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Cindy Sherman and a hippo – why you need to go to Dover Street Market LA

Take all of our money

This weekend marked the official opening of Dover Street Market Los Angeles (DSMLA), the sixth DSM location designed and creative-directed by the one and only Rei Kawakubo.

Los Angeles joins New York City, Tokyo, Singapore, London, and Beijing as the newest home for Kawakubo’s beautifully chaotic retail concept, the expertly curated amalgamation she describes as “the mixing up and coming together of different kindred souls who all share a strong personal vision.” These souls include everyone from Telfar Clemens to Molly Goddard and Gosha Rubchinskiy.

DSMLA may be brand new, but with its plentiful inventory spanning the globe – including designers who would have been very difficult or downright impossible to find in Los Angeles – it’s guaranteed to become one of the city’s must-visit places.

Here’s why you need to check it out:


The store – constructed by joining two separate concrete buildings with the massive huts that are signature to every DSM – has an interior made from white ceramic tile, and is bright and spacious (so a bit like LA itself). Unlike the other multistory DSM locations (bar Singapore), DSMLA is a sprawling, single story maze you’re almost certain to get lost in, as each twist and turn reveals new brand spaces and installations.

While the building itself is a large, rectangular warehouse with simple, angular lines, the interior is full of curvature in both its coiled floor plan and bulbous chandeliers. Arches, spirals, and circles activate the multidimensionality of the space, which Kawakubo designed in its entirety. Several Comme des Garçons brand spaces debut in a new form at DSMLA, a peek ahead at new retail spaces to come.


DSMLA has zero windows, which means zero window displays. Instead, designers take over and customise their own spaces within the maze. Right now, you can see some giant, fuzzy ‘ghouls’ in Charles Jeffrey’s corner, a trippy Gary Card sculpture which hangs above the menswear, a hippo in the Brain Dead space, and a large Cindy Sherman print overlooking the jewellery department. There are also two “event spaces”, which will host a changing series of installations by artists and designers from around the world. 


DSMLA contains a number of firsts. The first NikeLab in LA, and the first shop-in-shop in the world for the Japanese brand Doublet. The first West Coast retail space for the skateboarding-centric brand Palace. Not to mention all of the unique pieces from the various Comme des Garçons brands that are unavailable anywhere else (including the Comme des Garçons flagship store in Tokyo). For the store’s opening, brands from Off-White to Stüssy to Noah, IDEA, and Simone Rocha have contributed special, limited edition products – which won’t be around for long.


DSM is far from the only fresh arrival in town right now. LA has a new Laker, the living basketball legend LeBron James, and thanks to the Toronto-based contemporary streetwear brand Better, there’s an illustrated cardboard cut-out of him near the front of the store. The art, of course, supports Better’s pieces inspired by LA sports teams, available exclusively at DSMLA.

Among the store’s incredible selection of t-shirts is a design by Cactus Plant Flea Market x Nike largely labeled “Sunday”, with the logistics for all of the best Sunday flea markets in Los Angeles printed above it, spanning neighbourhoods and prices of admission. Brain Dead, the creative collective known for its graphics-forward designs, also created custom labels for the jam from Sqirl, the cult-favorite eatery in LA’s Silverlake.


DSMLA is also home to Rose Bakery, a beloved staple at almost every DSM location. The menu is full of locally sourced organic vegetables (even the cake!) and the dining area is inviting, understated and made for hanging out. There’s also an outdoor seating area, so even if you’re not to about to drop the $ on a Comme showpiece, you can at least enjoy the sunshine.

Happy shopping.

Dover Street Market Los Angeles is at 606-608 Imperial Street Los Angeles, CA, 90021