More than 29 years Culver City resident Carole Yu walked into a store in Canada and never forgot the impression of the location’s simplicity and beauty. On Thursday, Oct. 9 Yu will celebrate the grand opening to her new exclusive m0851 concept store.
Since 1987 m0851, a Montreal-based company, has been designing and manufacturing leather bags, accessories, jackets and outerwear, a majority of which is produced in the company’s workshop.
“Everything from the store to the products they carried were cleanly designed, well thought out, urban, and modern, everything I aspired my life to be,” Yu said. “Since that time, I have always thought about the brand as an inspiration in all my design work.”
Yu’s designed purses from vintage kimono at her last company but she never lost sight of m0851. Every six months she would visit the company’s website and felt inspired. One day in January of 2013 upon her visit to the sight, Yu saw the website had a link to “Open Your Own Store.”
“After seeing they were looking for licensees, I called a week later, and then visited the head office in Montreal Canada a month later,” Yu said. “After meeting the family, and touring the open concept design studio/workshop/factory, I realized that I truly felt compelled to bring the brand to Los Angeles.”
After meeting with the brand’s founder, Frederic Mamarbachi, she believed that the family-operated business was a great investment and decided to take the risk of being the first to bring m0851 to the Los Angeles area.
“m0851 has not been in Los Angeles as an entire branded store, but in the past there were other outlets,” Yu said. “The option of now having an exclusive territory in Los Angeles County made me feel this was not a huge risk because I believe in the brand that much. The daily m0851 familiar visitors who come into the store now who express their extreme delight in having a local m0851 store only convinces me it was the right decision.”
Focusing on seasonal colors and limited edition leathers depending on the season, m0851 doesn’t portray itself as a company to follow trends.
“The product’s inherent charm comes from the company’s approach to design which is anchored in a combination of minimalist and functional aesthetics, coupled with high-end raw materials sourced from around the world,” Yu said. “We offer a wide array of rich leathers and fabrics. The result is an authentic range of locally manufactured products that contribute to the creation of the m0851 lifestyle.”
After what Yu described as an “extensive location search” that took more than a year, she found her location in the neighboring City of Santa Monica’s Montana Avenue.
“It’s a great street to shop, there are other high end retailers moving in, I feel the timing is right, there’s a real neighborhood feel, and a lot of foot traffic, and people actually carrying shopping bags.”
The grand opening will take place on Thursday, Oct. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. at m0851 Santa Monica located at 1426 Montana Ave. # 2 in Santa Monica.