Church, a soon-to-open boutique at Santa Monica and Greenacre in Los Angeles, is housed in an electrically industrial interior space, concealed behind a vine-covered façade. The location may seem like a no man’s land for fashion, but Church is poised to change all that.
The store is the brainchild of former Maxfield employees Rodney Burns and David Malvaney. The latter had a stint at the storied boutique more than a decade ago, while Burns only recently left it to start Church. “I was creatively stifled in golden handcuffs,” Burns joked during our interview, as in the know “clients” streamed into the new space to get a first look at it. “I wanted to do something creative and do my own thing. I was seasoned enough to know how to run a business,” he continued.
Of the still under construction space—which includes eclectic art objects, furniture and the beginnings of some well-chosen items—Malavey further explains: “We wanted a destination store, away from Robertson, Melrose and Rodeo.” But most importantly, they wanted “a comfortable relaxed environment to come and experience fashion and lifestyle.”
The duo envision a pressure-free environment where creative types will pop by, plop down on the couch, take in the splendid environment and eventually get around to picking up designs by the likes of J. Mary, Vintage by Coquette, Literature and Thomas Christopher, or unique pieces such as Evan Chamber’s glass and metal work and Andy Paiko handblown glass bell jar. “The whole concept was to engage with a community of artists, designers, stylists and creative people,” Malvaney earnestly explained.
And while this convergence could exist in any fashion capital, the store emphasizes its locality. “There are a lot of California-based vendors. We believe in California designers but we will bring in some Japanese designers who are not represented in the US,” gushed Malvaney, before saltily adding: “We’re not interested in going to Paris to regurgitate the same things Barneys and Neiman Marcus are buying.” They are also interested in working with brands in their infancy to develop exclusive products for the store—often with specific clients in their extensive celebrity and socialite base in mind.
If this all doesn’t sound ambitious enough, Malvaney noted that eventually they “hope to develop clothing, textile and furniture lines under the Church label.”