Retail Gems at the Joule

Opening piece by piece, the art-laden, Adam Tihany-designed Joule Hotel’s cluster of dynamic shops, spa and eateries portends a new era of shopping and socializing downtown.

Holly Haber
May 08, 2013

Stage one, which should be complete by the end of this month, is the clutch of shops by L.A. destinations Traffic LA and TenOverSix. The hotel’s subterranean space is getting a glow from ESPA, the premium R&R destination with a natural ethos that lofted The Peninsula to the top-rated spa in New York, with plans to open late this month. And even the lobby is getting a reading room/bookshop fully stocked with Taschen titles. Stay tuned this summer for the new CBD Provisions restaurant and drinking establishment 
Mirth & Refuge, concepts from Tristan Simon’s Consilient restaurant group. 


Expect quintessential hipster style at the trifecta of TenOverSix, the adjoining gift shop TenOverSix Presents and Weekend Coffee serving craft java by Seattle micro-roaster Victrola. Co-founders, designers and style-meisters Brady Cunningham and Kristen Lee live and breathe Hollywood at work and at home, where they are hitched, respectively, to Jason Schwartzman, the gloomy-faced wit in numerous Wes Anderson films, and Joe Cole, a music video and film director who is also president and co-owner of TenOverSix. “We plan to bring a very specific edit of our favorite designers, ranging from pieces for the home to music to fashion,” Lee explains. “It’s a take on what’s next from trends in the markets we love and shop: Stockholm, Copenhagen, Brooklyn, L.A., Sydney, Berlin, London, Paris.” The all-white space resembles a gallery — the better to show off the goods. Among the exclusives on tap are Parisian Maison Kitsuné casual chic sportswear for men and women, edgy sculpted metal jewelry by Anndra Neen of NYC, statement mixed-media jewelry by Iosselliani of Rome, chiseled acetate shades from Rachel Comey for Prism eyewear, handbags by 3.1 Phillip Lim and vintage-fabric jumpsuits and rompers under TenOverSix’s own label. Other cool lines include Lizzie Fortunato, Apiece Apart, Want Les Essentiels de la Vie, Alasdair, Jasmin Shokrian and Jenni Kayne. At TenOverSix Presents, look for art and vintage books, magazines, home decor, vinyl records, art and natural beauty products by Ilia, RGB and Tata Harper, plus treats and foodie ware at Weekend. Opening this month. 1530 Main St., 214.261.4540;

Traffic LA

Traffic LA (the men’s store is open now) is making a triple play at the Joule with individual designer stores for men and women, plus a wee 350-square-foot shop for Comme des Garçons Play, the heart-logo casual streetwear and accessories collaboration with NY artist Filip Pagowski. “The vibe is a brand-new thing in the city: a combination of luxury, rock ’n’ roll and fashion that’s very L.A.,” says owner Michael Moldovan. Traffic’s women’s is laden with cool threads by Costume National, Pierre Balmain, Cesar Arellanes, Alexander Wang, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Twenty Cluny; Italian leather from Drome and Giorgio Brato; and casual fare from Iro, Unconditional, Rick Owens Lilies and Drkshdw. The men’s store, whose L.A. clients include Mickey Rourke and Russell Brand, stocks Comme des Garçons, Dolce & Gabbana, Dsquared, Moschino, Paul Smith, Rick Owens Uomo, Viktor & Rolf and Vivienne Westwood. It also packs in plenty of urban sportswear and cool tees by the likes of Tuesday Night Band Practice. Traffic Men’s is open, others opening this month. 1608 Main St., 214.261.4585;

The Taschen Library

The lobby’s cozy reading room and book nook will be packed with volumes by Taschen, the German publisher famed for limited editions and colorful tomes highlighting fields related to art and design. The idea is to create a “cultural/fashion/arts hub,” says Headington spokeswoman Laura Noble. “It’s our library, and we are choosing to stock it exclusively with Taschen titles. But if the Dallas Contemporary or DMA brings in an artist and they have a book, we’ll bring it in and do a signing.” A striking mosaic frieze rescued from the Mercantile Bank building rims the library, which is furnished with a communal Piet Hein Eek table, seating by Ilse Crawford for De La Espada and comfy armchairs by Donna Wilson for SCP. Taschen published the highest-priced book sold in the 20th century — the first copy of Helmut Newton’s SUMO autographed by dozens of celebs went for $320,000. Opening this month. 214.261.4560;


Glittering with amethyst geodes, crystals and rough-cut stones and manned by equally rocking therapists, ESPA “is something Texas has never seen,” promises Vivianne Garcia, U.S. vice president of the British-based firm. Aestheticians bestow bespoke treatments (which are booked by the hour) by evaluating the whole client — the way he or she walks, talks, looks, sleeps and eats. “No two people will have the exact same treatment,” she says. “We are about therapies that have a profound effect on your health and well-being.” In fact, clients are encouraged to arrive an hour early to detox and get their blood moving by chilling the body with shaved ice and then blasting it in the sauna. Another draw: ESPA’s only U.S. “vitality pool,” a co-ed body-temperature pool fitted with ergonomic chairs and scores of small jets to massage the entire body —  disposable swimsuits are thoughtfully provided. It’s all the work of visionary founder and CEO Susan Harmsworth, who manufactures the spa’s natural products in her lab in historic Farnham, England, including the bestselling Pink Hair and Scalp Mud, which is also soothing to dry skin. Opening late this month. 214.261.4555;