Design Destination: The Best Of The Best - Best Made

Still stumped about what to get for the men in your life? If you’re in Los Angeles, you might want to head over to LaBrea Avenue between Beverly Boulevard and 1st Street. This stretch of the city has become known as “Guy Gulch” with stores ranging from Stussy to Bonobos, Aether Apparel, Self Edge, Steven Alan and Garrett Leight. 

Best Made, the newest addition to the area, is touted as 2700 square feet of adventure and discovery. “We stand for a life of adventure, using your hands to create things, and maintaining a connection with the great outdoors,” says founder Peter Buchanan-Smith

Certainly if you’re looking for something for the traveler, the adventurer, the craftsman or the artisan in your life, be they man or woman, you might want to put this store on your to do list. The idea for the store was born in 2009 when designer Buchanan-Smith, client list includes The New York Times, David Byrne, Paper Magazine and Wilco (he won a Grammy for his design of the cover of their album A Ghost Is Born) was in need of an axe to clear some trees from his property. Unable to source what he needed, he created one that fit his exacting criteria.

Functional, well-weighted and beautiful (various models have been exhibited at London’s Saatchi Gallery), it became the first in a line of  simple, utilitarian and beautifully-designed products that range from blankets to clothing to camping gear, toolboxes, stationary and dishes. There’s a line geared towards the canines in your life and a pieces created in celebration of the store’s West Coast opening (two of them, the map of the city and the bandanna, are pictured here). Whether you’re looking for Levi’s 501 shrink to fits, a book on edible plants, the perfect leather duffle bag, a rubber Spalding ball, a dart set or a telescope, you’ll find the best of its kind here. 

The second retail location for the brand — the first is in New York — the store’s design echoes its “functional and beautiful” ethos. The building’s shell — worn wood floors, barrel-trussed ceilings, brick walls — has been left mostly as is, its beauty magnified by simple tables, freestanding shelving held in place by bright red straps, and a scattering of antique rugs. Wooden display cases hold smaller items, there’s an Axe bar (to hone your blade) and an Archery Range to practice shooting your new bow and arrow, as well as a small gallery space that showcases exclusive products (currently a line of Gerstner & Sons beautiful burnished wood tool cases with polished brass detailing that fit as easily into a workshop as they do on a dresser holding jewelry).

Best Made, 145 S. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036



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