How Platform Is Restructuring Los Angeles’ Retail Experience

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Platform at night

STEPPING ONTO THE PLATFORM

NESTLED AMONG POWER PLAYERS such as Sony Pictures, Apple Beats and Smashbox Studios lies Platform, a unique convergence of fashion, culinary talent and creative companies spread out over four acres in Culver City’s Hayden Tract neighborhood. The development certainly lives up to its name: it is both a platform for its artisanal, boutique brands and restaurants, and located by an actual platform, the Metro Expo Line’s Culver City Station.

As conceived by realtors David Fishbein and Joseph Miller, Platform—a former used car dealership in the 1960s—is a place where Angelenos and tourists alike go to procure items they couldn’t find anywhere else in L.A. You’ll notice this right off the bat as you’re greeted with local artist Jen Stark’s dripping rainbow façade murals, appropriate pieces for the progressive City of Angels.

The entire design looks amazing, in fact, lending the space some extra street cred from Culver City-based firm Teiger Architects. Platform is industrial chic, yet somehow intimate, thanks to its roughhewn wood, concrete slab floors and walls, floor-to-ceiling windows, and metal shipping containers nestled amid a topiary wonderland of cacti, towering trees and florals.

It’s an all-in-one destination for shopping, dining and doing (thanks to SoulCycle, which has its West Coast headquarters here). Each of the stores at Platform is one-of-a-kind, carrying hand-selected brands that cater to customers who appreciate fashion, individuality, quality and indie cool. PLATFORMatNight-1008

Retailers include menswear brand Magasin, which sells exclusive, relaxed, tailored clothing from Italian and Japanese designers, as well as limited-edition pieces and collaborations; Bird, a highly-curated boutique from Brooklyn; The Edit, a collaboration between Janessa Leone hats and Freda Salvador shoes; Linda Farrow, a London-based luxury eyewear brand; Los Angeles’ laid-back luxury casuals line, Velvet; progressive L.A.-based men’s and womenswear label Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen; and The Shop, a full lifestyle concept featuring fashion, homeware and a café. Other resident boutiques include the design-driven Poketo, which sells stationery, housewares, apparel and accessories; the upscale children’s store Rabbit Ladders; and British home décor and lighting guru Tom Dixon.

Platform features edited experiences like popups, installations and culinary partnerships, too. Current tenants are Reformation, the sustainable, cult-following clothing brand by Yael Afalo (Platform is also corporate headquarters for the brand); Salt Surf, a surf apparel and lifestyle brand.

Platform is industrial chic, yet somehow intimate.

Stay by by Spring Street Social Society, a boutique curated by cultural tastemakers Patrick Janelle and Amy Virginia; and the first pop-up from Cynthia Rowley, with her eponymous womenswear label, beauty, fragrance, eyewear and interiors. New tenants arriving this fall include denim line DSTLD and fine jewelry Anna Sheffield.

When it comes to the food concepts at Platform, all are impressive and award-winning in their own right. However, when combined, they make up a walkable culinary destination where visitors can spend an entire day tasting incredible—and incredibly diverse—food. It is home to Sao, a spot dedicated to bowls and smoothies made from Brazilian acai and pitaya fruits; Blue Bottle, an artisanal coffee roaster; The Lab by Sweetgreen, an exclusive concept from Washington D.C.-based eatery Sweetgreen that includes a test kitchen; The Butcher Shop by Cannibal, a full-service butcher shop featuring specialty cuts of meat and charcuterie alongside select beer and wine; The Cannibal, a meat-centric full-service restaurant with an award-winning beer list courtesy of Christian Pappanicholas and Cory Lane; Loqui, an eatery from Tartine Bakery’s former head baker, specializing in handmade tortillas and Bajastyle tacos; and Juice Served Here, a mecca for cold-pressed, raw and organic juices. The newest addition to Platform’s roster, Hayden, opened in July and focuses on California seasonal ingredients through a Japanese lens.

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The all-day canteen courtesy of James Beard Rising Star Chef nominee Ari Kolender is simple but high-end, which can be seen in everything from its custom woodwork and ceramic flatware to its Italian marble bar. The restaurant also incorporated lighting and furniture from neighbor Tom Dixon, which complements the simple and cozy fare—creating a neighborhood joint where you can grab waffles and Vittorio coffee in the morning and oysters with wine in the evening.

The Hayden Tract is full of entrepreneurs and artists… a gathering space for all of these people to come together and enjoy a great meal and an incredible bottle of wine any time of day. —Ari Koldener

Wellness options are rife, as well. In addition to SoulCycle, the upscale nail bar Tenoverten, is stationed here—and it just announced a collaboration with Christian Louboutin beauty. Aesop is another luxurious feature: a progressive, Australiabased apothecary brand of superlative products for the skin, hair and body. Most importantly, frequent visitors to Platform—a.k.a. the folks that fall in love with what the unique development is throwing down—can join “Platform Selects,” a VIP incentives program with exciting privileges for its members. You’ll surely want in on that action because this cool new venue offers true one-stop shopping for everything your hipster heart desires.

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