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Please Do Not Enter: A New Retail Concept Store

LOCAL BUZZJoin us in our ongoing Local Buzz feature, where each Friday we bring you the story on an exciting business or event neighboring us here in the ever-inspiring Los Angeles Fashion District. Today, we explore Please Do Not Enter, a brand new retail concept store featuring a rotating selection of unconventional global artists.

April of 2014 marked the opening of Please Do Not Enter, a luxury retail concept store founded by Nicolas Libert and Emmanuel Renoird housed in downtown Los Angeles’ historic PacMutual building. We had the opportunity to talk with Nicolas and Emmanuel to hear the inspiration behind the space as well as to learn about some of the most unique, up-and-coming global artists presenting exciting ideas in innovative mediums.

Rather than focusing on individual sectors such as art, design or apparel as many retail shops do, at Please Do Not Enter, all are curated and merchandised together, much in the same way our homes or private spaces would be. As Nicolas explained, you don’t have one room in your house for fashion, a separate for art, and so on; thus there is merit in retail spaces which combine all elements in aspirational ways. The result is that an entire lifestyle is presented, one that highlights expert craftsmanship, modern yet timeless living and whimisical perspective. From furniture to fragrance, it is a place to be inspired. The inspiration is constantly innovating; Nicolas and Emmanuel keep the selection of various artists and designers in rotation, always seeking out the latest finds. While somewhat partial to their home of France, currently represented are selections from Poland, Japan, Belgium, Italy and more.

One highlight at Please Do Not Enter was high-end fashion brand Misericordia (translated as merciful), developed by the traveling artist Aurelyen whose affinity for Peru led him to develop both a brand, and a manufacturing workshop in the country. The employees are locals who are taught new technical skills and how to be self-sustaining, making it not just a luxury brand but a social development movement as well. Employees are encouraged to adopt “Manos, Espiritu y Corazon” as their motto, meaning, “we work with our hands, our spirit and our heart.”

Another unique highlight at Please Do Not Enter was the work of Monika Jarosz in her accessory line Kobja. Her love for animals and awareness of the overpopulation of toads in Australia led her to import the carcasses and develop them into belts, handbags, small pouches and more. Rather than the toads be destroyed they are recycled and preserved in her designs, which undergo 14 different stages of tanning and taxidermy to result in the highest quality leather. While at first the accessories are somewhat alarming, appreciation and fascination grows as you continue to study them.

Because each contribution has its own special story, Nicolas and Emmanuel request that appointments be made when visiting Please Do Not Enter. This allows them to graciously welcome all of their guests and give them a personal tour while explaining the magic behind the pieces they have curated; they are very excited to do so.

As DTLA establishes itself as a new mecca for luxury lifestyle (think the recent additions of Ace Hotel and the Acne Studios flagship joining the ranks of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Walt Disney Concert Hall), it is clear Please Do Not Enter will be an important addition to and contender in this landscape. In many ways, it is all quite opposite the fast fashion and trend hype we are immersed in as wholesale buyers and vendors here at LAShowroom. However, due to fashion’s cyclical nature which always sees diffusion from high to low as part of the established trickle-down theory it is always important to notice what is going on in all countries, across all price categories. If we are truly passionate about our trade, we must serve to be inspired by all its methods and modes from low end to luxury. We hope you will enjoy visiting Please Do Not Enter, whether you are a local looking for new inspiration near the LA Fashion District, or whether you are a visitor in from out of town for the CMC’s various trade and textile shows.

All images of Please Do Not Enter used with permission courtesy of Elizabeth Daniels Photography (click for additional images)

Don’t miss last week’s LOCAL BUZZ: The Classic Coffee

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