We love it when a brand gets us. LA born Hotel 1171 opened the doors to its flagship/clubhouse last year and boy, has the brand read our minds. Hangout and store, founders Brett Baldwin and Ryan Bodman set out to create a totally awesome and chill space for customers to shop, relax and even skate around out front of.
Feeling like old buddies from the first time we speak, The Manual caught up with co-founder Brett to see what’s been going down of late.
We love the half clubhouse, half menswear store concept of the flagship. How did this come about?
From the beginning of Hotel 1171 we always wanted to sell our own products in our own stores. We sold wholesale for our first year, but quickly realized that wasn’t the route we wanted to go, and went back to our original instincts. Being that our office was in The Arts District of DTLA and the quick growth and excitement in DTLA it was easy for us to decide this is where the home of our first retail store needed to be. We like to call it the Clubhouse because it’s our first store, and our home base in California. It’s also a great place to have parties and events. Clubhouse is a lot more hospitable and fun than “Store”.
There have been a lot of boutique/concept store openings in downtown LA lately. What’s the vibe like there at the moment?
The vibe is great, it’s starting to feel a lot more like a big city. Lot’s of excitement and energy. There’s a ton of young artist’s and creative’s living in DTLA, which is probably the best part. We’ve met a bunch of really talented people since we’ve opened the Clubhouse! Everyone, even “competitors”, are very supportive of each other and have a lot of pride for the city.
Do you get a lot of people just coming in to hang?
Yeah, we always have friends coming by to hang, socialize and skateboard out front. We love it. We’ve been using the slogan/hashtag “Stay Awhile” a lot. It’s very fitting for the brand and store, but sometimes people take it a bit too literally… haha! The best is when people come in and actually ask if we have any rooms available.
What’s on your SS14 moodboard?
My current mood board is for Holiday 14. Clean, Classic, and Timeless with unique details. I’m not a fan of a lot of the trends going on. A lot of the stuff on my mood board right now is vintage California vibes, The Wonder Years… stuff that is very timeless and nostalgic from my childhood.
What’s next for Hotel 1171?
We’ve been working really hard to set up domestic sourcing for our entire product line. Our goal starting FW14 is to offer American made at an attainable price. We will only be selling direct through our clubhouse stores and will have a large web presence. This way we can offer the best possible product at the best prices. We aren’t interested in selling our goods at extremely high prices just to come off as more “high-end”. We want to make sure our customers get the best product possible for their hard earned cash. With that being said, more stores. We plan on opening at least one new store every year and we have our sites set on another LA location or San Francisco next.
Finally, if you could spend summer anywhere, doing anything, what would you choose?
I would most likely spend it up at Lundy Lake in the Sierra Mountains fishing, camping, hiking and talking photos…living extremely simply, away from computers, phones and social media.