The LA Fashion District is a popular fashion hub packed with textile stores, fabric stalls, sample sales, and delicious eateries. It’s basically a huge outdoor mall space that’s exciting and rewarding to explore.
Whether you love textiles or are a fashion expert, the Los Angeles Fashion District has something for everyone. From food and fashion to accessories and perfumes, the District is also home to the biggest flower district in the U.S. Check out sample sales at the Gerry Building, hit up the buzzing outdoor market at Santee Alley, or discover designers’ hidden showrooms.
Check out our quick guide to the LA Fashion District to get the most out of your experience.
What to Know Before You Go
The LA Fashion District is one of LA’s top shopping destinations. It’s a must-visit place for fashionistas, designers, and bargain hunters searching for eclectic items. While there are many online sources for fashionable deals from Depop, selling used and vintage items, to Duuupe, the site that offers affordable alternatives to luxury products, nothing beats the IRL hunt. For this we find the LA Fashion District main route, which follows Santee Alley. It’s an open-air market that spans two blocks and features boutiques, street stall vendors, retail outlets, and more. It’s open 365 days of the year. The Fashion District is also near other local attractions such as the Flower District which is open to the general public and art and entertainment venues such as Orpheum Theater, the Avenue des Arts, and the Escape Room LA.
What to See
The LA Fashion District can be a lot to take in. If you’re hitting up the area for the first time, here are the top places that you don’t want to miss.
- Santee Alley
Where: Located between Maple Avenue and Santee Street and stretching from Olympic Boulevard to 12th Street
When: The best time to shop is from 9:30 am to 6 pm (some shops may close at 5 pm)
Santee Alley is a bustling market space packed with the latest fashions in clothing, shoes, jewelry, makeup, and perfume. It’s open, rain or shine, year-round.
- Flower District
Where: Between 7th and 8th streets at Wall Street and San Pedro Street
When: Monday, Wednesday, & Friday from 8 am to 12 pm and on Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday from 6 am to 12 pm.
Spanning six blocks, the area is the biggest wholesale flower district in America. You can find tons of fresh flowers, greens, fillers, decorations, and floral supplies. Some stores charge a $2 admission fee for weekdays and $1 per person on weekends, while others are free. The California Flower Mall is free and open 7 days a week.
- Textiles and Fabrics
Where: On 8th Street to Olympic Boulevard located between Maple Avenue and San Julian St.
When: Typically open from 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Located along 9th & Los Angeles streets, at the California Market Center (110 E 9th), Cooper Design Space, New Mart (127 E 9th), and the Gerry Building
When: On the last Friday of each month, typically from 9 am to 3 pm.
The Fashion District contains high-end designer wholesale designer showrooms with end-of-season samples at discounted prices. Pro tip: Come early, bring cash, and keep in mind that most samples come in sizes 2-4.
How to Get There
The Fashion District covers more than 100 blocks in Downtown Los Angeles. If you’re taking the Metro, hop the Blue Line to San Pedro Station which will take you to the southern edge of the district. You can also take the D and E lines of DASH routes or use ride-sharing, bike-sharing, or dockless scooter services. The area also has hop-on hop-off bus tours and private tours to make the area accessible to every kind of traveler.
Best Time to Get There
Most shops are open from 10 am-5 pm while the Santee Alley stalls are open year-round during normal business hours. It’s always a good idea to check an individual store’s hours in advance.
Where to Eat
If you’re a foodie, Downtown LA is the perfect place to be. Grab lunch at one of these fantastic eateries or check out a list of restaurants from the LA Fashion District. Enjoy brunch at Poppy + Rose. Located in the Flower District, this restaurant offers great food and an Instagram-worthy ambiance. Don’t miss the flowers, the cute coffee mugs, or their scrumptious fried chicken. They even serve breakfast all day. Check out the Mexican-inspired cuisine at Cilantro Lime restaurant. From fried cheese taco shells to Hot Cheetos, quesadillas, or bacon-wrapped hot dogs, there’s something for everyone to love. Wrap things up with an artisan coffee from Cognoscenti Coffee roastery on South Olive Street near the California Market Center. For fine dining, head to Rossoblu, an authentic Italian restaurant with a Bolognese-inspired menu near Santee Alley.
Pro Shopping Tips
Get your bearings and plan ahead before you hit the streets to snag samples and sample food from tasty eateries in the district.
- Come early and plan to stay all day. Exploring the Fashion District isn’t a quick trip. Expect to spend at least 10 minutes navigating traffic and finding parking.
- Ditch the stilettos. This neighborhood is best to explore on foot, so wear comfortable shoes to get the most out of your visit.
- Carry cash. Many vendors, retailers, and stallholders don’t take credit cards, so come prepared. Some bathrooms also require coins to use.
- Bring a water bottle and a big tote. Since you’ll be on your feet and on the move all day, it’s important to stay hydrated. A tote bag can help you keep smaller purchases at hand without having to head back to the car. If you plan to buy a lot, consider bringing a foldable cart along.
- Watch out for counterfeits. Keep an eye out for hawkers selling fashion fakes and save your money. It’s illegal to buy counterfeit goods.
- Take a lunch break. There’s no need to shop till you drop when dozens of amazing coffee shops, popular lunch spots, and rooftop bars exist in the area.
- Stick to the area between Los Angeles Street and Broadway for high-end items. Find couture items between 8th and 11th Streets.
- Layer up. Since many stalls in the district don’t have changing rooms, wear light layers that you can easily remove if you plan to try on items.
- Shop in bulk. Vendors are more likely to give you a discount.
- All sales are final. Most items are sold in an “as is” condition and are not refundable.
Things to See Near L.A.’s Fashion District
While you’re in the locale, check out these other fun and historic sights close to the LA Fashion District:
- Historic Core
- The Grammy Museum
- Los Angeles Broadway Theater District