Field Trip: Clark & Madison in Los Angeles, CA.
Posted on March 3, 2015
I was fortunate enough to meet Dina and Frosti of Clark & Madison while at Unique Camp in Big Bear, CA. I don’t talk about my experience at Camp as much as I should but it was a fantastic weekend which introduced me to a host of new brands much like Clark & Madison. They’re kind of a menswear shop, kind of a women’s shop, kind of a bag maker, kind of a general store, and entirely a great couple with whom to hang out and drink some whiskey on a Saturday afternoon. I had been promising to stop by their Westwood, CA.-based pop-up location for months before actually getting around to it and am glad I finally did. They recently wrapped up their tenure in Westwood and are currently looking for a new location for later this year.
I’ve met many couple partners-in-crime in my time running The American Classic. All of them have a special bond, a kind of airy connectedness that transcends the fact that they’re running a for-profit business and presents itself more as an incredible duo who genuinely has fun doing their thing together. This clearly makes it’s way into the shop and the brand itself. Clark & Madison is full of adventure; new places, new faces, and new experiences while still making a gracious nod to the important things in life: fine wares, excellent booze, and the best of times.
I like Dina and Frosti a lot. I don’t write about people and brands I don’t like, hence why we take the time to write each article from scratch and generate all original content but it’s always refreshing to run across a new brand and some new friends doing things their own way. I really like the way they curate their shop, featuring a pleasant mix of eye catching items to get you in the door and beautifully crafted unique pieces to keep you around. Their bag construction is not only high quality but beautiful and unique in the leathers and fabrics they choose to line the bags with. Each piece is clearly hand crafted, not in the chunky DIY type of way, but more so in the loving care and attention to detail visibly devoted to each piece. Click here to read the full article.
Tell me a bit about the start of Clark & Madison, how you guys decided to push forward as both a shop and a luxury bag brand, how things have been as a (future) husband and wife team, and where you think things are headed in the future with your retail concept and e-commerce platform.
I have been dreaming about Clark & Madison for years but the company really came to fruition when Frosti and I came together. We were both traveling a lot at the time so a travel brand came naturally. Clark & Madison is all about adventure, discovery, and American heritage. The name itself is derived from our founding father James Madison and the explorer Meriwether Clark. Both gentlemen pushed boundaries and helped shape our country.Being a young brand we saw the value of having a physical presence and we worked hard to create a brand experience that people could literally walk into. We always knew it was about more than a bag or any leather good, we wanted to create a lifestyle and provide tools for people to live it.We are able to give each other different perspectives. Our design backgrounds are very different but compliment each other. There is a masculine and Feminine aspect to everything we do. Other than that, Frosti is super chill (pun intended) and I am the opposite which is a good balance.We are looking to open up our next space towards the end of 2015 before the holidays. No news in this area yet but we are excited to explore and find a great next space!
What are some things you like about doing pop-up shops and things you’d like to see change in the future?
No pop-up space is ever the same so it is always an exciting opportunity to get creative! For example, the current space is huge and had this hideous green carpet. We laid our own flooring, found some beautiful rugs, great furniture and now the green carpet works! It would be wonderful if more companies saw potential in having their empty spaces occupied as pop-ups until they find longer lease tenants, it is beneficial for both parties. The space becomes more desirable and developing brands can be seen and even potentially turn into a long term tenant!
How has being in Los Angeles shaped the way you do business and inspired your creations and curations in the shop?
LA is over flowing with creativity, it is just about finding it. There is a huge network of incredible people wanting to work together.
For the time being, head on over to their website where later this year they will have a revamped web shop in addition to an announcement about their next location.