Friday, April 27, 2012

How to save money on prom at Santee Alley

According to a recent report published by USA Today, the average family will spend $1,078 on prom this year. That’s almost $300 more than the average in 2011. The report states the average girl will spend $231 on her dress and $45 on her shoes. The average boy will spend $127 on his tux and another $100 on accessories including shoes and a tie. The average cost for a corsage is $20 and $10 for a boutonniere.

That’s over $500 on just outfits! Not to mention dinner, limo rides and the actual prom. We headed down the alley and found that you can save up to 50% by buying your prom outfit at the Fashion District. You can even go to the Flower District and make your own corsage and boutonniere!

Dress: Average Cost $100-150

Conny's Dress
1149 Santee St.

Conny's Dress
1149 Santee St.

Conny's Dress
1149 Santee St.

Tux: Average cost $89.00, starting as low as $49.99, includes tie and shirt

Available in Fashion and Slim Fits.
Gold Man
Quality Men's Wear
1132 S. Santee St. #H

Available in Fashion and Slim Fits.
Gold Man
Quality Men's Wear
1132 S. Santee St. #H

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Find love at Thread Addiction

A living art gallery is how Sepehr Dardashti describes Thread Addiction, the men and women’s apparel boutique he runs with his father.

“Everything we design is based on eshgh,” he says. Eshgh means “love” in Farsi and it is the concept behind the Thread Addiction clothing line.

Sepehr and his dad, Bahman Dardashti, hope to inform and educate about Persian culture through poetry. The Thread Addiction designs feature quotes from Persian poets and focuses on calligraphy about love and spirituality. Sepehr joined his dad in the family business 8 years ago. Together they’ve been designing and manufacturing Thread Addiction in the Fashion District for the past 3 years.

“The inspiration for the line came from wanting to spread the message of love through our own culture,” said Sepehr. “We work with world renown artists and calligraphers. Other designs are more basic, for example repeating the same letter in different patterns.”

Thread Addiction uses calligraphy as an art form. Every garment is a unique design. Patterns are never repeated. Inventory is always changing so the store evolves from season to season, much like an art gallery would. Thread Addiction is hand made in Los Angeles and is available for wholesale and retail. Stop by the store or visit them online at

Thread Addiction
1317 Santee St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Monday, April 23, 2012

LA Fashion District Fire Update: Stores remain open in Santee Alley

The LA Fashion District is open and will remain open as the Los Angeles Fire Department continues to investigate a fire that broke out near Maple Avenue and Olympic Boulevard early Sunday morning. Only the stores directly affected by the fire are closed off from the public. The stores in the surrounding area will remain open, including Santee Alley.

There were four stores inside the alley affected by the fire. Those stores are closed to the public, but the neighboring stores in the alley are open and business is expected to continue as usual, throughout the course of the investigation. The LA Fashion District Safe Team is in the area assisting LAFD and LAPD.

A fire was reported at around 2 a.m. on Sunday near Maple Avenue and Olympic Boulevard. About 150 firefighters responded to the scene. It is believed the fire may have started in the mezzanine area of one of the units, but the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bridal Fashion Week Fall 2012

Vera Wang Fall 2012
Roll out the wedding aisle runners, it’s Bridal Fashion Week! The Fall 2012 bridal season has been a mix of new and interesting trends, as well as a continuation of past seasons’ favorites. Among the most noticeable new trends for 2013 was color. While color has been previously seen on the runway, think pastel shades; sea foam greens; shades of taupe; and pinks, Fall 2012 is showing preference for rich red shades. Perhaps a nod to the Chinese influence on fashion. Chinese brides traditionally wear red wedding gowns, as red is a symbol of good luck and happiness in Chinese culture.

For the more daring brides, we spotted color wedding dresses, red included, at Tiffany’s Bridal Salon located at 1104 Santee St. and LA Queen’s Boutique located at 912 S. Santee St.

Victor Harper Fall 2012
Also prominent on the runway were bold embellishments. From over-the-top tiered skirts to oversized bows, the Fall 2012 brides are making a statement. We loved the unique looks and detailing on these dresses. Find unique bridal looks of your own at Noell. Though they are not a bridal salon, Noell specializes in evening dresses and carries the best selection of name brands. Many of the designs they carry are exclusive to the store; you won’t find their dresses anywhere else!

Making a return from previous seasons were cap sleeve dresses and classic lace, while the one shoulder trend continues to gain momentum. For a wide selection of bridal dresses visit Joy bridal boutique at 940-D Santee Street. They carry all dress sizes up to 5X.

*Photos courtesy of

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Picante restaurant brings full bar to Santee Alley

Atop the crowded alleyway of Santee Alley lies a quiet, peaceful patio where on any given day a gentle breeze offers an escape from the crowded heat and a friendly waiting staff promises to keep you refreshed with the alcoholic beverage of your choice. That’s right, there’s a bar in Santee Alley.

