Margaret Maldonado founded her affordable luxury clothing line, L’AGENCE, in 2008. Since then her simple, but very on trend pieces can be found everywhere from Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue to Intermix and Barneys. So, it’s only natural that she would open her brand’s first boutique in L.A., where she’s based. You’ll want to stop by the new 500-square-foot boutique not only to shop some items that will only be available there, but also to check out the design by Peter Vracko. We caught up with Maldonado to see what’s in store for the new boutique.
Tell us about the new store. What made you open up in West Hollywood?
I’ve had my offices on Melrose Place for nearly 10 years. I’ve loved the street since I was little and it was all antique stores. It’s the only street in L.A. that has a Parisian feel, and because it is only one block long, it’s very exclusive and not overcrowded.
Does the boutique have a similar vibe to your Peter Vracko-designed abode?
Peter has been great to work with. We have been working on our house for the last year so this was a natural extension. I’ve had my eye on this building for a long time! Georgiana, who owns the building, did not have anything available at first, but she helped us secure our previous spot on the street. When the market tanked four years ago and the street was a ghost town, Georgiana had a space open up and the timing was right for us to find a long-term spot. We had just started L’AGENCE and felt it had a store in its future. The building is a John Woolf building. He’s my favorite architect! We didn’t want to lose that so it was really floor restoration, paint, and creating a nice intimate setting for shopping. The furniture and the Jean-Paul Goude print are pieces from my house, so it definitely feels like home!
What are your dream “surprise” finds to create at this location?
Definitely our shoes and bags for Fall. We did a small capsule collection of each, and they aren’t available everywhere.
The boutique has the look of a personal wardrobe! What’s your closet like?
I am in the process of building my dream closet. There never seems to be enough space! A closet and a store should function the same for me. It should be organized and not crowded. Although our space is small to start, we are fortunate because our showroom is also upstairs so we can hold merchandise and additional sizes upstairs and keep the retail space super clean and focused. I am at my studio 12 hours a day, six days a week, so my uniform is L’AGENCE jeans, T- shirts or a comfortable blouse, and Nike sneakers.
Have you had any time to unwind this summer?
I rented a place in Malibu for the summer this year. Summer is about family time for us. We found an amazing place on El Matador Beach. It has space for my whole family and when we have to come into town to work the drive is beautiful along PCH.