8 Questions With: Gift of Garb!


We are beyond stoked that Gift of Garb is open in Eagle Rock! This fab designer resale store specializes in reselling women’s designer clothing, shoes and accessories. They also offer closet clean-outs and organizing to assist you in de-cluttering (we might need to take them up on this before we step into Fall). We were honored to talk to the owner, Abby McLucas, and feature Gift of Garb on our NELA favorites interview blog!

1. What is the concept behind Gift of Garb and what services do you offer? 

We started as an e-commerce shop about a year and a half ago. I wanted to take riff raff out of the consignment market by offering an across the board curated selection of current names such as Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim, Chanel and DVF.

2. Who or what inspires you right now?

Other female friends that took the risk and opened up their boutiques this summer on the east side too– Mixed Business, Collection, and Top Knot Vintage.


3. To you, what is the best “secret spot” in Los Angeles and why?

It’s not really a secret anymore, but I love Monte 52 for their deli subs and the fact that there’s never a line.

4. What is your favorite LA neighborhood?

My “one day” plan involves either Mount Washington or Topanga Canyon.

5. Who are some of your favorite designers?

I love COS and I’m never mad at a Zara steal, but if I’m going to splurge it would be on Sandro, Helmut Lang, and IRO.

6. What makes Gift of Garb unique? 

I think the concept is unique to the East side considering there aren’t many shops to find the brands we carry, let alone at 50–80% off the original price. I’m lucky to have clients with insane closets that have taken extremely good care of their pieces (with over half never being worn to begin with). I also feel like most resale shops cater to brand name alone and possibly favor an older demographic, so I think our customers are into the thought we put into the selection we carry.


7. What is your favorite item currently for sale in your store? 

Alexander Wang Rocco bag– Classic cool girl bag that never goes out of style.

8. What inspired you to open up Gift of Garb? 

My mom inadvertently inspired the business. I would help her weed through her closet seasonally and saw that there was real money in this, so I began approaching her circle of friends who all had great taste and with word of mouth it really took off.


Thank you Abby and Gift of Garb!!!


WHERE: 1615 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, CA 90041

WHEN: Tuesday through Sunday, 11AM-7PM

PHONE: 310.909.2291



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8 Questions With…

Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 1.36.51 PMWe are thrilled to share our interview with our clients (generally amazing architects/designers) Undisclosable with ACME readers! 


On the one hand we’d grown a bit tired of what felt like the tyranny (or curse) of the starchitect: buildings predominantly as expressions of the architect’s brand, more so than an embodiment of the client’s sensibility/brand. Ultimately, we are a service industry. Our purpose is to articulate and concretize the desires of our client into the “built environment” through the lens of our expertise. Certainly our work has common threads running through it particularly as it relates to quality, detailing and experiential sensitivity, but our goal is to push our client’s agenda.1D0BywjqdUw9ksS8sH791SQCvVHdOJ1dC0yVxTdEkE0,EBg9r4zaEJKOqIH-zG5P-HWH4nTNC6_4omzFygR9IL8

Secondly, in the office, we often discuss the origin of design concepts and find word-based articulation of such, a verbalization of that “ah-ha” moment, extraordinarily difficult to identify/disclose. Intuition is a powerful design force, allowing for the connection and collation of impossibly large amounts of information. Relevance lies in direct experience.


Thirdly, we are involved with projects, the particulars of which we are legally bound from disclosing (literally, undisclosable!). There are also projects within which we operate as ghost designer, a condition which necessitates zero public disclosure of our presence/influence. At the time of our formation, inspiration for our name was taken from a truly invigorating project that we could not tell anyone about due to non disclosure agreements. The client was (and remains) brilliant, generous and truly inspirational.


Our clients first and foremost. We have had the good fortune of producing work for rare and idea catalyzing experts in their respective fields. Each project has been unique and eye-openingly educational.


We also look to industries adjacent to architecture for inspiration, such as music, fashion and film. We find the overlaps between these to be rich arenas. In 2011 we collaborated on a large scale installation art piece for The Creators Project who enabled a fantastic collaboration between film director Jonathan Glazer, UK band Spiritualized, UK based audio visual studio One of Us and ourselves to produce an immersive experiential physical manifestation of the song Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space. The piece was first showcased at Coachella 2011 and later that year in New York for a limited two week engagement. The resonance of that piece is one of the most fragile and powerful projects with which we have ever been involved.




Currently, to us, the best secret spot is our backyard, the Garden of Edenhurst in Atwater Village, which we designed and built as our wedding reception venue and for continued entertaining and enjoyment of California’s enviable weather. It is within walking distance of a very beautiful, tranquil, walkable, wildlife laden stretch of the L.A. River.

We also thoroughly enjoy the Largo at the Coronet. The venue’s intimate atmosphere makes it feel like a secret. We are huge fans of stand up comedy and have seen some tremendous performances there: Louis CK, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman, Zach Galifianakis, Janeane Garofalo, as well as great music performances like Aimee Mann and Andrew Bird.


We love Atwater Village where we’ve resided since 2008. It is a very pedestrian friendly area with beautiful mature trees at the base of Griffith Park. There are lovely restaurants, great coffee and pastries, a healthy selection of bars, neighborly (community), ethnically and generationally diverse, well-vegetated, river adjacent, and logistically well positioned for accessing the rest of LA. Our offices are located in the Arts District, and we are absolutely loving it there. There is a rich concentration of creatives, development capital and consequent growth. It is also quite walkable, close to SCI_Arc and a fantastic urban counterpoint to tranquil Atwater Village.


First and foremost, meaningful interaction with good people. Family, good friends, our beloved animals (Linus and Lulu our goldens and Winston our gray tuxedo cat). A job well done, efficiently produced, aesthetically potent, programmatically enlivening that is both profitable and beyond the expectations of the client. The success of our clients and friends. Good food and libations. Good music. Each other.


We are attracted to architects and designers who on the one hand combat the ephemerality of trend, people who are in it for the long haul, and yet on the other hand produce work that is of our time, that relishes our time. As far as tried and true are concerned: Herzog and DeMeuron, Enrique Miralles, Toyo Ito, Kazuyo Sejima. As far as newer folks go, we absolutely love Cerre’s work in fashion.



Our team. Our clients. Our approach. Our approachability.


Definitely. We are pretty deep in the design of a ground up single family home in the Pacific Palisades that we are very excited about. We also have a few new LA hospitality projects on the horizon that are positioned to be extraordinary. We recently finished up Bucato in Culver City where Chef Evan Funke serves up the truly best pasta in Los Angeles.


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How To Shop At Flea Markets:
Tips From bettershelter’s Steve Jones


bettershelter homes are known for their bohemian coastal chic styling. The man behind that styling has an addiction to flea markets, and he took a moment to tell us how to work it at the flea!

1. Do you have any tips on how to bargain at flea markets?

I think the best tip is to BE NICE. A smile goes a long way! Remember this is how a lot of these people make their money and to be respectful of that. Do your homework and offer a price that does not insult the vendor. Everyone wins.

2. What is your favorite flea market?

I love the Rose Bowl! Even with the internet and eBay, etc. it is amazing what people STILL pull out of Rose Bowl! The granddaddy of them all for sure.



(image via privatelosangelestours.com)

3. Do you have any flea market shopping techniques?

I make a list on my phone of what items I am looking for and then review that list every 20 minutes or so to keep me on track. It is VERY easy to get distracted! I usually drag a cart around with me and I pick stuff up as I buy it, then I don’t have to run around at the end trying to find all my purchases. For larger purchases I have a van to haul stuff back. Bring food. The food at the flea is not very good.

flea 1

4. What are you usually looking out for when you are browsing?

I am constantly looking for architectural salvage stuff; windows, hardware, anything to add to the homes that will give it charm and authenticity. A lot of our staging furniture comes from the fleas as well. I also have been known to pick up a few personal things for myself as well, my crammed home is evidence of that. Did I mention watches? I have a few of them too.

5. Are there any current popular flea market items/trends?

The whole steampunk industrial trend still pretty strong! After you go to the fleas for a while you will see that different vendors have specific points of view; I have lots of favorites who I can depend on to deliver the goods! My eye is so trained now that I only see what I want to see and I edit everything else out of my brain, it can be overwhelming the first few times.

flea 3

6. What should we watch out for when buying from flea markets?

Sometimes vendors are selling reproductions; it is OK to ask and typically they will tell you. With furniture you should sit on it and wiggle it slightly to make sure it is structurally sound. Look for hairline cracks on pottery. Other than that, have fun and enjoy the hunt! I certainly do!


