Shopping L.A. | Apolis: Common Gallery

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.

With rents much lower than New York (especially in the Arts District where Apolis has dug in), the retail scene in L.A. is much more dynamic – in my opinion – than on the East Coast. The lower overhead (with means lower risk) makes it possible for brands to experiment more and take more of a chance on their own. This also means that a brand can truly tell its story and present product in the best possible context.

The Apolis shop is simple and clean with a good selection of product and an easy layout. Some would say that the minimal empty store thing is over done or just done, but I think Apolis is just getting started and the shop will evolve over time. When it comes down to it I like what the guys from Apolis offer in terms of both product and (retail) experience – making a trip to downtown L.A. worth it every time.

Apolis: Common Gallery | 806 East 3rd Street Los Angeles, CA 90013 | +1.855.4APOLIS

Comments on “Shopping L.A. | Apolis: Common Gallery

    Ryon on December 9, 2011 12:52 AM:

    I think it has promise. Looks like they have some oxfords with a little heft to them. Nice photography as well Michael.

    mat buckets on December 9, 2011 12:51 PM:

    seems pretty cool, i like the way they laid out everything i rows and the labeling system too. i’m not 100% on the gallery feel though, it would put me on edge

    Burl on December 9, 2011 12:58 PM:

    I love that they are trying something a little different. Entrepreneurship is all about taking a dream to change things and making it happen! Finding a way to mix humanitarian efforts and retail isn’t new, but combining both with the gallery concept makes me want to check them out the next time I am in L.A.

    Greg on December 9, 2011 5:36 PM:

    I’m not getting these guys Filson briefcase for 400 clams. The same bag from filson, with standard canvas, is $215. The fabric is sourced in Uganda, is some of the margin going to relief there? Just trying to understand the price premium.

    jiheison on December 9, 2011 6:06 PM:

    @ Greg


    “Five hundred units of the Philanthropist Briefcase allows the Uganda project to utilize four farmer’s entire yield of cotton for one year. Early results of building a developing industry by providing opportunity through jobs instead of simply charity. Comfortably fits a 15″ laptop.”

    (linked to “Design Notes”)

    That said, imprudent agricultural practice appears to be an issue in Uganda.

    Joe on December 9, 2011 6:26 PM:

    ACL, did you happen to check out Wurstküche while you were in the hood? Great beer and sausage selection.

    Scott M B Gustafson on December 9, 2011 7:52 PM:

    This project was designed by me (through my studio MAISON ORION) in close collaboration with the whole Apolis team. It was an excellent experience to have such top notch people as clients and now as friends. Your photos capture the warm soft daylight of the space quite well.

    Common Boston Gentleman on December 9, 2011 7:53 PM:

    Damn good photos. Any shop with the Economist on shelf gets a pass.

    Tickleford on December 9, 2011 9:07 PM:


    allen on December 13, 2011 1:14 AM:

    Dull and in the middle of nowhere. They’ll sell one shirt a week and be gone in six months.

    Kristen on December 20, 2011 5:41 PM:

    Wow, tough crowd.

    I am an East Coast transplant (Brooklyn) and am in SF not LA but I have to say that I think you are right about LA having lower rents and therefore having the ability to be riskier. Look at the way that the art scene is blowing up in LA, some of my favorite artists are leaving Brooklyn to move to Venice Beach.

    Though, “more dynamic” is a stretch. Both the art, style, and fashion in NY & LA are great for the country as a whole. We have to make up for some of the places in the middle.

    I love your photos and think that the clean and sleek store aesthetic is perfect. For those that call it boring, why not think of some of these types of items/ideas as canvas? So many people are mixing with even higher end clothing and accessories. These seem to me to be perfect for mixing.

    You’re full of great perspective and have an eye for what’s beautiful. Thanks. -Kristen

    Morgan on December 21, 2011 1:54 AM:

    The “aversion” to downtown LA is held by people who don’t understand it. Yes, it’s an area in transition, but when I had the recent chance to move from Boston to either NYC or LA, I took LA. So far I love it here, it’s diverse, dynamic, and exciting. It’s also not fully gentrified or sterile, or an outdoor mall. But it’s got lots of cool spaces, rents are amazing compared to NY or Boston for what you get, and you can be part of a community.

    As for Apolis, I passed by it the other night on the way to a sushi place. It looks great and I can’t wait to go check it out.

    Shane on January 3, 2012 10:42 PM:

    I’ll take our art here in the “middle” anyway….

    Shane on January 3, 2012 10:42 PM:

    I’ll take our art here in the “middle” anyday…

Comments are closed.