Photos: PrettyLittleThing's L.A. Office Houses A Unicorn Lounge, A Beauty Bar, & More

We caught up with co-founder Umar Kamani before last night's starry grand opening party.

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After spotting PrettyLittleThing's millennial pink building on Melrose Avenue, we weren't the only ones who assumed the U.K.-based online fashion brand was opening its first brick-and-mortar L.A. "Everybody thought it was a store because we're on a retail street," explains PLT co-founder and CEO Umar Kamani of the two-story outpost. Just as we confirmed last year, "it's not going to be used as a store," he explains, but instead as the company's first-ever U.S. office.

"Even last night when we were making sure the final touches were done, every two seconds people were walking past, stopping, and taking pictures," says Kamani, who we caught up with via phone Wednesday morning to find out what's really in store at the brand's non-store. The brand — which featured Hailey Baldwin in its holiday campaign and has previously joined forces with Sofia Richie and Kylie Jenner — hosted a starry grand opening soirée last night and unveiled its second collection with model Ashley Graham (set to drop February 25), who joined Kamani and Khloe Kardashian in cutting the pretty pink ribbon. (Rappers Tyga and Blueface also performed at the cool office party.)

The 7,000-square-foot whimsical space has been a year in the making, says Kamani, who co-founded the brand in 2012 with his brother, Adam. (PLT's parent company is fast fashion retailer, which is owned by their father, Mahmud.)

In addition to housing the company's Stateside offices and studio upstairs, Kamani tells us the downstairs will feature an invite-only "unicorn lounge, which opens up to life-sized seven-foot unicorns. Everything we've created in that space is made to be Instagram-friendly. We really wanted to create a place where [visitors] could feel like they're in a fairy tale," he says.

That downstairs unicorn lounge also features a pink couch that wraps around the entire space, a selfie-ready telephone booth (a nod to the label's London roots), a showroom that'll be refreshed daily with PLT's latest collections, and a beauty bar (where guests can enjoy manicures, pedicures, and more pampering services), as well as a regular booze-filled bar. "We have lots of neon signs — you can very much see inside [because] it's such a glassy space, so it's going to be very visible," says Kamani. "The only thing you can't see is my office upstairs; my office is boring."

Upstairs will be the company's studio and offices, which Kamani says has been a long time coming "because I can start doing my meetings [there]; I've been working out of the Polo Lounge [at the Beverly Hills Hotel] the last few years."

There are other big plans beyond stocking stylish closets: This Friday, PLT will dip its toes into the music world when it drop its first video for Will.i.a.m. and India Love's new single, #Pretty. It's part of the company's move to evolve into a full-fledged lifestyle brand "so it's not just about fashion anymore. We've been doing some stuff in the music industry and working with various artists," says Kamani.

The Will.i.a.m and India Love collab was born from Kamani's friendship with the Grammy award-winning Black Eyed Peas founder, who he met in a gym in his hometown of Manchester, where reality TV series The Voice U.K. is filmed. ( has served as a coach on the singing competition show since it debuted in 2012.)

"[Will's] in Manchester a lot because he films The Voice, so we spent a lot of time together," Kamani says. "We were talking about India and he was like, 'let's do something,' so we created this single with [The Westbrooks star] with his beats on it." (The tune is now available on Spotify and iTunes.)

Up next are a slew of "super exciting projects but I can't talk about them until the time's right," Kamani reveals. PLT superfans should also know that those plans (unfortunately) don't include any offline boutiques: "Naturally people want us to open stores from city to city, but for me, it's my job to make it easiest to shop online. We are an online model," he says.

Below, read on to find out why Melrose Avenue was "a no-brainer" for PLT's U.S. flagship, why Kamani doesn't believe in long-term marketing strategies, and how the brand is thinking beyond inclusivity; then scroll through the gallery above for an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek inside PrettyLittleThing's LA office.

When you decided to open your U.S. offices here in L.A., what was it like scouting spaces?

It was really quite easy to pick the location because I spend a lot of time in L.A. over the last few years while we've been growing the brand out here. I'd say I spent two weeks out of every month on average because I wanted to get familiar with the market over here, it's a very different approach than the U.K.

But the location was a no-brainer for me, I literally picked that building and said, "That's where I want to be." It took me a little while to get the deal done… [but] we picked the location, we did the deal, and that was it.

We didn't spend time going around L.A. because for me, it was very much about [the idea that] we have to be in the right location [because] it's our U.S. home, and we have to be very prominent in a very thriving city.

Screenshot: @prettylittlething

In the past, you've said you don't believe in long-term marketing plans as the industry is constantly changing. In the short-term, where do you hope to see PLT?

My strategy is to have no strategy. My plans today are to show Ashley's collection and the office. Tomorrow, who knows. Whatever is thrown at me we'll figure out.

Short-term is to make PLT a lifestyle brand. We have a vision with this brand [to make it] about meaning first — how can we give meaning to the customer [instead of] just a hard sell? I'm trying to create a lifestyle that means something to them.

Photo: PrettyLittleThing

We love the diversity and inclusivity of the latest campaign, #everyBODYinPLT. How does that play into your vision for the brand?

It's not just about being inclusive, it's about [featuring] women with positive stories to encourage unity. For me, PLT has to be a business where if I had a young daughter, I would be comfortable with her shopping and being in PrettyLittleThing, so it has to be not offensive, and sending out the right messages. Sometimes being such an iconic brand, I feel like we have a responsibility to send out the right moral messages.

Update 2/21: Additional photos provided by the brand were added to this story.

PrettyLittleThing, 8587 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 90069

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