Prior to our visit to LA, there was one store that was recommended to us time and time again: Iko Iko. Fortunately, we popped by to experience version 1.0 before they relocated.
We love the eclectic range of items made by hand or within a tradition. Crafts, curiosities, and clothing lie adjacent to Japanese utilitarian objects and vintage art books. There's an underlying curiosity and restraint to each product and visual presentation within the store.
The attention to detail is effortless and the methodical merchandising is offset by poetic storytelling about the designs and/or products. A selection of jewelry from Hannah Keefe feels completely at natural above handcrafted furniture and housewares.
Owners Kristin Dickson and Shin Okuda have put a lot of thought and care into making this gallery-slash-boutique more than just another store. Iko Iko is the polar opposite to the "stack it high, watch it fly" philosophy driving retail and shopping culture. Anyone can 'pick out some cool stuff’ but it’s the assembly of the vision that makes this concept store visionary.
Update: After various moves, Iko Iko can now be found online and at 767 n. hill street, #108 in LA.