Framed Ewe Optical is expanding. The local, independent eyewear boutique recently announced it will open a third store in Los Angeles this fall, as part of a new flagship for West Coast lifestyle brand Fred Segal.
The project, Fred Segal Sunset, is a 22,000-square-foot space located at the corner of La Cienega and Sunset boulevards in West Hollywood. Fred Segal Sunset will feature a selection of permanent shop-in-shop retailers, temporary rotating pop-up shops, and experiences via event spaces inside the flagship store.
Fred Segal first opened its doors in 1961 and quickly came to epitomize a laidback Southern California cool, pioneering the shop-in-shop experience of curating several retail stores together under one roof.
Framed Ewe co-owner Christy Kimball says she is looking forward to spending some time in Los Angeles. "It's a really cool city. Traveling, in general, has been a huge influence."
Before starting Framed Ewe with Stephen Clark, Kimball took two years off to travel. "I was between jobs, and I put all my stuff in storage and went all over Europe, which was a huge inspiration, particularly Amsterdam."
"We work with independent lines," Kimball says of Framed Ewe's philosophy. "Designer-owned and -operated lines." She looks to bring consumers a well-made product, and a more tailored product.
At the flagship Fred Segal, Framed Ewe will join San Francisco's Tartine, which will operate a coffee bar in the development, as well as a restaurant created by Los Angeles restauranteur Bill Chait. The flagship will also have an on-site florist, a selection of men's and women's fashion brands, and a full-service salon.
Since its inception in 2012, Framed Ewe has stood out with fashion-forward, design-centered lines of eyewear. In 2016, Framed Ewe opened at The Colony, just north of Missouri Avenue on Seventh Street in midtown Phoenix, sharing 2,100 square feet of adaptive reuse retail space with boutique Phoenix General. The two shops operate side-by-side as part of a creative collaboration.
"It's been incredible having Phoenix General next door, and Seventh Street is booming with restaurants," Kimball says. It's that kind of creative cross-pollination that drew Framed Ewe to the Fred Segal development in the first place.
Last year, Framed Ewe also expanded its original location, Framed Ewe Biltmore in the Biltmore Fashion Park, moving from a 64-square-foot kiosk to a 200-square-foot stand-alone building. Framed Ewe will maintain its two Phoenix locations in addition to the new shop at Fred Segal.
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"We are thrilled at the opportunity to bring Framed Ewe to the Los Angeles community," says Kimball.
Today the Fred Segal brand (with a reputation for being such an "it" place for retail that the iconic ivy-covered store was referenced in L.A. fashion-centric films Clueless and Legally Blonde) is owned by Evolution Media Capital. In addition to the flagship location in West Hollywood, the brand has opened three stores in Japan. There is also a location at the Los Angeles Airport's International Terminal.
Framed Ewe will offer original eyewear for design-focused consumers at the Los Angeles location. Product-wise, expect to see a similar mix of brands (and similar quantity) as the selection found at The Colony store in midtown Phoenix. Clark and Kimball are considering trying some new lines at the L.A. store. Kimball says the road trips to L.A. will allow her a chance to recharge and, hopefully, be inspired by what each place has to offer.
The new West Hollywood store at 8500 Sunset will be modern, clean, and cool. Look for the opening in early fall.