The Los Angeles Times Joins The Coterie of Publishers Becoming Retailers


District West

Though Condé Nast is doing it bigger and badder than anyone, you can buy fashion from your local newspaper now, too, at least if you live in Southern California.  The Los Angeles Times just launched District West, a platform for independent Los Angeles-based designers and artisans.  In playing up the local aspect, the site is even arranged so shoppers can browse the goods according to the neighborhoods in which the designers work.  Handmade leather iPhone case from Echo Park, anyone?

Unlike some magazines’ retail ventures, for which the titles’ editors have been actively touted as the so-called curators of product (Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, and Lucky — we’re looking at you), the LAT‘s business department are the ones in charge of stocking the shop.  Besides being locally based, most of the designers sold through District West run their manufacturing and production from Southern California.  And of course, there are street style photos (all LA-based), blog posts about entertaining in Los Angeles, and profiles about the local makers.

Part of the purpose of District West is to provide LAT advertisers with a relevant, integrated platform (and it makes sense, then, that the paper’s business department runs the show instead of its editors).  That said, the site transcends its commercial roots, functioning as a really nice showcase for independent Los Angeles design.