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Mona Moore shoe store opens West Coast outpost in Venice

September 18, 2009 |  7:00 am

Mona moore

Mona Moore might not be a typical Venice shoe boutique. A disco ball hanging in the front window should be the first clue. But if you're a female footwear fanatic whose eyes light up at the mention of Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester and wedge boots, you might want to venture out to this latest Abbot Kinney retail spot.

Lisa Bush and Anna Maria Varriano opened the original Mona Moore in Montreal seven years ago (the name is a riff on mon amour -- "my love" in French). The inaugural shop offered style-starved Montrealers a place to stock up on footwear from L.A.'s own avant-gardist Rick Owens along with European designers. After launching a successful Mona Moore e-commerce site (about 40% of store sales are online), Bush decided to open an outpost on the West Coast this year. She currently lives in Topanga.
Mona Moore occupies a stretch of Abbot Kinney Boulevard that, despite a lingering recession, has been burgeoning with cafes, such as Intelligentsia, and design shops, such as A+R, Tortoise and Liseanne Frankfurt. The Mona Moore space was formerly an artist's studio and before that a barbershop that appeared in the movie "Get Shorty."

"The neighborhood is a nice mix of residential and commercial," Bush says. "I'm a huge fan of urban beaches like Miami's South Beach and the south of France. We have that in Venice."

The interior is as minimal (raw concrete, white walls) as you would expect from a boutique featuring polysyllabic Belgian and Dutch designers. But Moooi chandeliers, Venetian mirrors and vintage chairs give the boutique personality along with the mirror ball (which Bush turns off at night after it spurred a neighbor's migraine).

The otherwise spare atmosphere highlights the goods: Mona Moore currently stocks the most Dries Van Noten shoes and accessories in Los Angeles, including Oxford pumps featuring snakeskin heels ($560 to $720) and boots ($835). A range of boots from thigh-high to bootie are on offer from Ann Demeulemeester ($1,295 to $1,895), Haider Ackermann ($1,095 to $1,495) and Phi ($1,995 for silver-buckled creepers). Shoes from Marni, Lanvin and Pierre Hardy will be added over the next month.

The store also stocks local accessories such as alligator leather bags from L.A. design outfit Parker Ochs ($1,795 to $2,295).

And as a concession to its new host city, Mona Moore offers delivery by same-day courier, studio services and house calls.

1112 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. (310) 452-4070. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. monamoore.com

-- Max Padilla

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Photo: Anna Maria Varriano, left, and Lisa Bush in Mona Moore in Venice. Credit: Denise Malone / Mona Moore

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