5.8 out of 10

Fashion District

Ranked 37th best neighborhood in Los Angeles
34.0323372999462 -118.248454566943
Great for
  • Internet Access
  • Shopping Options
  • Cost of Living
  • Medical Facilities
  • Pest Free
Not great for
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Clean & Green
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Safe & Sound
  • Childcare
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Professionals
  • Tourists

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+
Editors Choice

"Where LA Fashionistas Come to Die Happy"

Imagine a street where you can find side by side boutique stores with pretty dresses, designer shoes, unusual exotic frocks, vintage hats and handmade jewelry. And imagine that interspersed between these stores are little coffee shops and eateries just to give you extra energy for your epic shopping spree. Now, imagine a neighborhood where you get street after street like this—as if the stores of ten hyper-cool, gigantic, cosmopolitan malls had released their stores and let them flock to this urban neighborhood. Well, this is LA’s Fashion District—an unbelievable smorgasbord of clothing and accessories on a scale that only the premier West Coast city of the Americas can offer. Whether it is a dress made in Bahia, Brazil, or the latest Candies shoes, you can find them here. In fact, there are so many stores that I could spend hours listing and talking about them. As a matter of fact, I could start a blog, adding a new store with a new review each day, and probably have steady work for the better part of an entire decade. So, let us just say that if you are a shopaholic, this is where you go to o.d.

Now, I would not recommend living here. Although about 2,000 people call this small area home (it’s a little less than one square mile total), when I think of the fashion district, I think of it as a wonderful place to go and buy cool new shoes. But I would definitely not want to have apartment here. First, it really feels like a commercial district. Apartments might be hidden above storefronts, but those aren’t really very appealing places to live. Also, this place is packed—especially on weekends. Traffic is like a barely moving parking lot most of the time.

In addition, crime is a problem in the area, as is obvious by the metal curtains that descend in front of the glass storefronts every night, making you feel as if you are Luke Skywalker flying through the canyons of the Death Star. (I just thought I would throw that reference in for you Lucas fans out there who could care less about fashion unless it involves hair bun ear muffs—which by the way, you can probably find somewhere in this neighborhood).

Towards the edges of the neighborhood, things get pretty industrial with large warehouses lined with delivery trucks just adding to the overall traffic in the area.

There are also some churches in the neighborhood—vainly trying to draw people’s attention way from infinite worldly temptations that glut this area—and even an oddly placed elementary school, 9th Street Elementary. 9th Street, by the way is a bit of a mixed bag. If you take purely the scores of students from this school on standardized tests, it ranks very poorly with less than half being proficient in math and only a quarter passing the English portion of the STAR test. If you look at the effect of the teachers on these students according to the LA Time’s value added analysis, you find that the six of the eight teachers score very well—meaning basically that the teachers are doing the best they can with students from an area that has other community problems, such as second language issues.
Pros
  • Okay Restaurants
  • More Shopping
  • And Even More Shopping!
  • Cheap shopping
Cons
  • Not Where you Want To Live
  • Crowded
  • Dirty
  • Scary at night
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
2yrs+

"Fashion Lovers Heaven"

This area of LA is a shopaholic's dream. Shops and stores everywhere. While I got quite the rush driving into this area and enjoying the stores and all things fashion, it is a high that would eventually diminish over time. While it's a great place to go shopping, meet up with friends at the cafes, attend classes at FIDM , or attending a fashion show...it's very crowded. This is one of the places that can be defined as an essential to LA, but it's very crowded. Tourists, students, and shopaholics are everywhere. Maybe a better day-trip than a place to live.
Recommended for
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
2yrs+

"The crowd is a nightmare but it's worth it."

The Fashion District is an interesting place because it's in a pretty scuzzy part of downtown. Both the New Mart and the California Mart have amazing sample sales the last Friday of every month. And, between the two marts, they have everything. The California mart has a lot of specialty items like baby clothes, etc. And, the New Mart has showrooms for Rock and Republic, Juicy, (all the brands that sell to Bloomingdales, Fred Segal, et al). It's a madhouse on sample sale day but totally worth it.
Santee alley is the major draw to the Fashion District. It's a little tricky to find a little trickier to find parking but everyone should go there at least once. The alley is tiny and jam packed. It looks a lot like Mexico and people are peddling things every six inches. But, you can find amazing clothing items and purses for peanuts. The stores pretty much carry all of the same inventory so you really only have to hit a couple. But, it's a girl's heaven. You can score a lot of great clothes.
The food selection is pretty minimal in the area but you can toot over to Olveira street in under five minutes and have a thoroughly enjoyable Mexican feast. Fashion District is a great afternoon spot; but, if you can at all help it, go on a weekday.
Pros
  • Cheap shopping
Cons
  • Crowded
  • Dirty
  • Scary at night
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Students
Kathy Tyndall
Kathy Tyndall PRO Month end sales are amazing! Be sure to take a suitcase with wheels for all of your purchases so you don't have to schlep a bunch of bags around with you. Then you can also pack some water and snacks so you don't have to stop in the middle of it all. Otherwise, you might lose track of where you left off! By the way, all sizes are represented. You don't have to be a size 0 to score some great values. There aren't always dressing rooms, so wear leggings and t-shirts and pull the clothes over them to try on. Happy hunting!
2yrs+
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Best Streets in Fashion District

1

East 9th St

4/5
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Unranked Streets in Fashion District

East 12th St

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