Fred Segal Home’s Platform for Artisans Keeps the ‘Curator of Cool’ Alive

All images courtesy Fred Segal Home

Fred Segal, the namesake of a retail brand that helped define California style in the 1960s and 70s, was known as the “Curator of Cool.” His shop became a magnet for celebrities like the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Farrah Fawcett, seeking items that were distinctive, unique and in style — or more often, ahead of the trends.

That concept — carefully curating brands and creating a store that’s part selling space, part experiential destination — is being carried on by the brand’s latest iteration, Fred Segal Home. The 4,500-square-foot store, located in the HD Buttercup Design Center in the Culver City section of Los Angeles, offers furniture, lighting, décor and even wellness-oriented products from an eclectic mix of designers.

“We don’t really see Fred Segal Home as a brand as much as the curator of multiple brands,” said Keith Granet in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. Granet and Blair Carlton are the Partners and Co-founders of Fred Segal Home, and they hand-picked each of the 20+ vendors represented in the store, which Carlton likened to a “platform for artisans.”

“It’s like the original way Fred Segal saw the fashion business — as a launching pad for companies like Juicy Couture, but for the home,” said Granet. “We feature artisans and product that isn’t in the mainstream. A lot of home décor is becoming homogenized into Crate & Barrel and RH [formerly Restoration Hardware].”


That motivation for curation is seen most clearly in the store’s Eyecreate Salon, which features a rotating “collection of Keith’s and my particular favorite designers,” said Carlton in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We want to make it exclusive and as special as possible, so there’s Charlap Hyman & Herrero and William Hefner. As long as the artists and designers are selling well, they’ll stay a part of the Salon,” he added.

‘Every Single Product has a Story’

Even though its offerings are luxurious and high-end, there’s nothing stuffy or formal about the store itself. One vendor, Impatia, makes glass-top gaming tables for indoor sports like ping-pong and foosball, and customers are encouraged to pick up a paddle and play. “The energy it creates when people are playing ping-pong creates a fun vibe,” said Granet, including the “unique sound” of the ball hitting the glass.

The retailer also is planning on including a florist in the space: “We’re taking our inspiration from Hermès in Paris and Takashimaya in New York,” said Granet.

“We want customers to come in and have an experience,” said Carlton. “When shoppers come in, we want them to be offered a glass of wine or a glass of water, but our staff is trained both to leave people alone if they want to browse, and also offer help if they’re asked; we don’t want our staff to bombard people.

“Every single one of our products has a story,” Carlton added. “That’s what makes it exclusive and special, and our staff is great at communicating with the customers; they’re very knowledgeable.”

The co-founders’ overall philosophy has been that “we wanted to cover every place in the home, whether you’re working out in a gym or are in the bathroom,” said Granet. The retailer carries fitness products from Frame, including its Pilates Reformer, and “because this is LA, we had a company, Gem & I, that wanted to sell beautiful crystals — and they are probably our number-one seller.”

“Wellness is a huge part of people’s homes and lifestyles, so we’re proud to have them both,” said Carlton.

Asked about their goals, Carlton said they plan on opening a new store in New York “in a couple of years,” while Granet is looking to showcase Fred Segal Home’s ability to spotlight different designers and serve as a launching pad for new brands.

For the customers, “we want them to have an experience every time they come in and see something a little bit different,” said Granet. “We want them to feel like ‘This is a place I have to explore,’ that they can always go to Fred Segal Home and find something new and interesting.”

Featured Event

Join the retail community as we come together for three days of strategic sessions, meaningful off-site networking events and interactive learning experiences.



Access The Media Kit


Access Our Editorial Calendar

If you are downloading this on behalf of a client, please provide the company name and website information below: