Henry Duarte atelier
Henry Duarte atelier

Each year, it seems like there’s more ground to cover at Los Angeles Fashion Market. In addition to the four showroom buildings on the intersection of 9th and Los Angeles Streets—the California Market Center, The New Mart, the Cooper Design Space and the Gerry Building—just off the intersection on Los Angeles is the Lady Liberty Building, the 824 Building and the Academy Awards Building and another block over to the West is The Primrose Building. Plus, there are the trade shows: Designers and Agents at The New Mart, Select at the CMC, and Coeur and Brand Assembly, both at the Cooper.

This season, I stumbled across an independent option a block north at Henry Duarte’s atelier thanks to Pepper Foster (the Pepper of Chip & Pepper). Inside the space at 715 S. Los Angeles Street, I found imposing antique furniture and taxidermy and a little coterie of LA independent designers meeting one-on-one with buyers.

I found jewelry and belts by Beth Orduna; and jewelry byDanielle Welmond and Craven Iteri; fashion by Jaga and Duuya, the two collections designed by Jaga Buyan;Hung On You, William Beranek’s collection of apparel made from repurposed vintage pieces; and hand-painted scarves by Bryan Emerson.

This is the third time Duarte has opened his space up to host the independent showcase. The atmosphere is low-key and relaxed.

“This is about relationships, it’s like being a guest in my home,” Orduna said.

Some buyers who stopped by placed orders with every line, others picked up pieces that were appropriate to their store, the designers told me.

“We have such a network of customers, it’s all very organic,” Emerson said.