Lisa Kline closes her women's and kids' businesses to focus on men's
Los Angeles retailer Lisa Kline — who helped transform Robertson Boulevard from a pretty little street into one of L.A.'s most popular shopping destinations with her ultra-trendy eponymous fashion boutiques — is getting out of the women's and children's apparel business.
This week, Kline sent this note to her business associates:
After 15 amazing years, I have decided to phase out of the women’s and kid’s divisions of my business and focus solely on men’s. I am really excited to focus all of my attention on the men’s business (because men still shop and they are really fun and they don’t go online to look for deals!!) It will still be on the famed Robertson Blvd. and even cooler than before. As we all know, the women’s business has changed dramatically over the last few years. I am no longer interested in trying to compete with internet shopping, department stores, and the cheap trendy knock off stores. It’s hard to sell full price women’s clothing when it can be easily be found elsewhere with a discount. It is not fun anymore. But don’t worry and don’t be sad because I am not...I have so many things up my sleeve that I will now have time to focus on, which I’m really excited about.
The letter shows Kline's frustration with the bargain-centric methods women use to shop in the post-luxury age — a frustration we imagine most full-priced contemporary and designer retailers must share these days.
Like Kitson, another boutique born on Robertson that made its name in large part through paparazzi photos showing celebrities toting bags from the store, Lisa Kline expanded exponentially during the early 2000s (boom times in L.A. fashion) — and was forced to progressively close many of her boutiques as the economy went south. She shuttered the original Lisa Kline store on Robertson Boulevard early last year.
We're saddened — but, sadly, not surprised — by Kline's decision to exit the women's biz, but heartened that she seems excited to segue into her next chapter.
Photo: Lisa Kline's Men's store on Robertson Boulevard. Credit: Lisa Kline.