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Standard Issue opens new vintage clothing store in downtown L.A.

August 24, 2010 | 11:43 am

There's one more reason to visit Little Tokyo, aside from ramen and sushi: vintage clothing.

Standard Issue, a unisex clothing store specializing in apparel from the 1930s to 1990s, opened its doors late at night Aug. 14. Although it is prominently located on the corner of 1st Street and San Pedro, the store is hard to spot because a retro neon sign from a previous real estate business hangs above the door.

“That’s why we have these two huge 1890s American flags hanging on the wall,” said store co-owner Vinson Ferrer. “It grabs people's attention” as they walk by.

Like the flags, the clothing has a classic Americana, rustic edge. Items for sale include old rock band T-shirts, flannels, leather and jean jackets, hats, worn leather belts and cowboy boots. The store is tiny, with Chimayo rugs adding color to the terra-cotta tiled floor and antique props such as wooden crates, ladders and rusty stepping stools serving as tables to display accessories.

Ferrer and his business partner, Masa Ono, are longtime vendors at the Sunday Melrose Trading Post flea market at Fairfax High School. Although the two men have separate booths there, they have similar fashion sensibilities and would frequently trade items with one another.

Ferrer said that his customers at the flea market, which he said include the likes of Drew Barrymore and Scarlett Johansson, always ask if he has a store.

“It’s great to be able to say that I do now,” he said, “and that I have an even greater selection here.”

The store is open from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Standard Issue, 301 E. 1st St., Los Angeles; (213) 626-1555

--Jessie Schiewe

Photo: The interior of Standard Issue, with its eye-catching flags. Credit: Standard Issue