Four Questions: From Denim to Beard Oil, Variety Reigns at a Los Angeles Boutique



Monica Navarro Boyes has run Individual Medley with her husband, Justin Boyes, since 2012.

Laure Joliet for The New York Times

In Los Angeles, if a boutique doesn’t have an apothecary, does it even exist? Monica Navarro Boyes and her husband, Justin Boyes, have run Individual Medley in Atwater Village since 2012. Last year they remodeled the store, significantly increasing its size. This homey boutique in a neighborhood of bungalows and Spanish-style houses includes men’s wear, women’s wear, housewares and, yes, an apothecary. The regular customers live close by, quite a few of them pushing strollers, with a few renegades from Silver Lake and Glendale mixed in. “They go to the farmers’ market on Sunday,” Ms. Navarro Boyes said. “They go to the coffee shop on the corner. Young families. New moms. We have a small children’s section. We carry a small amount of a lot of things — all things that we love.”

These neckties are neat and narrow. Where are they from?

The Hill-Side, a Brooklyn-based brand. We love the textiles that they use. A lot of the prints they design themselves, so it’s exclusive for that line. We have a lot of Brooklyn makers. We have Helen Levi — she’s a ceramist based in Brooklyn. Same with Recreation Center. We also carry Battenwear, a men’s line for the active guy who wants to be a little sharper. Great silhouettes, and I like that it’s produced in New York. This season has a good ’70s or ’80s throwback feel, with corduroy shorts.

I’m seeing a wide selection of denim. Is there a theme?

A lot of it is American: Rogue Territory, Hill-Side, Baldwin — that’s Kansas City — and then Norse Projects, from Copenhagen. And Unbranded, from Canada; it’s the company that does Naked & Famous. These are unbranded in that they don’t have the Naked & Famous brand on there. It’s an easy price point — $98 to $110. Everyday jean in selvage denim. We have guys who work in the film industry. It’s their go-to jean that they come every couple of months to replace after they wear the heck out of them. They break in really easily. You live in them.

What are men buying in your apothecary section?

They like a lot of the hiba oil soaps. People love the Binchotan charcoal toothbrushes and shave gel. We have beard oil from Na Nin. She’s based in Virginia, and she created each of her fragrances based on a memory. We sell a lot of natural deodorant, as well as Fig & Yarrow underarm lotion.

What’s the difference between underarm lotion and deodorant?

The lotion you apply with your fingers.

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