Photo by OTDLA/GreysonTarantino
On the Sunset Strip and part of the shopping, dining, and working experience SunsetJohn Varvatos opened his first West Coast store on April 28 for his latest venture, OTD—On this day. The brand is based on storytelling, with the name inspired by the celebration of great moments in time through instagram and Facebook’s On this day highlights. The store is the brand’s flagship West Coast location.
The brand started after Varvatos left his namesake label in August 2020 and decided he wanted to do something different. He began to mix a more sophisticated style with activewear and sportswear, as well as drawing inspiration from streetwear to develop OTD, which launched its first collection of men’s, women’s and unisex clothing online and with the opening of its first physical store. in New York in October 2021. In early December 2021, it opened a pop-up on Sunset in the same location as the West Coast flagship.
Varvatos always intended to develop pieces that could be worn by anyone, but said it was great that even in the pop-up shop people just bought what looked good no matter who it was designed for.
“What’s exciting is that people are already coming in wanting to watch everything. It was fun to watch people check out the whole collection and choose what they like,” said Varvatos. “Why should we have preconceived ideas about what someone should wear? I think when you start drawing those lines yourself, you’re ruling out someone who can shop on the other side of the store, and who are we really to make that decision? »
Varvatos began scouting locations for a retail store during the pandemic and said it was hard to imagine how foot traffic would be after lockdown restrictions were lifted. While visiting Los Angeles, a friend had mentioned the location of The Sunset, which was once a former H&M store, and a late-night trip to the glass-fronted store solidified Varvatos’ location.
The store was originally scheduled to open in late October, but ongoing restrictions in LA County due to an increase in coronavirus cases due to the delta variant have continued to push back the opening date. After Varvatos spoke with the owner of the center, Kilroy Realtythe OTD pop-up was opened in the courtyard of the mall behind the actual store location to promote the brand while the physical store was finalized.
“Having the pop-up was amazing because when it comes to business, we’ve already created a nice business since December, and we’re hidden from the street. With a great view from the street and a business already established since December, it’s a great way to open, especially for a new brand.
The store’s interior features custom furniture as well as a mural by Denver-based artist Joe Palec that tells the story and highlights many of LA’s iconic landmarks such as The comedy store and Randy’s donuts. The store will also offer contemporary collectible photographs.
Varvatos noted that Kilroy was managing the space and looking for sole tenants. The OTD store adds a retail component to a health and wellness-focused mall that includes businesses such as Equinox, soul cycle, SunLife Organic, sweetgreen and the Salon Martinez-Samuel.
Although the pandemic has forced many companies to adapt and invest in more digital aspects, Varvatos said it was important to maintain a physical footprint as it lends itself to a different kind of relationship between brand and customer. customer.
“Everyone I talk to who has retail businesses – their business is really good right now. People have a pent-up urge to go out and shop again. Also, with new brands, you have to touch and feel it. We have an online presence, and it’s fine, but when people come into the store, the conversion rate is really high because people can touch it or smell it, see it and try it Varvatos said, “It’s a combination you need. We really believe in digital, but success is also about relationships: people and connectivity. Plus, we can really tell our story in person.”