Wednesday, February 16, 2011

L.A. Revisited - Look But Don't Touch on Rodeo Drive

I don't know what it is about Rodeo Drive, but it makes me think of Pretty Woman (I try to forget that Julia Roberts portrays a prostitute 'cause this is one of my favorite movies ever).

Can I share something with you? I often feel weird shopping in nice stores. I don't even like to go in and look at nice things. I've always been this way. I think much of this stems from my irrational fear that was drilled into me going to high school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Back then, many stores had buzzers to let people in, and let's just say that they often used them to keep people OUT. Even trips to Barney's or Bergdorf Goodman, larger high end department stores, have not made me feel very comfortable over the years.

Even if I wanted to (or felt like I could) spend $1,000+ on a purse in a designer store, I just often felt looked down upon by retail professionals. Actually I've had some questionable interactions in some run of the mill stores too (I've got a funny story about this one particular happening in one of my unfavorite American cities, but that's another story.). Either way, just window shopping on Rodeo Drive was enough for me. Could I get over my discomfort there? Maybe... :)

First, my friend, Big Mitts & I started at the southern end of Rodeo Drive in front of a familiar hotel. The facade of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel is just enough to remind me of Pretty Woman. The camera angles are EXCELLENT in that movie as this hotel is much smaller in person.

We crossed the street towards Via Rodeo, a relatively "new" short shopping street running parallel to Rodeo Drive.

Oh, Louis Vuitton. Maybe one day I'll own some of your luggage. Why am I attracted to the practical things (or however practical $1,000+ luggage can be)?

Staying on the theme of luggage, I really liked Rimowa's pieces.

Just in case you're wondering, the small case is $750. The SMALL one.

I'm sure you are more interested in the fashion on Rodeo Drive.

I did think that their open air store was offbeat and unexpected.


Michael Kors
A special shout out to the very nice sales people at Michael Kors. They let us browse, talked to us and even complimented something I was wearing. :) Even if it was a sales tactic, it made me feel special.


Did I get over my misgivings about fancy schmancy stores? Maybe just a little. The Michael Kors folks were really nice and quite fun to chat with. It was also late in the day on a weekday, so perhaps they were a little extra bored. :) Who knows? Maybe one day, I'll feel comfortable enough to actually BUY something.

Do fancy stores intimidate you, or am I just a freak? Do you have any favorite luxury stores or high end shopping streets near you where you like to browse, window shop or actually buy something?


lavenderpug said...

oh i love pretty woman also (with some of the same repressed misgivings)! the fancy stores that make me uber uncomfortable are the ones like prada--where it looks too much like a museum and i feel like giggling because i'm so out of place.

Cathleya said...

Intimidated for sure. The only time I've ever bought a super high end purse (louis vuitton) I bought it at because I didn't want to deal with the snooty people that worked there. I really wanted the purse but it was clearly the only LV purse I ever bought (and will probably ever own) and I didn't want that to come through when I was buying it. Haha.

lobster said...

I hear you on feeling intimidated. I hate that feeling. I guess part of it might be I don't need the salespeople to automatically assume i'm just looking (even if I am, haha).

Kate said...

I feel SO intimidated by high end stores- I don't even go in. I mean, sometimes Abercrombie scares me. Why they gotta turn the lights off?

I'm so with you.

Tiffany said...

I have a tactic when I go to nice stores.

1. Dress nicely and wear heels.
2. Walk in like you own the place
3. Admire away, but act like all the fancy stuff around you doesn't excite you in the least.
4. Keep the giddy smiles/giggles on the inside.

I once tried on a $70K ring at Tiffany's for shits & giggles (they had to take me to a private secure room and everything!). When I left, I just about wanted to pee my pants after having something so expensive on my finger, but while I was there I acted cool as a cucumber!

Kimberly Michelle said...

I have to say that living down the street made Rodeo Drive less "uber crazy" than most people view it as. I'd usually frequent the shops on Beverly vs. Rodeo, but still... I wasn't shopping in the insane stores. Just Club Monaco, ROOTS and BR with a jaunt into the Cheese Store and Sprinkles or Jamba for good measure?
And just a note - don't aspire to own LV luggage. It gets beat up and it's heavier than you can imagine! Our friend is the LV regional manager for the west coast - and he uses Tumi. :) Paris Hilton bought $150,000 worth of luggage before heading to South Africa for the world cup, and returned $130,000 of it when she got back. Lots of celebrities do exactly that for appearances while traveling on a big trip... and then return it.


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