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Shop Talk with Walter & George and Dear Survivor

Northern Little Italy gets a cool new shoplet


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Photo by Jennifer Siegwart

When Mixture and VI Star closed, we felt a momentary panic at the void of retail outposts in northern Little Italy. Since then, former VI Star tenant James Coffee Co. has taken over the warehouse and created a collaborative shopping concept of its own. The newest shoplet is a shared space occupied by Walter & George and Dear Survivor. It’s the first brick-and-mortar for both designers, who make handcrafted leather accessories and handbags.

“I’m drawn to designs that can move through trends and years and still be classic,” George says. “The leather I use is stiffer than what most purses are made of. It softens and darkens with time, so the more you use your clutch the more of a story it will show.” Walter & George clutch, $78, and bleached canvas pouches, $18–$40; Dear Survivor “Anza” necklace, $50

The former, helmed by owner Melissa George, is known for her hand-stitched, go-with-anything envelope clutches. The latter, launched by Christine Longoria, also offers jewelry, like her best-selling cluster studs, and donates a portion of all proceeds to nonprofits that support survivors of human trafficking. Together their simple, artful styles are a collab made in heaven.

“I worked as a production seamstress in L.A. for a few years, so I do my work with an industrial sewing machine, and source my leathers based on texture, pliability, and seasonal colors,” Longoria says. Walter & George “Hope” bucket tote, $180–$248; Dear Survivor tote, $225

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