It’s not just any bar. The full bar at Picante compliments the delicious menu of Latin-infused seafood dishes. The restaurant boasts “world famous” fish and shrimp tacos, and serves everything from Peruvian fish stew to shrimp BBQ flat bread, a house favorite. There are also a few chicken, beef and vegetarian dishes.

Upon the suggestion of our knowledgeable waiter we ordered fish tacos and the shrimp BBQ flat bread, both of which were delicious. The BBQ sauce on the flat bread is homemade and had just the right amount of spice to give the shrimp an extra kick. We received a complimentary appetizer of homemade chips with Picante’s own dipping sauce. Delish! Needless to say, we’ve found our new favorite spot in the alley.


Don’t be fooled: Go up the stairway on Olympic between Santee Street and Maple Avenue to get to Picante on the second floor.


1001 Maple Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 765-0201 

Mon-Fri 11 am - 7 p.m.
Sat-Sun 10 am - 7:30 p.m.



Thursday, April 5, 2012

American Boy with European Taste

The name Santee almost immediately conjures up thoughts of crowds, endless displays of fashion tops, and the smell of bacon wrapped hot dogs, but past the hustle and bustle of Santee Alley lays a more tranquil stretch of Santee Street. The area is lined with stores retailing recognizable brands such as La Femme, and Tahari, as well as their own designs. Among this mix you’ll find American Boy, a men’s wholesaler and retailer carrying European-style shirts and jackets.

American Boy’s style is fitted and sleek. The mannequins sport biker-inspired jackets and coats in eye-catching colors and patterns. On most days, you’ll find the owner, Jacques Moadel, assisting his customers and offering insight into the latest men’s fashion. Jacques opened American Boy four years ago and boasts and international clientele base.

On average American Boy shirts retail from $25 to $39, while jackets range from $50 to $99. Wholesale prices range from $15 to $49. For inquiries please contact Jacques Moadel at or 213-749-9399.

American Boy
1321 Santee St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Shoe Lover's Paradise

While browsing some online retail shops the other day we noticed some shoes looked very familiar. Then we realized it was because we’ve seen them at Santee Alley! So we did a little research and compared prices. Our findings were as follows:

The “Brighton Platform”, a faux suede platform bootie retails online for $58. The site says the shoe is described as having a rounded toe, chunky heel and a zip closure in the back

 We found what appears to be the same shoe at Sexy Heel in the alley. The bootie is made by THR and has an identical description, at only $32.99.

The "Patent Platform Wedge", faux patent leather platforms with a fully lined interior and cushioned insole, retails online for $58.

Photo courtesy of Lola Shoetique

Find it at Lola Shoetique for $28. They even have a better color selection!

 The "Gallista", a velvet peep-toe platform, retails online for $155.

Photo courtesy of Lola Shoetique

The same Gallista by Michael Antonio Studio can be yours for $130, if you buy it in person from one of Lola Shoetique’s four locations.


The "Willa Platform Wedge" retails online for $58. Buy it at Bliss for $32.99 in black and coral.

So how is it possible that the same shoe retails at almost half the price at Santee than it does online? We spoke to one Santee business owner who says often times they buy their shoes from the same manufacturer as major chain and department stores. The only difference is that department stores will sometimes have the manufacturer change the label on the shoe so it reads as their own brand. Nonetheless quality remains the same, and because Santee vendors buy the styles as is, they don’t feel the need to up their prices.

Sexy Heels
1006 S. Santee Alley, Suite D
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Lola Shoetique
1113 1/2 Santee Alley
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Bliss Shoe Boutique
1132 Santee St. (in the alley)
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Monday, April 2, 2012

Black Knights brings affordable athletic shoes to Santee Alley

It’s well known that Santee Alley is a gold mine for women’s shoes. Every color, style and size is here and at an affordable price, but what many may not know is that the alley is quickly becoming the place for men’s shoes as well, especially men’s athletic shoes.

One of our favorite stores is Black Knights. An authorized dealer, Black Knights carries brand name shoe lines such as Nike, Jordan, Lacoste, Levis, and Converse. They offer competitive prices, up to 50% off full retail price, and carry current styles.

“We have the same shoes as department stores, but we give a better price,” said Black Knights owner, Bruce Lee.

On average you can expect to save $20-$30 off department retail prices. Black Knights even has select children’s shoes starting at $22.99 and adult shoes at bargain prices. Score select Jordan styles at 2 for $80 or 2 for $60. In addition to men’s and boy’s shoes, Black Knights also carries baby and women’s shoes, soccer cleats, CAT boots, and athletic apparel and accessories.

1139 Maple Ave. (In the Alley), Los Angeles, CA 90015