Fashion's Night Out: Beckley on Melrose
Melrose Boulevard was up way past its bedtime, with shoppers strolling from store to store and registers ringing loud and clear Friday night. Case in point: Beckley, whose owner Melissa Richardson had a stroke of genius in hiring pedicabs to take shoppers to as many stores as they desired, sans the stress of parking valets or meters.
In her store, where customer relationships seem to always come first, Richardson greeted regulars and the new faces that stopped by. The RSVPs exceeded her expectations and so did the amount of sales. "It was so much more than what I thought. It's always a good thing when people are shopping," she said.
She said she would definitely participate in Fashion's Night Out again next year "because there were so many new people in the store. When you have been open for two years and the buzz wears off, getting new people can be a challenge."
Guests sipped on strawberry basil lemonade, some served "Madonna's, Like a virgin" -- which is what I enjoyed. But the drinkers took it straight up, with vodka. Travis Schmidt's uber-popular world's fair food truck handed out Diane von Furstenburgers.
The pedicabs turned Melrose into its own little shopping community, which is exactly what Richardson had in mind. I took the pedicab to Kiki de Montparnasse, where the Chapin sisters played a beautiful acoustic set with soft harmonies while shoppers took advantage of the aphrodisiac tasting that consisted of what the manager termed erotic food, such as grapes, figs, berries and dried papaya strips.
After I tried a handful of berries and enjoyed a beautiful performance, the pedicab took me back to my car. Sports car drivers poked fun but the pedestrians cheered the pedal-pushing pedicab drivers, and so did I.
-- Raha Lewis
Photo: Melissa Richardson in Beckley, her West Hollywood boutique. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles TImes