As you approach Just One Eye, the massive double doors may initially seem locked. Then you hear a quick flick of the deadbolt and a gentle click, and the left door is opened by a burly, suited security guard. This choreographed entrance feels intentional.
Brett Robinson, a furniture maker in Los Angeles, was thrilled by the experience, stating, “To be in midcity Los Angeles and walk through two giant doors and be confronted with all of this extreme beauty and style, it’s exciting. You are excited.”
The store’s interior is an airy yet intimate two-level, light-filled space that plays with proportions. The rear wall is dominated by a colossal Damien Hirst “Cherry Blossoms” painting from 2019. Surrounding it are retail areas designed to encourage exploration, showcasing furniture, jewelry, and men’s and women’s clothing from renowned designers and smaller brands.
French fashion designer Alexandre Vauthier described Just One Eye as “more life as art. It’s more than a clothes shop, it’s Paola’s unique vision,” referring to founder Paola Russo.
Paola Russo, who established Just One Eye in 2011, initially launched it as an e-commerce website before quickly opening a brick-and-mortar store in an Art Deco building on Romaine Street, Howard Hughes’s former headquarters in the early 1930s.
The store attracted attention for its selection of men’s wear and collaborations with designers and artists, such as the Damien Hirst and the Row backpack. Over the past decade, Russo has re-evaluated, focusing on the store’s next moves and collaborations.
Just before the pandemic, the store relocated to its current location, a 13,000 square-foot space in the city’s central Sycamore district.
The entire neighborhood has been invigorated by Russo’s presence, according to Mr. Robinson. “There’s this refined elegance you don’t see any more mixed with this demure attitude and bright energy. Plus, impeccable taste.”
Wearing an all-white ensemble and black Prada platform sandals, Russo discussed the store’s future and the changing fashion world. “We went from logo everything to nothing in one minute. One second,” she added. “So we all have to revise, rethink, observe. It’s time for a change.”