Just One Eye: L.A.'s Coolest Concept Shop
Move over Opening Ceremony, there's a new concept store in town. Just like that annoyingly cool, untouchable cross-town rival archetype you'd find in the movies, Just One Eye seems to be everything Opening Ceremony wishes it could be. The uber-luxe boutique/art gallery is the brainchild of Tunisian-born Paola Russo, the former fashion director of Maxfield who landed in L.A. around 30 years ago from Southern France. Russo’s visionary philosophy is rooted in the spirit of marrying otherwise separate aesthetic fields to create unparalleled, highly-curated fashion collections.
Of course, situating the concept shop in Beverly Hills or West Hollywood would make it too easy for just any layperson to wander into. In fact, with no storefront window or overt signage, it’s nearly impossible to stumble into unsolicited. Once customers do find the security-guarded entrance tucked away in a small street near La Brea, they enter through a side door and are escorted down a long, minimalist, hallway and past heavy *fireproof* metal doors - until finally, the white walls and high ceilings of the main retail space appear.
The boutique is of course adequately equipped with the latest luxury collections, (think Proenza, Valentino, Gucci) but believe it or not, those brands cower in the shadows compared to the rarer finds offered in the store. The walls are lined with epic art from huge contemporary artists like Damien Hurst and Takashi Murakami, while the floors are filled with just as spectacular sculptures, vintage furniture, and more. Even the dressing rooms are works of art:
Upon musing over the gallery-like space, it becomes apparent what makes Just One Eye so incredibly unique - it's the unlikely partnerships that Russo forms and oversees with both designers and artists alike. Among the most well-known of the collaborations is that of Damien Hirst and the Olson twins. The product? A collection of $55,000 (each) patent black, crocodile backpacks, each unique with Hirst's adornments.
Also featured is a union between artist Nate Lowman and Converse (his trademark footwear of choice), in which he literally sliced up one of his paintings to mount on a pair of white high top sneakers.
The absurd luxury of this place can't be fully appreciated without mentioning Russo's latest project: a $12,000 "survival kit." Russo actually teamed up with U.S. Navy Seals to incorporate state of the art equipment including a night vision monocle...and a cashmere blanket. Because at the end of the day, when the Apocalypse hits, fashion will be all that matters.
Just One Eye certainly isn't a place we'd drop our hard-earned cash for new wardrobe finds, but we definitely recommend making your way to this space for an experience that equates with viewing rare artifacts.
700 Romaine Street, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Contributed by Sophia Arbess