Guillermo Andrade, who was a pioneer on Fairfax Avenue in positioning streetwear as luxury, is returning to retail — this time on one of L.A.’s toniest shopping streets, Melrose Place. Not without a bit of an underground feel though.
Step into the new 424 flagship, and you might think you have entered a cave.
The basement location on the well-heeled shopping street whose tenants include The Row, Balmain and Bottega Veneta is a sharp contrast to the above-ground stores covered in dense ivy and shaded in towering ficus trees.
But this is a new beginning for Andrade. His fashion career started in 2010 when he opened FourTwoFour, a multibrand store on Fairfax where he launched Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God and was an early supporter of Rhude, Vlone, Doublet and Second Layer.
Being around all that streetwear pushed Andrade in 2015 to start his own label, which ended up taking a lot of his store’s space until the boutique closed two years ago. But the Guatemalan-born designer continued to grow his brand, which is sold online at his own site and at brick-and-mortar stores Essx NYC, Ssense in Montreal, Selfridges in England and GR8 and Nubian in Japan.
“I thought retail was over when I closed the Fairfax store,” Andrade said, standing inside his new outpost with limestone, concrete and sand splattered on the…