Since 2005, EM & Co has championed emerging Los Angeles design talent, displaying their designs alongside international headliners such as Stella McCartney, Missoni and Jean Paul Gaultier. The store’s bright white gallery-like setting showcases art on the walls and hosts monthly exhibits featuring local talent. One-stop shopping for Hollywood stylists and costumers, trunk shows, personal shopping services, private one-on-one appointments and even a pet-sitting service for shoppers make EM & Co part of the city’s retail A-list.  Recently, founder Evelyn Morel told us a bit about her store’s history, philosophy and future plans.

“EM & Co was founded in 2005, with the idea of creating a great mix between international labels, local designers and art. Our motto is 'think global, act local.’ We look for interesting fashions all over the world, while, at the same time, we are active supporters of the local art and design scene.

It all goes back to my start in the fashion industry as a designer.  Having direct contact with the customers and really seeing what they like, how they buy, was really important, because, after all, we make clothes for the consumer. So I became a partner in a boutique in West Hollywood. And I realized how much I liked the retail side of fashion. It opened my eyes as far as design goes so I decided to strike out on my own, in a location where more of our target customers shopped. I came to West 3rd Street.

West 3rd Street has evolved into one of LA’s best boutique shopping destinations over the last few years.  It's central, easy to get to from both East and West Side, there are amazing restaurants around us, you can walk from Beverly Center to the Grove and find cool shops and things to see on both sides of the street, around 10 blocks.

The interior of our shop reflects the locale, very modern and clean, concrete floors, white walls, like a modern loft.  The fixtures are all white, and have been designed to be re-arranged in different combinations, like building blocks.  Every month, we change the art on the walls, and we re-merchandise the whole store, so the colors of the clothes work with the art. Every month, the feel of the store changes slightly.

Em & Co apparel selection
Em & Co apparel selection
When we buy, we really think of our customers, how they would wear the clothes, what they would like, how they would respond.  We look for things that are wearable, have a little interesting twist, are versatile or can be styled in different ways and are always flattering. We find new labels by going to showrooms, trade shows and our own research. In fact, one of the newest labels here was our patternmaker.

Our typical customer is fashion-savvy, stylish, looking for something that's a little different.  We cater to a variety of styles and ages, and you can find something for everyone from black-tie, evening dresses, to office-friendly clothing.  As we always like to say ‘we dress the mother and the daughter.’

Colors are trending right now for us. We've sold a lot of red this spring and I see it continuing through the summer.  Of course, you will always have black as a fail-safe, go-to color. But neutrals such as black-and-white stripes, polka dot prints are also selling well.

We always hear: ‘This is my favorite shop. This is such a cute store!’ We always pay attention to the merchandising and overall environment. The space always feels good, restful, yet inviting to explore. The other comment we love to hear that makes us get up in the morning:  'Every time I wear this piece, I always get compliments' As for requests, since we work with local designers, we can get requests for a more customized fit.

The boutique has essentially had the same mission from the first day. We've hosted monthly art exhibits for over five years, the ‘UP NEXT: L.A. DESIGNERS’ fashion shows during L.A. Fashion Week for over four years. Recently, we started ‘POP-UP @ EM&Co’ which features monthly revolving collections from L.A. designers.  We are getting ready to take this concept to a more global scale, and are looking to expand to other cities.

We always have champagne in the fridge–all you have to do is ask!”