Inside Minimalist-Cool L.A. Designer Shaina Mote's First Store in Highland Park

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Los Angeles-bred designer Shaina Mote is known for her ethereal and effortless essentials: Think breezy silk organza tops, sheer wrap-around blouses with cloud-inspired sleeves, crisp white button-down dresses, and perfectly pleated skirts, all in structured and elevated silhouettes — so it's only fitting that her namesake sustainable womenswear label's first boutique would land in a sun-lit, understated space in Highland Park.

Located on a low-key stretch of Figueroa Boulevard, Mote's 400-square-foot boutique quietly opened a month ago in a dreamy 1930s-built building that was previously an auto body shop and before that, a Chevrolet showroom. On the racks are the cult-favorite designer's Essentials and Main collections alongside exclusive in-store pieces, and the store will also host monthly residencies, starting with NYC-based accessories brand Clyde.

Also on the shelves are beauty and lifestyle goods from like-minded friends, such as seven-free nail polish by J. Hannah, hair clips by Santa Fe-based Winden ($30 and up), fragrances by L.A.-based Régime des Fleurs ($205), natural botanical soaps by Binu Binu ($18), body brushes from Japan's Naito Shoten ($55), incense from Kyoto-based Shoyeido ($15), and custom loose-leaf teas by Leaves and Flowers ($26). Peek behind the storefront's big white curtains and you'll catch a glimpse of Mote's design studio and offices.

When we recently met up with Mote at the store, she explained that the idea to step into brick-and-mortar for her seven-year-old label came just last summer after her label popped up in New York's Chinatown with Clyde. Seeking to continue connecting with her customers in her own home city, Mote said she and her label feel at home in the Northeast L.A. neighborhood's close-knit creative community that's surrounded by nature. (It's also not far from where the designer was raised in La Crescenta and Montrose, which boasts picturesque views of the San Gabriel Mountains.)

Designer Shaina Mote at her Highland Park boutique.

As far as the interiors, Mote teamed with friend and architect Tyler Thomas of Venn Studio to create a minimalist haven that would complement the space's original terrazzo flooring and crown molding. Inspired by recent trips to Italy and Japan, the duo designed a stone slab display table and a daybed couch made of white lacquered wood especially for the shop.

Though there's plenty of retail therapy action happening further down on Figueroa, the block off 50th Avenue may soon start buzzing. Mote reveals that her next-door neighbor will be a locally-based botanical beauty brand (stay tuned for more!), and the building's cool owner also plans to bring in a coffee shop or eatery a few doors down.

Scroll through the gallery above for a peek inside the inspiring space (once you're there, don't forget to look up when you're by the window!) and see below for the address and hours.

Shaina Mote, 5003 North Figueroa St., Highland Park, 90042; Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

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