Say It With Me..."Departamento"
Various luxury boutiques are scattered all around our sunny Los Angeles, some of which are everything you’d assume a luxe shopping destination to be - others give you a different, fresher experience. Departamento is one of those other retailers. Walking into their new flagship location you’re greeted with an architecturally stimulating space (think art gallery meets dope boutique) along with their expertly curated mix of straight off the runway pieces, ready-to-wear and rare items that any real fashion lover would squeal over. Originally launched back in 2017 by Andrew Dryden and his business partner Joseph Quinones, the brand was initially a multi-layered styling service of sorts. Fast forward to present day and the duo has a quickly growing cult following and a brand spanking new shop in a mysterious new location (now open).
Don’t let the cool shop and high-profile clientele fool you though, Departamento is much more than a store or styling service. In a recent Vogue article Dryden was quoted explaining that “We need to be omni-channel in our thinking,” says Dryden. “We have our store, our website, our stylist business; we work with other e-commerce sites...by doing this, we’re not solely relying on one idea of retail.” As for being located via a coffee bar, he says, “We didn’t want a traditional storefront; we don’t see much value in that. If people want to experience the space, they have to come find us, come visit. L.A. is a destination-driven city.”
This is an important way of conceptualizing a retail based business in modern day. With online shopping experiences seemingly eliminating the need for store fronts, retailers need to get creative and be, as Dryden puts it, a destination or in other words, more than just an errand to check off your to-do list.