(image via baskmagazine.com)

LA Area Flea Markets:

Rose Bowl Flea Market: 2nd Sunday of every month.

Long Beach Antique Market: 3rd Sunday of every month.

Melrose Trading Post: Every Sunday, rain or shine.

The Roadium Open Air Market: Open 7 days a week.

The Ventura Flea Market: Check schedule for dates.



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8 Questions With Derek Lyons:
Owner of Sonny’s Hideaway
American Comfort Food for NELA!


We are ecstatic for the upcoming opening of Sonny’s Hideaway, York Boulevard’s newest neighborhood restaurant in Highland Park. Derek Lyons, the owner and man behind Sonny’s Hideaway, agreed to talk to us about his vision. We cannot wait for the opening next month!

1. What inspired the concept/name behind Sonny’s Hideaway?

It’s named after a curious little place that I used to drive past as a kid and never got to go to, primarily because it was a scandalous little dive bar and I was 9. But it was just a plain stick-frame stucco box with one window.  Very modest and unsuspecting. When I pulled up in front of my place on York for the first time I looked at it and said, that’s Sonny’s Hideaway.


I’m a bit of a building whisperer so I parked out in front of the space and stared at the building and then I sat inside and I let the walls talk.  Ever since this place was built back in 1922, it’s just been a plain old average box.  It told me that it’s been waiting to be Sonny’s Hideaway it’s whole life.  It said, ‘make me grand and dignified and intriguing and I will be grateful.’  So I obliged.

We were also guided by a few quotes from the early 1900’s during the Arts & Crafts movement in Highland Park.  One from the Arroyo Guild Newspaper, …“man’s innate need to create beautiful things with his hands.”  And one from Charles Lummis, “Whatever they made had to honestly contain the talent of its creator and the humility of medieval or rustic exemplars.”

2. Who or what inspires you right now?

That list is long.  Everyone who got me to this point and everyone who has touched this project so far.  It’s been an unbelievable collaborative effort and I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by so much talent and generosity that I can trust .

From our buildout crew; Wade Robinson (WadeCoDesign), Dick Rude; foreman, Jim Jewett; finish carpentry, Jeff Electric, Rob Sullivan, plumbing, Chef Jimmy Everett (also our tiler), and the brothers, Magbis and Franklin who are the backbone of the whole crew.  Cleo, from Project M  Plus designed our logo and it turned out better than I saw it in my imagination.  Zafar Mehbood lent his hand on the website. And Ryan Ballinger, who charts a good course. (Editorial note: Ryan Ballinger is the owner of The York, another Highland Park cornerstone).



3. To you, what is the best “secret spot” in Los Angeles and why?

Besides the one opening soon on York Blvd., I’d say the best secret spot is at the intersection of, It’s a Secret and I’ll Never Tell.

4. What’s your favorite L.A. neighborhood and why?

Probably the one I haven’t discovered yet.  That’s truly the greatest things about Los Angeles, you can live here for years and keep discovering great new neighborhoods.  There aren’t enough days in the year to hit Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Silver Lake, Downtown, Koreatown, Griffith Park, West Hollywood, Venice, Leimert Park, the list goes on.

5. What kind of vibe will Sonny’s Hideaway have?

A timeless, classic, relaxed atmosphere.  Imagine if there was a blue-collar, working-class version of the Rat Pack that lived in Highland Park in the 30’s. They’d hang out at Sonny’s Hideaway.

6. What kind of food can we expect to see on the Sonny’s Hideaway menu?

We’re going to serve modern American Comfort cuisine:

Red wine steamed, pan-seared octopus, coffee braised pork cheek with coconut milk and honeycomb, mussels in a smoked grape broth, roast chicken with celery root puree, beer gravy, and maple pecans, and braised short ribs with bone marrow hash, to name a few.  We wanted to put together a menu that we wanted to eat, so our approach was to blend some traditional, satisfying elements with some adventurous, bold creations as well.

7. When will Sonny’s Hideaway open?

So far, we’ve been on-time and on-budget, which is crazy, so we’re shooting for a grand opening on Friday, April 19. Give or take a week.  Probably give.

8. What makes Sonny’s Hideaway unique/special?

Sonny’s Hideaway uses a lot of classic design elements but what sets it apart are the minds, hearts, and hands of the people who put it together.  As far as York Blvd goes, it’s the only spot between 45 and 55 with a full menu, table service, a full bar, and a back patio.



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