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[dropcap letter=”W”]e are still somewhat thrown by the concept that a meticulously curated manifestation of all things tasteful is premised under the guise of a  “progressive men’s luxury retail and exhibition space” —operative word being men’s. Enter Please Do Not Enterthe brainchild of Nicolas Libert and Emmanuel Renoird, who were inspired by the overhaul happening in DTLA. Their contribution to revamp our city was a retail experience for the ever elusive figure in the LA panorama: the progressive male shopper.

Everything in the showroom glimmers and glistens as the famed California light reflects carefully selected sculptures and furniture. With a prolific roster of tastemakers, artists and designers – as well as tantalizing name – PDNE gives rise to the presumption that downtown has definitely come into its own as a commanding force in, for lack of a better term, taste.

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Only five short years ago Los Angeles was but a lowly ingenue in the realm of big city luxury. Yet almost overnight, downtown topography became co-singed by equally blue-chip retailers – Acne, Tanner Goods, Oak – and the response in turn was one of confidence and vested interest in the city center.

This venture is far more quiet that is customary for LA where the openings seem to be written in caps, shoppers are asked to make an appointment and we imagine the experience is all the better for it.

The space has further solidified the message that the downtown renaissance has come full circle. Once the specialty stores and hyphenated spaces (art-showroom, gallery-boutique) start to spring up the city is in a whole different ballpark. A business venture this lofty would not come into fruition if theres wasn’t a market already for it, right? Has downtown finally grown up and reached the ranks of Manhattan? Perhaps not quite yet, but it’s certainly getting there.

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