- 1 / 8
The creative consultant travels the world sourcing textile inspiration for clients like Oscar de la Renta and Tory Burch, as documented on her popular Instagram feed. Those looking to re-create her vibrant, more-is-more aesthetic at home can do so via her online store, Kneeland Mercado. (Photo: Jeana Sohn)
Years lived in L.A.: 13
Café hangout: Semi-Tropic, a newish coffee and tea bar in my neighborhood of Echo Park. It’s a great place to meet friends or have meetings in a low-key environment.
Style muses: I’ve always been drawn to individuals who dress for themselves and don’t follow trends too much. My forever muses include Frida Kahlo, Jane Birkin, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Chloë Sevigny, and Kate Moss, to name a few.
Motto: Always stay true to yourself.
Hidden gem: Inaka, a really delicious Japanese restaurant that serves macrobiotic food. It’s in a very unassuming location in West Hollywood, and I visit whenever I’m craving something cozy and nourishing. Their fish soup with noodles is my absolute favorite.
Local beauty secret: I’m a fan of Alexis Smart Flower Remedies. Alexis has been blending flower remedies for 13 years, and I go to her whenever I’m feeling out of sorts, either physically or emotionally.
L.A. uniform: Either high-waisted vintage Levi’s with perfectly worn T-shirts (usually Isabel Marant or vintage) or colorful dresses, worn with heels, flats, or sneakers, depending on my mood.
Favorite shop: I love my friend Elizabeth’s vintage shop, Collection. She has an incredible eye, and I’m always scoring stellar vintage pieces like Perry Ellis pinstripe suits or the perfect Levi’s. I also love shopping at A Current Affair, the vintage shopping event that takes place twice a year. I usually buy a lot of Indian dresses there.
Place to get inspired: LACMA keeps getting better and better.
Favorite only-in-L.A. place: Hollywood Forever Cemetery is a very well-maintained and manicured cemetery that is not only the location for Cinespia, a weekend-only summertime movie screening event where Angelenos can have a picnic in the cemetery while watching epic films, but it also hosts live, intimate concerts by some of my favorite musicians and performers such as Mazzy Star and Karen O.
The best thing about living in L.A. is … being a part of a creative community that is supportive and inspiring. And the weather is tough to beat.
- 2 / 8
The L.A. native and cheerleader (via her envy-inducing blog, L.A. in Bloom) was a gallerist (she ran Taylor de Cordoba in Culver City with her husband, Alex de Cordoba) before switching gears to start her linens line, Heather Taylor Home. Hand-loomed and embroidered in Mexico, her tablecloths, napkins, placemats, and scarves have a bohemian je ne sais quoi that epitomizes the entertaining style of the city. (Photo: Jeana Sohn)
Hometown: Los Angeles
Years lived in L.A.: My whole life, less two years in my early 20s, when I lived in New York.
Style muse: Frida Kahlo.
Motto: Create a home within yourself.
Café hangout: I’m a regular at the neighborhood favorite Joan’s on Third, where I always order a cappuccino and their soft-boiled egg with toast. It’s simple and perfect.
Favorite hidden gem: I love this gourmet market called Canyon Gourmet in Topanga Canyon. It’s owned by Danielle King and Peter Kagan, an extremely chic couple, who stock everything from the best wine and healthy snacks to Paris Vogue. It’s the best place to stop in for a snack after hiking in the Santa Monica mountains.
Local beauty secret: There’s this gorgeous boutique on Melrose Place called Violet Grey, where they stock a small selection of items from all the best beauty lines. All the merchandise is hand-picked by top makeup artists, so even though the shop is tiny, everything they carry feels like a treasure.
L.A. uniform: White jeans, light blue oxford, Heather Taylor Home cobalt dot scarf, and Birks.
Favorite place to shop: I head to Clare V. in West Hollywood to stock up on the the designer’s eponymous line of bags, the softest sweatshirts, and jewelry by some of my favorite L.A.-based designers including Grace Lee, Maya Brenner and Annie Costello Brown. It’s also the only place where one can purchase the divine Chateau Marmont candle, a scent that is classic L.A.
Favorite place to get inspired: One of my favorite things about LA is leaving it from time to time. Escaping town for a weekend of hiking and relaxing in the nearby city of Ojai is the best way for me to recharge and get inspired. It feels like the Italian countryside, only a lot closer to home.
Favorite weird only-in-L.A. place: The Silent Movie Theatre.
The best thing about living in L.A. is … the dependable, perfect climate. It’s the most expected answer but also the truest.
- 3 / 8
A sort of queen bee of Echo Park — the hip east-side neighborhood that lends its name to the biannual craft fair she co-founded — Valenzuela was a makeup artist before launching her line of made-in-Mexico accessories. The EPCF is now so popular (it’s less ragtag flea market than street-style gold mine) that it’s had to move to a larger space one neighborhood over in Silver Lake. (Photo: Nancy Neil)
Hometown: I’ve lived all over the world, so Echo Park, Los Angeles, is my hometown. Though I lived in Mexico City when I was a little girl for six years.
