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Why would Dries Van Noten open his first U.S. store in the middle of a pandemic?

The building, a former jewelry factory, is surrounded by local foliage. "For me a store has to be unique, reflect the city it's in, and the person who keeps the store," the designer said.
A look at the exterior of the new Dries Van Noten store, which was once a jewelry factory and the retail space of Opening Ceremony. “For me a store has to be unique, reflect the city it’s in and the person who keeps the store,” the designer said. (Jim Mangan)

At 8,500 square feet, Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten’s new shop — his seventh — is his largest, bigger than the ones in his hometown of Antwerp, Belgium, or in Paris. Located on La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles, in the home of a former jewelry factory and across from the stalwart diner Norms, the spacious store, which opened Friday, would feel ambitious in scope even if it weren’t for the fact that it came together during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We thought, ‘Well, it’s not the most obvious time. It’s not the most easy time,’” Van Noten said on

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Dries Van Noten’s New L.A. Store Promises to Reshape Brick-and-Mortar Retail

Dries Van Noten made headlines earlier this year, spearheading an open letter to the fashion industry that called for major changes. Among the letter’s top priorities—agreed to by scores of other designers, executives, and retailers—were realigning seasonal deliveries and delaying sales periods so that, for example, sweaters don’t go on sale before Christmas and sandals don’t arrive in stores in January.

Now, he has the chance to put those changes into action himself. Van Noten is opening a new store at 451 North La Cienega in Los Angeles. At 8,500-square feet, it’s a prodigious space, and the Belgian designer has come up with innovative concepts for every corner, not to mention the Little House at the back of the parking lot. The new store will double as a gallery, event space, and, most thrillingly for DVN devotees, a shoppable archive.

The address might ring a bell. An Opening Ceremony boutique

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