The Ultimate Guide to LA’s Fashion District

Whether you specialize in interiors or runways, or just love a good DIY project, the Los Angeles Fashion District speaks to every kind of designer. The Fashion District features over 2000 retailers and wholesalers offering bargain prices down to cents. On top of clothes, accessories, fabrics, toys, and perfumes, the Fashion District also houses the largest flower district in America, the buzzing Santee Alley market, and hidden designer showrooms. Plus there’s always an event happening across the 100 blocks. Yup, LA’s biggest retail playground can be quite intimidating for first-timers. But with our ultimate guide you’ll be a pro at claiming deals in no time.

Transportation

Parking: On top of easy access from the 110, 101, 10, 5, and 60 Freeways, the LA Fashion District also has multiple all-day parking options. Choose from surface lots and structures at $5-$15 per day. If you’re lucky or an early bird, metered street parking is also available.

App: Available for both iPhone and Android users, this Parking app is a life saver for finding and booking parking in the Fashion District. To view virtual activities from the comfort of your home, visit these virtual events.

Metro: While it’s best to take a car if you plan to do some serious shopping, you can also go Metro and take the Red Line to the Pershing Square Station at 5th and Hill Street, putting you in the nearby Jewelry District. Or hop on a DASH bus for just 50 cents (35 cents with TAP card) and take the D & E lines towards downtown to reach the Fashion District.

For a map of the entire Fashion District, view this PDF.

Shopping Tips

  • Arrive early, and plan to be in the area for the whole day. This is not your typical quick Target trip. Expect traffic and to search for parking for at least 10 minutes. Because most stores, especially for fabrics and textiles, are not organized, prepare to spend time searching for your treasures. Some vendors also allow same-day pickup orders where you can come back in a few hours to pickup an item they didn’t have in stock.
  • Dress comfortably. The Fashion District is one huge outdoor mall. Throw on your most comfortable pair of tennis shoes and prepare to get your steps in.
  • Cash only. Retail or wholesale, most stores accept cash only. Also consider bringing a full change purse since some bathrooms require coins for use.
  • Bring your seller’s permit or a photo of it. For vendors not open to the public, providing proof of your store and seller’s permit is crucial.
  • Bring a large tote and a water bottle. Stay hydrated all day, and bring a tote for lighter shopping. For some heavier shopping, a foldable cart is your best friend.
  • Bring a friend. The more hands, the merrier (and safer).
  • All sales are final. Make sure to choose carefully since items are commonly sold “as is” and are not returnable.
  • Shop in bulk. Vendors are more likely to negotiate lower prices if you buy more than one item.
  • Take a lunch break. Fuel up at a food truck or any of their delicious restaurants. You can also finish the day off with some drinks at their popular rooftops.

Flower District

Where: Wall Street and San Pedro Street between 7th and 8th Streets
When: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 8:00 AM to noon; Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday from 6:00 AM to noon

Covering six blocks as the largest flower district in America, this section near the fashion district offers a wide array of fresh flowers, fillers, and greens on top of floral supplies and decorations. While there are stores that don’t require an admission fee (mostly on 8th street between Wall and San Pedro), the ones that do usually range from $2 per person Monday to Friday and $1 per person on Saturdays.

Pro Tip: The California Flower Mall requires no admission fee and is open 7 days a week at 4:30 AM to 4:30 PM on Monday to Saturday and 5 AM to noon on Sundays.

Santee Alley

Where: Between Santee Street and Maple Avenue from Olympic Boulevard to 12th Street
When: 9:30AM to 6:00PM

Santee Alley is an actual alley well known in La La Land for its crazy bargains! Open 365 days a year, rain or shine, this bustling outdoor market carries everything from the latest trends in shoes and clothing to jewelry, makeup, toys, and perfumes. Our favorite places to shop are Honey Love Apparel Raveland (you get a free accessory with every purchase).

Fabrics & Textiles

Where: 8th Street to Olympic Boulevard between Maple Avenue and San Julian Street
When: Usually 10:00AM to 5:00PM

From drapery, trims, beadings, buttons, faux fur, fashion fabrics–shop an endless amount of options ranging from 99 cents to hundreds of dollars per yard. Take advantage of some stores’ sewing and fashion classes to sharpen your craftsmanship skills. If a vendor doesn’t have a fabric or size in stock, many vendors also accept same-day pickup orders where you come back for your item in a few hours. Here’s some of the places we love to pick up some fabrics: JP’s Tex & Trim Closeout (8th & Wall St.), Bohemian Crystal (Maple Ave.), or really any store on 9th & Maple Ave.

Sample Sales

Where: 9th & Los Angeles streets, confirm participating showrooms at California Market Center, Cooper Design Space, The Gerry Building and The New Mart
When: Last Friday of the month, usually 9:00AM to 3:00PM

Two words: Designer Showrooms. The LA Fashion District houses some of the world’s most high end fashion in their wholesale showrooms. Every last Friday of the month, end-of-season samples are available to the general public at highly discounted prices. Make sure to bring plenty of cash since most showrooms accept cash only. Apparel sizes usually run from 2 to 4.

Check out these Best Sample Sales you can’t afford to miss.

Anna is a film production and sociology major who lives for lifestyle content. Her favorite things include lavender vanilla lattes, driving along PCH, and enjoying fruit bowls while watching the sun go down.

 

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