In 2018, as we were considering the possibilities for brick-and-mortar retail in a sprawling metropolis like Los Angeles, we seized upon the opportunity to open a showroom in the Fitzpatrick-Leland house, a 1936 modernist masterpiece by Austrian-born architect Rudolph Schindler. Instead of creating just another clothing store, we hoped to offer something experiential and unique to L.A., while investing in the restoration and upkeep of one of our city’s architectural treasures.
The house itself is made of three interlocking, L-shaped tiers that seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor space, nestled into a rugged hillside above the iconic intersection of Mulholland Drive and Laurel Canyon Blvd. It is the blueprint for a certain California dream, originally designed for a real-estate developer looking to lure adventurous Angelenos into the steeper, more architecturally daring landscape of the Hollywood Hills -- and the project's success is evident in the now-ubiquitous white-cube houses that dot the famous slopes.
But none of those subsequent iterations replicate the thoughtfulness and mastery of Schindler’s design, or achieve his balance of functionality and artistry, magic and restraint. In the Fitzpatrick-Leland House, there is something almost spiritual in the way an arc of light will suddenly illuminate the interior, shadows aligning like a megalithic structure in some forgotten Californian ceremony.
Viewing our collections in the context of a Schindler house has given our brand an invaluable sense of place, and helped us to shape and hone its direction as we continue to explore and define our own sense of California design.