Design Store(y) visits a beauty of a shop in L.A. this month, called Garde. Owner Scotti Sitz, a native Angeleno who has also worked at top fashion houses in New York, opened the loft-like space last summer. Offerings are eclectic, but expertly curated. Even better, it’s not the usual boutique fare.
Why did you pick this city/neighborhood/storefront?
I used to live in this neighborhood in the Beverly corridor a few years ago and I have watched it evolve. It’s become a destination for high-end vintage furniture, great restaurants, and accessories. We looked at this space. It was a dump. The building is from the early 1940s and it had not been touched. The first business here was a bank of operators. It was the pre-411. So if you wanted to know who sold apple pies in Los Angeles between Fairfax and La Brea, these operators would tell you where to go. When we got this space there were the old phone jacks all along this wall. Then 30 years ago an electronic repair shop opened here. There was linoleum and false ceilings. The skylight was boarded up. We gutted the space.
Where did you get the name for the store?
We named the store Garde, keeping the idea of something new and different, and I also like the definition as it applies to en garde, the stance in fencing to prepare for your match.
What’s one of the challenges you have with the business?
The biggest challenge is to constantly vary the offerings of merchandise. From the beginning, I have sought to feature designers that have little or no retail presence in Los Angeles and even the United States as a whole. I’m constantly searching for new products to feature at Garde. Not necessarily in the sense of finding “the next big thing”, but rather special items that work with my look and feel and will make for a great story.
What’s your favorite item in the store right now?
I have a soft spot at the moment for a clothing collection from Miller et Bertaux in Paris. Two older French gentlemen who have a great eye, and design beautiful clothing. Also, I am happy to have a full collection from Michael Verheyden in Belgium which consists of handbags, furniture, stone objects, and leather goods. All exceptionally handcrafted and beautiful.
What is this season’s theme or inspiration?
Not really a theme necessarily, but at the moment I have quite a few designs in the shop from France, Belgium, and The Netherlands, which at the moment is providing me with the greatest amount of inspiration.
Are you carrying any new products that you’re particularly excited about?
Yes, the Dunes & Duchess candelabras designed by photographer Michael Partenio and stylist Stacy Kunstel out of New England. The lines and silhouettes of the pieces—they’ve recently expanded into furniture—are really unique.
What’s been a consistent best seller?
Michele Quan’s Throw Bell.
Does the store have its own line?
Not yet! To date, Garde has been a great success by featuring designers with a great story to tell and products that really epitomize our aesthetic.
Do you have anything from the shop in your own home?
Yes. I have one of the beautiful glass jars with a sculptural stopper by Lindsey Adelman.
Visit Garde at 7418 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90036.