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Night at the Museum: Inside Bode’s Epic New LA Store


Night at the Museum: Inside Bode’s Epic New LA Store

Designed by Green River Project, the interior firm co-founded by Bode’s husband and collaborator Aaron Aujla, Bode LA doesn’t look much like a store at all, besides the dozens of lace shirts, embroidered jackets, and cashmere sweaters hanging on the racks. “We wanted it to feel like you’re walking into a museum,” says Aujla. A natural history museum, to be exact. The lofty 3,000-square-foot space is lined with custom walnut shelves punctuated by dioramas like you might remember from a school trip way back when: a pair of blue suede loafers float inside an underwater habitat ringed by latex-covered kelp, and an alpine scene sits above a shock of green checkered sweats. Several millions-year-old mastodon ribs—deaccessioned from an actual natural history museum, and scooped up by Aujla at an auction—are displayed above shelves labeled with genus names, near a convincing plaster cast of a dodo bird skeleton.

At an opening cocktail party on Thursday, many guests walked in off Melrose Ave with wide eyes and dropped jaws. Aujla’s concept makes for one of the more genuinely surprising and fun shopping experiences in the city, and at the party the likes of Jeff Goldblum, Omar Apollo, Alex Olson, and even Bobby Flay couldn’t resist thumbing through the racks. (Doesn’t an evening at the museum sound way better than an evening merely shopping?) In the e-commerce era, successful stores need to deliver an experience interesting enough to get you off your computer. Within a few blocks of Bode’s downtown New York flagship, you’ll find a store that looks and feels like an elevated candy shop (Susan Alexandra), and another that is more like a freak fashion dry cleaning operation (Café Forgot, where DIY apparel whizzes by on a customer-operated track). But Bode’s shops have a different, almost stately energy, bringing to mind Ralph Lauren’s famously meticulous universe building. Bode and Aujla simply take it to a new level of expense and specificity.

Courtesy of Bode

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