The Discreet Charms of LA's Discount Wonderland
September 20, 2014 10:08 AM   Subscribe

My father was introduced to the Fashion District by his gay cousin, Napoleon Garcia, who would drag him to get yards of fabric at wholesale stores downtown. "Tito Nap," as I used to call him, was a fabulous man who was as fun as his colorful fashions.
posted by ellieBOA (5 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Lovely sense of place, and districts like that are the only place to buy sunglasses.
posted by The Whelk at 10:27 AM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

This was so nice to read. I also have memories of going to the Fashion District with my dad. When I went shopping with my mom, we usually went to regular department stores and boutiques. When dad came along, it was again-hunting in the fashion district.

I still remember being in junior high and getting into a huge fight with him at a store called Beno's, over these jeans. He insisted I close the top button, I insisted it was the style and he was just old-fashioned. We left without the jeans, but I bet we still stopped in Chinatown for lunch. This was In the 70s, so it was much more like the 80s era described in the article. These days I have more fun down there taking photographs than shopping, but I always bring a little bit of cash.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:42 AM on September 20, 2014

I haven't been in forever, but it is an awesome place.

On a related note, a couple weeks ago there was a huge Federal raid:

L.A. fashion district firms raided in cartel money laundering probe
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:43 AM on September 20, 2014

I have a similar relationship with my dad, who took me with him to the farmer's market for most of my childhood, and also taught me to cook.

I saw him this morning at the same market. He's getting on in years, and doesn't move so well, but still goes every Saturday morning.

This was tough for me to read.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:11 PM on September 20, 2014

Having been there, I can confirm that the most distracting thing in the district are indeed the bacon-wrapped hotdogs.

My wife and her friends in the LA area were cosplayers, so the height of our visits down south were going on raids to the fashion district. We turned out to be really bad at haggling- the women running the fabric stores would just stare us down and haughtily repeat the price, which we would abashedly pay, thankful they hadn't raised the price in response to our temerity. But still, where else could we get the velvet, crushed silk and other materials needed to replicate a group of Victorian folks come to life?
posted by happyroach at 3:24 PM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

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