H. Lorenzo WOMEN
8660 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
+1 (310) 659-1434
H. Lorenzo MEN
8646 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
+1 (310) 652-7039
H. Lorenzo North Robertson
474 North Robertson Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90048
+1 (310) 652-0064
Extremely popular among L.A. celebrities, “H.Lorenzo” has continued to lead the way amongst L.A.’s most exclusive shops. This shop that is gaining worldwide attention is known for carrying many Japanese brands. Owner Hadar Lorenzo, who flies all over the world and visits Japan every year, visited again this year at the invitation of JETRO during Fashion Week. We found a couple of minutes during his busy schedule for an interview.
It seems you’ve been to Japan many times?
Yes. But, I have never been invited by JETRO before so I’m discovering many new things. I usually only go to places I know, but through JETRO I’ve been introduced to young brands. I’ve already found some interesting brands and am getting support from some fantastic people, which is a big help.
What impression do you have of Japanese fashion?
I’ve been coming to Japan for many years but there’s something special each time. Japanese designers are very good at changing designs to fit their ideas. Every little item speaks to me and that’s what I like about Japanese fashion.
When did you first encounter Japanese brands
About 22 years ago. Some of the brands I remember are Kansai Yamamoto, Kohshin Satoh, Yoshiyuki Konishi, and TÊTE HOMME. But, it was a long time ago so I don’t remember many details (laugh).
Have you continued to keep your eye on Japanese brands ever since?
Yes. But, only domestic trends, with the exception of brands like Comme des Garçons and Kansai Yamamoto that have shows in Paris. The sizes are tailored for the Japanese market and for a time I stopped coming to Japan to specially order clothes, but recently we’ve seen a lot of young designers appear so I’ve come every year for the last 10 years.
How do you think Japanese brands are rated by the rest of the world?
I think the brands from Japan get a lot of respect for their innovation and unique perspective. From a creative point of view I think that Japanese designers and Belgian designers should be watched closely.
What do you think are some of the issues facing Japanese brands?
Something has to be done about the sizes if they wish to enter the international market. It may take some time but there are more and more brands that are becoming more aware of the rest of the world so I think this problem will be cleared up slowly but surely.
What is your impression of the fashions of young people in Japan?
I’m very inspired by their sense of style. I can get tons of hints just by standing in the middle of Tokyo for two hours. I don’t think there is any other place as unique as Japan. For example, in L.A. they think of how well they can wear a trend but they’re not as creative as the Japanese. Many Japanese are enjoying fashion without limitations but in Europe and United States there is only a small percentage of people who really understand fashion. That’s a big difference.
How is recent customer reaction in your L.A. store?
Very good this year. The financial crisis took its toll but this year we’ve had a much better reaction than last year.
What type of customers do you see the most?
We see many celebrities from movies and music. The area is very lively and has many hotels, so we see a fair amount of tourists. We see many people from Japan’s fashion industry coming to check out the shop but the number of Japanese tourists has decreased over the last three or four years. We do have a lot of Japanese brands, so from a Japanese customer’s point of view maybe there’s not a lot they haven’t seen (laugh).
How is customer reaction to Japanese brands?
Very good, of course! That’s why we carry them. I think we’ve been able to differentiate ourselves from other shops because we carry a lot of Japanese brands. We are always striving to find the next fresh new brand.
It’s for that reason that you travel to many countries, correct?
Yes. We go everywhere, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, India, you name it. But, I like Japan the best (laugh). I think it’s very important to be inspired by new designers and be stimulated, so I like to think of myself as a bridge between my own town and various countries.
I think many customers that visit H.Lorenzo are quite sensitive to fashion. What kinds of things are they looking for?
Something unique and of high quality. Limited items that can’t be found anywhere else are very popular among celebrities.
A couple of years back you gained a lot of attention for creating a shop that was themed around the environment, when you think about the trends is eco-friendly and ethical fashion?
I opened that store at a time when there was much concern about the environment but now that’s the norm. So, in that respect I think the movement has taken hold.
Are there any movements you’re keeping your eye on for the future?
Hmm…the Web? (laugh). My store has an EC website www.hlorenzo.com, but in the near future I think we’re going to see people start to come back to the real stores. That’s because now there are so many EC websites and I think it is important to go to the store and feeling and smelling the fabric, and people are going to start to feel nostalgic about that.
Lastly, could you give me your impression of Japan Fashion Week?
The same thing happens when I go to Europe but I tend to have a lot of appointments during my lunch hour so it’s very difficult to go see runway shows. For work I visit many trade shows and exhibitions so in that respect I wish that more brands would participate in exhibitions. Japan has so many wonderful designers but so few appealing exhibitions. I think if you took the time to create such an exhibition you’d see many more buyers coming from overseas, and I know Japan has the power to do it.