brow products are also sold in the store. And yes, he's a local resident, too.
Behind Roberts' two chairs and product display is a closed-off, curtained section, which Grieco says will be room for even more beauty services in the near future.
"It's a full-service community experience," she tells Fashionista. "We wanted to not only be a space of discovery, but not your typical beauty store. Many of these brands are seeing shelf space for the first time." Grieco plans to host events in the store, like panels, shopping nights and "community nights" to "make this a place where we all really just take care of each other."
When I went to the cash wrap to check out (I got Roberts' Brow Shadow and a re-up of my favorite Ami Colé Lip Treatment Oil), I noticed even more items I had missed. There are various face masks to add to your order, as well as Glosshood Holyyy Glossbalm (another personal favorite) and locally made jewelry from designer Mara Scalise. You could spend hours in the store and still discover something new.
That sense of IRL exploration was Grieco's plan even when she started the e-commerce site during a time when almost all retail was closed because of Covid-19 and no one knew if stores would ever come back the same way. "You manifest and you dream big," she says. "The possibilities are endless."
Thirteen Lune opens on Friday at 120 N Larchmont Blvd. Los Angeles, CA. Get a first look inside below.
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