Ron Robinson is one of best known names in Los Angeles retail; his store within Fred Segal Melrose has been there for over four decades. He opened the Melrose store as a mens’ casual sportswear shop in 1978 as a place to find jeans and hard-to-find labels, from L.A. designers to international brands. As a result, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and other rock stars shopped there – it was one of the few places male rockers could find clothes cool enough for their images back in the L.A. days of yore. Jennifer Garner, Drew Barrymore, Laird Hamilton, Sasha Baron Cohen, and Orlando Bloom are all more current fans.
Five years later, Robinson opened Apothia within the store for beauty brands (Lorac) and unique fragrances (Creed, Byredo, etc.) fragrances, and eventually branched out to children’s clothes and lifestyle items, gifts, and jewelry. Robinson launched his very own fragrance in 2000 called, of course, Apothia, which then launched other beauty products. The men’s and women’s clothing brands in the store include Comme des Garçon, Hudson, Madeworn, Missoni, Norma Kamali, and Stella McCartney. Robinson was one of the first retailers to feature rock T-shirts along with luxe designer fashion pieces.
The Santa Monica flagship near Arizona Avenue includes more lifestyle and home products, like Missoni home and other furnishings. But both popular stores will be closing up shop—or shops—soon: the Santa Monica outpost will shutter in November, and the location within Fred Segal will close early in 2020.
Robinson told WWD this week that he isn’t closing because of weak sales, the decline of retail in general, or anything of the sort. He simply wants to have more of a life with his family. “It’s important that people know what this isn’t,” he said. “It isn’t bankruptcy, losing our lease, going out of business, or a relocation sale. This is just the way my journey is unfolding, so let’s enjoy it because it’s a happy ending!”
RonRobinson.com, however, will continue to sell clothes and beauty items, and the Ron Robinson Apothia brand will live on with a new collection with Missoni coming out this year. Are giant closing sales coming? We’ll be watching.
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The post Legendary L.A. Retailer Ron Robinson Is Closing Up Shop—Both of Them appeared first on Los Angeles Magazine.