Los Angeles | A Continuous Lean.

The Secret of that Capitol Studios Sound.

Dec 2nd, 2013 | Categories: History, John Peabody, Los Angeles | by John Peabody


There are a few magical studios with such amazing sound that they have become sort of sonic temples for musicians who dream of making musical pilgrimages to them. There’s Hitsville U.S.A. in Detroit, home to the Motown sound. There’s FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama where artists like Wilson Picket and Otis Redding honed the 60’s southern soul sound.

And then there’s Capitol Records studios in Los Angeles. Housed in the iconic circular building on Hollywood and Vine, it’s uniquely famous as much for what it looks like on the outside, as what’s been created on the inside.

Designed in 1956, the building was actually not meant to resemble a stack of records but well…happy coincidence. A red light, like a beacon, atop the tower flashes “Hollywood” in morse code. And inside the building artists like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, The Beach Boys, The Beastie Boys and so many more have laid down countless hits.

Shopping Los Angeles | Wittmore Pop-Up Shop

Jun 18th, 2013 | Categories: Los Angeles, Menswear, Retail | by Michael Williams

Wittmore_popup_01 (1)

Recently, while in Los Angeles, I paid a visit to the new Wittmore pop-up shop on Third Street. The colorful space is brings to life Wittmore’s nicely curated and eclectic brand mix, which up until a few weeks ago has been an entirely digital shopping affair.

The physical and online stores are the product of my longtime friend and mentor Paul Witt. Wittmore is a culmination of Paul’s many years in the clothing business and his varied work across various creative disciplines, a few of which involved me as his underling. The shop presents Witt’s personality well, and represents a playful perspective that very much aligns with his personal taste and style. It’s an inclusive and needed respite from the world of pretentiousness that can often surround so many menswear brands and stores. Wittmore brings a keen eye and an injection of playfulness that makes clothing fun again.



Shopping Beverly Hills | Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s

Mar 8th, 2013 | Categories: Los Angeles, Menswear, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams



Cucinelli, check. Charvet, check. Kiton, check. More denim than you’ve ever seen in on room, check. Wilshire just got better looking thanks to Saks Fifth Avenue.

The revered retailer has recently carried out a massive renovation to its men’s store on Beverly Hills, and the vast marble building has been reborn as a temple of good things. Yesterday we spent the better part of an afternoon with Saks Fashion Director Eric Jennings surveying the mighty offerings to the menswear Gods.

The main artery on the ground floor is a well-lit space dominated by every conceivable category of footwear — espadrilles to Edward Green, it’s all there. Once you’ve considered the shoes, hang a left to the travel shop for leather goods and luggage, then turn right into the Brunello Cucinelli shop-in-shop, which happens to be L.A.’s newest and best dressed neighborhood, “Little Solomeo.”


Saks Fashion Director Eric Jennings in front of the Hollywood style sign for the opening event.

As it Happened | Return to the Griffith Observatory

Feb 21st, 2012 | Categories: As it happened, Los Angeles | by Michael Williams

One of my favorite things to do in Los Angeles is to visit the Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park. The stunning vista offers amazing views of both the Hollywood sign, and on the other side downtown L.A. It’s a spot I’ve spoken about previously on ACL, but it is also one that never gets old. I’m finding that the more time I spend in Southern California the more I want to be bi-coastal. Even on an overcast / smoggy day the scenes at sunset are stunning. If you have a chance to visit the observatory, definitely take the time to experience it.

Shopping L.A. | General Quarters

Jan 20th, 2012 | Categories: Los Angeles, Menswear, Retail | by Michael Williams

Talking about Shelter Half a while back, I noted the further development of L.A.’s La Brea Avenue as a new little area of interest for retailers. There have been great stores in this part town for a long time, Union and American Rag being probably the two best known and most widely respected. General Quarters is one of the newish shops to join the menswear fray on La Brea. The store got a lot of call outs when I was working on an update to the LA shopping map and it wasn’t until recently that I had a chance to stop by. While the store is not “just opened,” I think it was worth highlighting here for those that don’t spend much time in LA.

Shopping Los Angeles | Shelter Half

Jan 3rd, 2012 | Categories: Los Angeles, Retail | by Michael Williams

Out in L.A. last week, my buddy Nick Maggio took me on a little retail tour of a burgeoning stretch of South La Brea. First stop? The temporary retail spot Shelter Half which is organized by Environment furniture’s Davide Berruto (with some assistance from Mr. Maggio and others). The shop is a mix of clothing, objects, furniture, leather goods and vintage books — all under the concept of made in America. Brands like RTH and Save Khaki (among many others) are involved and have set-ups within the big open space that is loosely divided up between brands. The shop is an interesting mix of stuff and feels more crafty than heritage-y (not a word, I know), which is refreshing.

Before heading across the street for Mexican food from Tinga (which is sublime) Nick and I stopped in and chatted with Davide (who is a really engaging and nice guy) about the concept and how Shelter Half came to be. It’s an interesting play on things, especially because Davide is there most days to interact with customers or people that are just passing by. That’s one thing we love about the Pop Up Flea. It gives people a chance to really interact with the people behind the brands, the people that dream up the things they buy.

Shopping L.A. | Apolis: Common Gallery

Dec 8th, 2011 | Categories: Los Angeles, Menswear, Retail | by Michael Williams

Convincing your best friend to drive you to downtown L.A. to check out a new shop isn’t always an easy thing. As someone that lives in New York I get the aversion to “downtown” — it’s a big commitment. Similarly for me, at times it is difficult to get me to leave my twenty block bubble in downtown New York. Luckily though, my friend didn’t mind making the trip and today we got to check out the new retail arm of maker Apolis for the first time.

The new shop, dubbed Apolis: Common Gallery is a minimal men’s retail store on East 3rd Street that stocks all of the complete line from the burgeoning menswear label, along with nearly all of the brand’s many collaborations. The simple space, true to its name, also serves as a gallery to showcase the content (film and otherwise) from the company’s many sourcing and humanitarian missions all over the world.