Years lived in L.A.: Twelve years, which is the longest I’ve lived anywhere.
Style muse: My daughter Astrid. She is almost 7 years old. I love the way she dresses herself. There’s no fear.
Motto: We can all have it!
Café hangout: I love the sorrel pesto rice bowl at Sqirl.
Hidden gem: The Cactus Store in Echo Park. They have very rare cacti in terra cotta pots. It’s beautifully done. It’s really something to behold.
L.A. beauty secret: Ramirez Tran salon.
L.A. uniform: Most of my clothes are designed by my friends and colleagues like Rachel Craven, Pietsie, Black Crane, and vintage from Passenger and Collection, paired with my everyday BV sandalias — all of which you can find at the Echo Park Craft Fair.
Favorite place to shop: The Echo Park Craft Fair. Over 100 of my favorite designers under one roof.
Favorite place to get inspired: We recently got a piece of land in Pioneertown and have a little trailer there. We cook, look at books and magazines, and get recharged. The simple beauty of the landscape inspires me in a really deep way.
Favorite only-in-L.A. place: If you’re a cook or just want to give making tamales a try, get your masa in Boyle Heights. I don’t know the name of the market, but they are next door to Guisados and make fresh masa daily. It’s delicious.
The best thing about living in L.A. is … having so many different cultures living together. One is able to live such a full life from this diversity. I feel so lucky to be able to eat authentic Korean food or delicious Mexican handmade quesadillas.
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- 4 / 8
Hometown: New York City
Years lived in L.A.: 22
Café hangout: I love to visit with friends at Moon Juice in Silverlake, where I’ll have a custom blend of Gracious Greens + Cilantro Celery Punch. If I’m on the west side, Gjusta for hibiscus tea, smoked trout, and arugula salad.
Style muse: Benedetta Barzini.
Motto: Keep it simple.
Favorite hidden gem: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens in Claremont; more than 6,000 native plants. It doesn’t get more local.
L.A. beauty secret: Super Natural Serum; Faceology by Narayan Beauty; Natura Korean Spa for steam, soak, and scrub; and I love the newly opened The Now Spa.
L.A. uniform: Right now, the palette is predominantly white, gray, and sage.
Favorite place to shop: I do most of my shopping twice a year at the Echo Park Craft Fair. It has most of my favorite brands and makers under one roof.
Favorite weird only-in-L.A. place: Pacific Dining Car.
The best thing about living in L.A. is … weather, space, and city living in nature.
- 5 / 8
Few fashion folk on either coast inspire as much life envy as the model turned fashion designer, who keeps her cult line of sustainable wardrobe essentials small so that she can spend summers and holidays surfing (and staying offline like it’s 1999) in Panama. There, she and her scientist-entrepreneur husband built a Donald Judd-inspired, off-the-grid modern house that’s the stuff of Instagram dreams. (So too are Kamm’s perpetually sold-out, ultra-high-waisted Sailor pants). (Photo: Tom Slack)
Hometown: Highland, Ill.
Years lived in L.A.: 17
Style muse: It’s all about Bowie.
Motto: Freedom is wealth.
Café hangout: I wish I had time to hang out in a café. I love an iced coffee from Lamill to go.
Favorite hidden gem: Collection on Sunset — great vintage.
L.A. beauty secret: Ruth’s Skincare on Melrose for the best Russian facial.
L.A. uniform: Sailor pants, button-down, sunglasses, hat.
Favorite place to shop: The Rose Bowl flea market.
Inspiration destination: The beach, from Huntington to Ventura.
Favorite weird only-in-L.A. place: Beverly Hills is the weirdest!
The best thing about living in L.A. is … the weather, the garment district, the history, the sea.
- 6 / 8
An art and design writer — and arbiter of avant-garde style via her visual blog I’m Revolting — Wu is a reliable (and striking) presence in Comme des Garçons on L.A.’s burgeoning gallery scene. She recently branched into retail as a co-founder of Tetra, the online shop for high-design smoking accessories; her Pinterest following is approaching half a million. (Photo: Michael A. Muller)
Hometown: Central Valley, Calif.
Years lived in L.A.: 6
Style muses: Tina Chow, Jenny Shimizu, Rei Kawakubo, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Pina Bausch.
Café hangout: Daily Dose for the yerba mate latte and egg sandwich.
Hidden gem: The wild poppy preserve north of the city for the brief blooming period every year because there’s nothing quite as indulgent and funereal as lying motionless in the middle of a hillside of black-and-orange flowers, thinking about how waxen you must look, and because if you drop something beneath the clustered ground cover, it is probably lost forever.
L.A. beauty secret: Salt water from the ocean is gross and cold and full of heavy metals and cures almost everything, including flat hair, forgotten wounds, and fatigue.
L.A. uniform: Building Block bag, vintage ’90s clothes (currently Matsuda and A.F. Vandevorst pants in rotation), L.A. Eyeworks sunglasses, a Comme des Garçons cropped trench or lumpy motorcycle jacket.
Favorite place to shop: The workshop area of IKO IKO/Building Block for experiments and future seasons. And even on days when the sun is too hot or the rain is too wet, I love shopping at the Rose Bowl.
Favorite place to get inspired: I feel like I’m always running late for everything because I’m trying to stop in a gallery on the way. In other words, blame it on Blum & Poe.
Favorite only-in-L.A. place: I love the failed utopianism of Los Angeles, all this built evidence of foolhardiness in the face of ideas. The Schindler House, my favorite, was created by a misanthrope whose serious communist leanings nonetheless led him to somehow believe that four adults could live together without causing damage to one another, each in their own sparsely appointed concrete studio wing, and that they could sleep on the roof in baskets in a place that never rains.
The best thing about living in L.A. is … The best thing comes from the worst, of course: the traffic, the brutal traffic, frustrates the attempt to completely control your own movement; it forces a sense of casualness about time and life.
- 7 / 8
The creative consultant is an emerging fashion-world girl crush in her own right, with a look that recalls a young Joan Didion. Her Instagram and Pinterest followings include some of the most influential art directors and stylists working today. Photo: Lauren Pisano
Hometown: The woods in Wisconsin.
Years lived in L.A.: 6
Café hangout: Sqirl or Cafe Stella. Both are incredible. Proof has my favorite coffee.
Style muses: Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Diane Keaton, Parker Posey.
Motto: I’m OK, you’re OK.
Hidden gem: Vinh Loi Tofu — it’s so hidden, I actually don’t remember where in the valley it is. The owner is an insane athlete, some sort of marathon athlete. He has endless variations of banh mi and pho, very weird and special.
L.A. beauty secret : Alexis Smart Flower Remedies. I’m currently between remedies; they are like little focused programs. I need to start a new one. Also, we are all slathering ourselves in coconut oil, but I don’t think that is L.A.-specific.
L.A. uniform: A.P.C. Jeans, a white T-shirt, and Martiniano flats or MNZ loafers.
Favorite place to shop: Collection for vintage. The best Levi’s mixed with some romance in the form of vintage Prada, Kamali, and Manolos.
Favorite place to get inspired: The Art Center Library. You can make friends with college students too!
Favorite only-in-L.A. place: The Self Realization Center in the Palisades.
The best thing about living in L.A. is … sunlight.
- 8 / 8
As co-owner and buyer, with her husband, Kevin, of seminal Silver Lake boutique Mohawk General Store, Carney has been instrumental in helping to define the new east-side L.A. style, pushing an aesthetic that’s less hipster-grunge, more Paris-comes-to-Cali. The shop — which carries brands like Dries van Noten and Jacquemus alongside local favorites like Jesse Kamm — has been so successful that it spawned a larger second space in the unlikeliest of locations: quaint Pasadena.
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Years lived in L.A.: 8
Café hangout: Cafe Stella.
Style muse: Caroline Bessette Kennedy
Motto: Life is too short to be stressed.
Hidden gem: Tomoko spa is a luxury Japanese spa. You can go with your husband.
L.A. beauty secret: My Korean facial lady Sunny at Eve Skin.
L.A. uniform: Vintage Levi’s, white sneakers, and a black or navy cashmere sweater.
Favorite place to shop: California Cactus Center for strange new plants.
Favorite place to get inspired: On secluded hikes.
Favorite only-in-L.A. place: Sound baths and healing at the House of Intuition.
The best thing about living in L.A. is … the diversity and freedom. You can be in any environment you choose within a couple hours.
Manhattan may be the center of the American fashion industry, but lately — whether because of the digital democratization of good taste or New York’s rising rents — Los Angeles has become a hotbed of style. And this new breed of SoCal style-setters has little in common with the mainstream T-shirt and denim brands the city churns out, nor do they engage much in the hoopla of Hollywood. But their casual (yet undeniably chic) approach to style and life — breezy layers and bold jewelry, worn in settings featuring vibrantly colorful food and flowers — is influencing designers and Instagrammers across the globe. Led by fashion luminaries like jewelry designer Sophie Buhai (who returned to her hometown from New York after closing the fashion brand she co-founded, Vena Cava), her elementary-school pal Jenni Kayne (whose elegant eponymous line and lifestyle boutiques come to life on her blog, Rip+Tan, and beloved bag designer Clare Vivier, this new wave of women juggle multiple fashionable careers and sport sizable social-media followings. Here, eight stylish Angelenos to follow now.