During the turbulent year that was 2020, SP01 was lucky to have a set of wonderful global friends who championed the brand in their home city. From Amsterdam and Milan, to Hong Kong and Los Angeles, design businesses in far flung places were busy pivoting their retail stores to digital, taking their showrooms online, hosting clients by appointment and working hard, behind the scenes, to keep things moving. In our new series GLOBAL FRIENDS we are going to find out how 2020 treated each of them and discover what they love most about their home city. From metre long pizza, to serene winter parks, we kick off the series with a dynamic duo from the city of angels: Rose Apodaca + Andy Griffith from A+R, located at The ROW in Los Angeles.
A well-respected journalist, cultural anthropologist and curator of design, Rose lives in Los Angeles running the A+R design store. Along with partner Andy Griffith, who is a former documentary filmmaker and sound editor, this hyper-creative duo has given birth to a leading retailer that prides itself on featuring original design from independent makers around the world.
By taking chances on new design, Andy and Rose (the two halves of A+R) have established a dedicated following from interior designers and architects who make up 80% of their customer base.
A+R features SP01 furniture alongside other products that speak to this power couple personally. Stocking highly differentiated products has led to the A+R founders being viewed as trend forecasters and as multi-passionate humans with a flair for backing winning, new design.
We asked Rose to tell us a little about their store, and their lives in L.A during 2020.
SP01: What’s something we don’t know about you?
Rose Apodaca: Okay I’ll start with Andy: Aside from being an incredible chef who cooks for our clients, our team and everyone else in our personal lives, he has a thing for non-fiction and fiction books on sailing, especially older adventures on the high seas.
I am currently wrapping up writing and creative directing my fourth fashion book and second with fashion icon, burlesque queen and my long time pal, Dita Von Teese, called Fashioning the Femme Totale: The Guide to Glamonatrix Style.
Our first book together, which focused on beauty and wellness, is now in five languages and hit #2 on The New York Times Bestseller List. Before A+R, I was a style and culture editor, writer and creative director. With some further hard work and luck, this latest will be in bookstores within the year.
SP01: Give us a local update - what has changed in L.A. over the last 6 months?
Rose Apodaca: Following the March 2020 Covid shutdown, Los Angeles has yo-yo’d back and forth between business opening and shutting down.
The courtyard at A+R The Row, L.A.
SP01: How have you overcome the challenges?
Rose Apodaca: Our digital programming has expanded, as so much of business is now done virtually and remotely. We have always prided ourselves in being creative, nimble and responsive, and those qualities are particularly vital during this extraordinary time.
SP01: Something positive you will take from your experience of 2020
Rose Apodaca: While business has not at all slowed down, our personal lives have in some way. Working from home has meant not spending so much time in traffic. There has been an opening for solitude and reflection that we did not always allow for before March 2020. We have all found ways to work more efficiently, and taken steps to update and evolve many systems. Personally, we’ve connected with friends from around the world via regularly scheduled FaceTime or Zoom calls with whom we would have rarely made the time for in the past.
SP0!: What is your favourite SP01 Piece and why?
Rose Apodaca: There are quite a few—but right now the Yee Storage is front of mind, because it stands miles apart from all other storagecredenzas and has a sculptural quality about it. And we are dreaming about it for our media room at home! (See here at A+R link) SP01: What are you currently looking forward to? Rose Apodaca: While we’d like to say having dinner parties at the A+R showroom; going dancing and experiencing live music in crowded clubs; and dining inside our favorite restaurants, let’s be frank: vaccine or not, it will be quite some time before we can engage in these activities again. In the meantime, we’ll settle for safe gatherings over a delicious meal with our nearest.
"We have always prided ourselves in being creative, nimble and responsive, and those qualities are particularly vital during this extraordinary time," - Co-founder of A+R Rose Apodaca.
Interior of the A+R showroom in L.A.
SP01: What are your top 5 places in L.A.?
Rose Apodaca: So much of what we enjoyed pre-pandemic involved packed spaces. But Andy, our daughter Nina and I love to dine out and experience our city al fresco, too. So even before it all, we had favorite go-to’s that were already socially distanced.
Rose Apodaca - L.A's Top 5 post-pandemic picks
01. Griffith Park: There is so much to do here, and not just hiking up to the best views in LA. Too many locals and visitors don't realize that at 4,310 acres, it's one of the largest urban parks in the US five times the size of New York's Central Park. There's a train, an equestrian center, a carousel, a hidden walking path along a stream; the Observatory (even if it's closed now!); and so much more.
02. Hollywood Farmer Makret: A Sunday morning ritual, held outdoors in the heart of Tinseltown, where we shop for fresh organic produce, whole grain bread, sustainably farmed meat, as well as pre-made tamales, goat yogurts and other delicious items.
03. Descanso Gardens: We keep a membership to this 150-acre botanical garden, just 15 minutes from our home, to stroll solo, meet up with friends, or take our daughter birding. There is a Japanese-designed garden; a lake with fowl; and many gazebos and other dedicated spaces for meditation and chatting.
04. Take Out from Triple Beam Pizza (Echo Park) or Max City BBQ (Eagle Rock) Andy is an amazing cook of many cuisines, we get take-out twice a week or more out of exhaustion and to support our local eateries, and frequent drive-bys are renown chef Nancy Silverton acclaimed pizzeria and this slow-cooked BBQ corner joint.
05: The ROW Yes, it's home to our showroom, but we also frequent our neighbours, bringing home small-batch tequilas and biodynamic wines from Flask & Field; a box of fresh oysters from Rappanhook for Andy to shuck in our kitchen; or stroll the 32-acre campus which features commissioned murals by street artists such as RETNA and the London-based Lakwena. We even took our kid to the socially-distanced ticketed drive-thru Stranger Things experience staged at the the multi-level garage and going on thru Spring.
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Visit A+R Address: ROW
777 Alameda Street Los Angeles,
90021, United States