This story begins with a magical mothers and daughters’ trip to Tulum at the height of the pandemic. After being shut in our homes, afraid of human contact, Tulum was a feast for hungry senses. Everything about that trip was amplified and the theme that resurfaced over and over again was rebirth and transformation. Last Resort was born on that journey.
The funny thing about rebirths and transformations is that, many times, it means going back to your roots. Fashion and design run deep in Pauline Sjoenell’s blood. She was one of the first employees at Acne Studios where she spearheaded the brand’s transformation from a small denim line in Stockholm to the global sensation that it is today. Prior to that, she was the head buyer for one of Stockholm’s most prestigious high end boutiques, and subsequently opened her own multi-brand store that was responsible for introducing Swedes to then emerging brands such as Isabel Marant, Juicy Couture, True Religion, Matthew Williamson, etc... After moving to Los Angeles, Pauline applied her design sense to interiors and ran a successful interior design company. Now, Pauline has come full circle back to fashion, irreverent and more inspired than ever to dare Last Resort’s clientele to step outside of their fashion comfort zone.
Chona Hirsch has followed a more meandering path to Last Resort. Chona‘s background is in graphic design and corporate litigation, but she is no stranger to retail. After having kids, she opened a high end children’s clothing store with a focus on European brands just blocks away from Last Resort’s current location. Her friendship with Pauline has unleashed a renewed sense of creative energy and a different, wilder kind of wanderlust. So, for her, the idea of a beautiful treasure chest of a boutique that aspires to make sure women look and feel like they belong regardless of time, place or destination is incredibly compelling.
Last Resort is the brainchild of these two women and the result is an immersive retail experience that celebrates brick and mortar and the irreplaceable experience of shopping with a human connection. The boutique avoids the ubiquitous and focuses on many high end emerging brands that were not previously available in Los Angeles or have little online presence. Last Resort stocks coveted designers such as Giovanni Gerosa, Jessie Western, Monoki and Ikkimo. The garments are beautifully showcased on Willy Guhl concrete blocks and Raffaella Crespi rattan stands. Even the bespoke shopping bags have become travel staples for regular clients who love them for toting everything from plane to beach to street.
From the imposing intention candle that greets you at the door, to the vintage De Sede sofa that invites you to relax, to the terracotta god that oversees the energy of the boutique, Last Resort welcomes women who crave authenticity and are brave enough to forge their own path in fashion and in life.