New store Garde brings more ‘modern natural’ style to Beverly Boulevard

Published by Los Angeles Times on March 3rd, 2012 by Lizzie Garrett Mettler.

Silks of Oakland by Stevie Howell

A shuttered electronics repair shop on Beverly Boulevard reopened its doors over the weekend as Garde, a high-end home furnishings and personal accessories store, fitting snugly into a row of eclectic fashion and design boutiques around Martel Avenue. Garde’s owner and buyer, Scotti Sitz, is a native Angeleno who said she started her career as a retail coordinator and sales associate for Calvin Klein, eventually rising to be director of retail development for Giorgio Armani.

Garde alpaca wraps”Working for Calvin Klein in the 1980s was absolutely formative. His aesthetic became the foundation for my own personal style,” said Sitz, standing tall in a crisp white button-down, a black Alice & Olivia blazer and skyscraper heels by Bottega Veneta. Indeed, the Calvin Klein influence is apparent as soon as you cross the tiled threshold onto the concrete floor, stark yet somehow cozy. The color palette is heavy with neutral tones and rich slate-gray accent walls that pull you toward the back wall of the store, lined with poplar.

Despite Sitz’s style influences, big designer names aren’t what Garde is necessarily about. Sitz aims to foster relationships with independent artists and use Garde as a vehicle for highlighting their work. Silk textiles designed by Stevie Howell of Oakland drape a front table, sculptures made of ceramic bells tied by hemp ropes by Michele Quan hang in rows on each wall, and modern engagement rings and organically shaped crystal earrings are by jewelry designer Satomi Kawakita.

“Modern natural” is the phrase Sitz uses to describe the store’s sensibility, but her commitment lies mostly in her own taste. “If I won’t put it in my own house, I won’t buy it for the store.”
Garde, 7418 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles