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Warm Leathers: Clark & Madison In Westwood

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The vestiges of Autumn’s Arts ReSTORE are still on Kinross at Gayley in Westwood Village. One is the ongoing Fruitique from Fallen Fruit while the other is local leather goods maker Clark & Madison. The latter were featured in the large Weyburn and Westwood shopping center—in the back of the store just beyond Heather Levine and Bridgid Coulter‘s setups—and have moved their concept into the space previously occupied by Iron Curtain Press. They’ve brought a warmth intended to attract those looking for a classic, American aesthetic translated by Los Angeles makers. It’s very well done—and could certainly be cause for emptying your wallet.

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The store has a few things going on. Primarily, it is the home of the brand, Clark & Madison. They make warm leather bags that are made to be worn in, most of which have a “butch” appeal to them. They make totes and weekenders along with saddle bags, clutches, Dopp Kits, and more. Their leathers are soft and casual and feature bright floral patterned or wool linings. They kind of feel like KILLSPENCER but much less severe: these are kinder leather goods.

The locality in the space is super refreshing too: everything they carry in the story has a decided “made in L.A.” slant, more specifically Westside/beach culture. There are some goods from surf brand Wellen who they teamed up to make a few exclusive items with. Lightweight LA clothing makers Grover have a selection of shirts and hats and PSC—Pocket Square Clothing—have a large selection of their ties (and matching squares) on display, many of which reflect a casualness that appeals to LA dudes. There is a large Cordwain collection, which is absolutely fitting: the local brand makes leather shoes with a decided athletic bend. Just want a little something? You can grab some P.F. Candles. You can even catch fellow Arts ReSTORE-rs Loyal Dean sharing their longboards, too.

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What makes Clark & Madison so wonderful is how warm it is. The space is without a doubt odd thanks to attractive architecture that was forced to become an exercise space that is now a retail store: it has a complicated history. It’s current state is quite nice: it’s open but full, relaxed yet absolutely planned. It’s a destination to shop but to also hang out and enjoy yourself. You can pop in and grab a Stumptown Cold Brew and lounge on their leather sofa. Brand founder Dina Epstein will likely be in store and has got to be one of the most approachable, bubbliest personalities in Los Angeles retail right now: she’s just waiting for visitors or perspective new friends to pop into the store. And you should!

Clark & Madison is the kind of store that occupies a very specific space while being open to any type of shopper. It may seem “just for men” but there are plenty of goodies for women and persons in general who identify with a more “butch” aesthetic. The space is wonderful and the personalities in there are just as wonderful—and the brands obviously reflect this. They certainly are carrying items that no other store in Los Angeles has right now and is the kind of place to go if you want an exceptional local gift or want creative inspiration regarding what this beach leaning creative clique are doing. If you in the Westwood area, you cannot not stop in.

Clark & Madison is located at 10918 Kinross Ave in Westwood Village. They are open Mondays through Saturdays, 11AM to 7PM. Learn more about them here.

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