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Garment District Travel Guide

Fashion Dog

The Garment District is one of Downtown LA’s most attractive districts with its mercantile energy that serves as a stark contrast to the Spring Street district. The Garment District stretches 20 square blocks and is lined with fabric discounters and clothing manufacturers selling everything from designer suits, to high quality silk and velvet drapes.[1] The district used to be full of movie palaces and fine restaurants but now draws bargain discounters to its stretch.


California Mart
California Mart at the intersection of Los Angeles and Ninth is the district’s biggest clothing and fashion retailer, occupying a space of 3 million square feet.[2]

Cooper Building
The Cooper Building, located across from Los Angeles Street, offers designer clothes at bargain prices, a perfect place for those who want to look fashionable but can’t afford the high prices at the boutiques along Rodeo Drive.[3]

Flower Market
The Flower Market at Wall Street and Fifth in downtown Los Angeles is a real “bloomin’ treat”. The market runs in the cold, dim early morn. The city’s florists come here to pick fresh blossoms to sell in their shops for the day as wedding bouquets, prom corsages, and funeral sprays. This supermarket of blooms is huge and consists of two damp buildings across from each other, together combining to host over 100 individual stalls.

Private vendors operate behind booths, purveying a specific type of flower or a particular group of flowers. Vendors often specialize in greens, roses, or tropicals. Some sell wild flowers such as buttercups and yarrow.[4]

The market kicks off really early in the morning after trucks deliver fragile cargos of flowers. Buyers go from vendor to vendor, eyeballing the prices and bargaining for deals. Purchases are propped onto large carts that are pushed through the aisles.[5]

Flowers are flown in from around the world and include roses and carnations from Colombia, anthuriums from Israel, proteas from South Africa, ginger and orchids from Hawaii, orchids from Singapore, and irises, stargazer lilies, and snapdragons from the Netherlands. Roses, however, are typically locally grown, usually from the small coastal city of Carpinteria north of Los Angeles. Other local flowers include gerber daisies, baby’s breath, asters, larkspur, gladiolus, purple stock flowers, and soft pastel statice, all coming from Camarillo south of Santa Barbara. The always-in-demand long stem roses sold at the market are grown from the fertile grounds of Vista, north of San Diego.[6]

Sellers upstairs at the mart offer silk flowers, ribbons, and other industry-related supplies. Both floors are browsed by small business owners looking to create arrangements for small weddings and party functions. But you don’t have to be a flower shop owner or part of the industry to make purchases.[7]

Even if you aren’t looking to buy anything in bulk, the market is a great way to spend an early morning hour or two. The stroll through the grounds yields an aggregation of aromatic fragrances. The blossoms are irresistibly beautiful. Count on coming away with at least an armful before heading off to another part of the city for a hearty, hot breakfast.[8]

Baker, Christopher, Judy Wade, and Morten Strange. California. New York: Macmillan General Reference, 1994. ISBN: 0671879065.

Dickey, Jeff. Los Angeles, 3rd Edition. Rough Guides, 2003. ISBN: 1843530589.

[1] 62
[2] 62
[3] 62
[4] Baker, 120
[5] Id.
[6] Id.
[7] Id.
[8] Id.

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