About Town: Kara and Brit Smith
Los Angeles design-duo Kara and Brit Smith draw on their childhood in Pasadena and their design studio’s Echo Park neighborhood to create ready-to-wear looks for Elkin, the women’s line they launched in 2011. The sisters’ fall 2013 designs include lush floral prints and leather-sleeved bomber jackets, a dichotomy that reflects the Smiths’ tendency to balance structured edgy pieces with softer, more feminine dresses. The Smiths are also continuing their philanthropic collaboration with non-profit organization Helping Other People Everywhere (H.O.P.E.) that results in book donations for every piece of clothing sold. As they work to create Elkin’s spring 2014 collection inspired by what Brit calls “tropical paradises of decades past,” citing dilapidated hotels of 1940s Cuba and Hawaii in the 1950s as examples, the Smith sisters share their favorite places around L.A. that inspire their work.
By Jamie Stern
BAR STELLA We’ve been going to Cafe Stella in Silverlake for years, so we were excited when they opened this adjacent bar. It’s chic, playful and a nice place to hangout with friends.
THE BAR METHOD Brit: I grew up doing ballet and everything about ballet has influenced my approach to design, from the feminine classic uniform to the graceful body movements. I go to The Bar Method because it mixes dance with body sculpting and is perfect after a stressful day.
ESCUELA TAQUERIA Brit: I love this stylized taqueria for a few reasons—the atmosphere is great, the food is amazing, and the man behind all this, Steve Arroyo, is a friend I always hope to run into when I’m there. I’m a total Angelino, and what he’s brought to LA over the years makes my heart happy and my mouth water.
HOLLYWOOD BOWL We have such fond memories watching live music and picnicking here with our parents on summer nights. A perfect night for us is going to the Bowl with friends, a bottle of wine, and listening to great music.
HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY During the summer there is nothing better than late night picnics and movie watching under the stars with a group of friends.
JENNIFER MEYER JEWELRY Jen is one of the most beautiful women we have ever known, so it’s no wonder that the pieces she creates mirror her energy – classic, fun, stunning. We never take off our JMJ.
SOULCYCLE WEHO Kara: I love intense workouts, while Brit favors mellow workouts. SoulCycle is amazing because the music is great, the atmosphere is dark and they have really cute merchandise. Check out the new collab they did with my friends over at A Fine Line!
AMERICAN RAG We’ve truly been shopping here for as long as we can remember! We love that the store is filled with both vintage and designer pieces. Their connected home decor store, Maison Midi, is also incredible, as is the restaurant attached, Cafe Midi.
LARK CAKE SHOP This is such an adorable, retro cake shop full of interesting looking baked goods. Whether you pick up one of their cupcakes, cookies cakes, or peanut brittle, it’s guaranteed to be delicious!
ELF CAFE Kara: Elf is a quaint, little vegetarian restaurant that I always crave. It’s walking distance from my house and the intimate atmosphere is a great place for dinner with friends. They also serve their wine in old clay pitchers, which I love.
LARCHMONT FARMERS MARKET Brit: I live in Hancock Park and I’m walking distance to Larchmont, so Kara and I usually meet up on Sunday mornings at my place for brunch and Bloody Marys, followed by a walk to the Larchmont Farmers Market for fresh groceries.
BROOME STREET GENERAL STORE We go here for not only for their delicious coffee, but also for their amazingly curated general store. We can find a unique gift for anyone here.
ARCLIGHT In the winter, we love eating dinner at Hungry Cat and then running across the street to catch a movie at the Arclight.
FIORE DESIGNS We don’t make it out to Venice as much as we would like, but this floral shop on Abbot Kinney is worth the trek. We love filling our homes with fresh cut flowers and they make the most beautiful arrangements.
Pictured: Kara & Brit SmithEmail This To A Friend