Industry Insiders: Lindsay Lebby, Arcade Games
Lindsay Lebby knows a thing or two about the needs of stylish LA women. She’s the director of Arcade Boutique, the West Hollywood one-stop shop for all things designer, and along with boutique owner Rochelle Gores, Lebby and the Arcade crew are making sure that every chic-loving girl in town knows about their fashion Mecca. More after the jump on accommodating celebs, the new in-demand website, and cleaning out your closet to get the perfect new look.
Retail on the brain: I’ve been in the retail industry pretty much my whole life. In high school and in college, I worked at little boutiques and managed stores. I briefly moved to New York, where I worked for Intermix , and I was brought back by Guess. There, I managed the retail marketing department for North America. It was quite a bit of travel and it was managing the day-to-day dealings of over 400 Guess stores. I met Rochelle shortly after moving back from New York. We hit it off right away and became very good friends. I helped her out when she opened her store, spent a lot of time there, and then we just kind of had an a-ha moment where something clicked between us.
On the day to day: My days here involve everything from overseeing all aspects of the sales floor and the sales associates to marketing and working every single day on ways to grow business. We just recently launched ArcadeBoutique.com, which has been a huge focus of mine.
On building the site: The whole process took about three to four months total. Researching everything and coming up with all the strategies of how we wanted the site to look, feel, and work. We had the site programmed specifically for Arcade. It was built by an amazing programmer and graphic designer and customized to our business and exactly how we wanted it to function for the customer. It’s working out very well so far. It’s only been a little over a month, but there’s definitely a buzz developing around it and it allows us to really take our West Hollywood store and offer it nation-wide to customers.
On the Arcade aesthetic: The aesthetic here was a vision of Rochelle’s. It’s modeled after 19th century European shopping malls, which were called arcades. The look and feel of our store feels very much like if you walked into a Parisian arcade. Our style is always a very feminine, very chic, classically sexy style. We reflect that in all of the products we buy, the lines we carry, and it’s really the same style and offerings that we have at ArcadeBoutique.com.
Store Faves: My favorites are Yigal Azrouel, as well as Kimberly Ovitz, who is a fairly new designer based out of L.A. Preen is another great British collection that we carry. Anita Co. Jewelry is a staple at Arcade. Doo.Ri and Barbara Bui. And we are one of the only stores in Los Angeles that sells Barbara Bui.
On personal shopping services: We try to set ourselves apart with an exceptional level of customer service. We can do anything our client needs, whether it is show up at their hotel room with a cocktail dress for a party in an hour, going to their home to clean out their closet and figure out the missing pieces they need in their wardrobe, and then tie that back to Arcade and style them. The clients we work with are fantastic and nothing over the top or real crazy has happened on one of those house calls. They have to have a relationship with us where they really trust our taste level and our own style as well as the style of the store in order for them to want and allow us to do that.
New York vs LA fashion: In New York, fashion is much more influenced by the season, where in LA, you dress the same because our weather doesn’t change very drastically. For me, the difference is that in the summer in New York it’s so hot and you’re wearing clothes that are comfortable and breathable, and you can get in the subway wearing. And then the winter is layers, coats, and cold weather accessories. Here, we’re really lucky to have beautiful weather all the time; it’s not really super cold or hot, and the lifestyle in general is more casual. At Arcade, our style reflects that women should always be feminine and chic and dressed even if you’re just going to a casual lunch with your girlfriend—really being outfitted and put together in a feminine way. I often wear jeans and a t-shirt but I’ll throw on a big statement necklace so the outfit looks completed. I wear heels. Even if I’m in jeans to go to lunch, I probably have on a wedge. I’m always accessorized.
Tips for effortless dressing: I’d say it’s really important to wear what you’re comfortable in, and that’s how you make it look effortless. It’s really important to read a customer’s own style, comfort level, and body image so that you can style them and dress them in a way that they feel good about themselves. If you put someone in something that looks fantastic on them to an outsider, but they’re not comfortable, they aren’t going to appear effortless.
On celeb clientele: In L.A. you get used to seeing the celebrities and it’s a delicate balance between treating them like a V.I.P and making them feel comfortable. It’s also offering them a certain level of privacy. We have a lot of celebrity clients that no one would ever read about because we make sure that their shopping trips are kept private and personal rather than photographed and exploited.
Most coveted piece for fall: Pieces I always, always covet for every season are Yigal Azrouel dresses. The way his dresses fit a woman’s body is unbelievable. You can put on any of his dresses and instantly feel special, sexy, and confident. I love his dresses for every season.
Go-tos: My favorite restaurant is Terroni, great food and music. My friends and I go there for long girl’s dinners. For a quiet dinner, Pace in Laurel Canyon is delicious and has an extensive wine list. The bar I enjoy most is Bronson Bar on Monday nights. I also like to get spicy margaritas and tortilla soup at El Carmen. I always love to go to Chateau Marmont. Any day or time this gorgeous, historic hotel makes me happy.