A Guide to the LA Fashion District

girlWhether you’re a native Angeleno or just visiting the city, most people have at least heard of the notorious LA Fashion District, which consists of more than 1,000 stores situated on approximately 90 blocks that carry over 4,500 apparel and accessory lines. Standard retail hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with two-thirds of the stores closed on Sunday. It’s always a good idea to carry cash on you, although a good amount of the shops do accept debit and credit cards (but if you’re looking to bargain for that faux Fendi bag, you’ll want to have cash just in case). Check out this detailed breakdown of the entire district to satisfy all of your shopping needs:

Santee Alley-Located on Olympic Boulevard between Santee Street and Maple Avenue, this is the place to go for cheap goods and knock-off Gucci and Chanel bags. If you’re multilingual, this is definitely the place for you, as you’ll find garment vendors conversant in everything from Russian to German to Spanish. From cheap jewelry to Forever 21-type clothing and accessories to bling necklaces with racy taglines like “Cocaine and Caviar”, there isn’t anything you won’t find here. You either love or hate the alley, but the truth is that we all find ourselves here at some point in time.

The European Corridor- Think Rodeo Drive but with much lower prices. Located on Pico Boulevard between Main and Santee Streets, a majority of the merchandise here is imported from Europe. Italian suits, French dress shoes, evening gowns and so forth, this place offers killer deals at 30 to 40 percent off the original retail price.

The Intersection– At 9th and Los Angeles Street, this place is home to five market weeks every year and houses the California Market Center, Cooper Design Space, Gerry Building and The New Mart. The only catch is that these garment wholesalers aren’t open to the public unless you have a retail license, so if you can’t tag along with a friend who does, you can still show up to the sample sales on the last Friday of every month that are open to the public, although be aware that the sizes at these sales are pretty small (size 6 or under).

Menswear District– Situated between 7th and 9th Street, this is the place to go to satisfy all your suit, tie and shoe needs  at a major discount so you can look the part for a quarter of the price.

The Flower Market– From silk flowers to lilies and orchids, this is a botanical paradise. Founded in 1913 and located between 7th and 8th on Wall Street, this indoor market offers every variety of flower that you can imagine – at razor sharp deals. The ideal place to go when you need a last minute bouquet or a centerpiece that is guaranteed to impress. In addition to the indoor market (which charges a small admission fee), you can also check out the individual stores that line the streets or visit some of the custom shops for more specific orders, like floral exotics and special arrangements.

Other– Just because you didn’t read about it on the above list doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. You can also find kid’s wear and school uniforms (San Julian and 11th Street), toy dealers (between 3rd and 5th Street and Los Angeles and San Pedro Streets), bridal (Maple Avenue and Los Angeles Street, among others), jewelry (between 5th and 8th Street) as well as fabric and textiles (between Maple Avenue and San Julian Street).

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