Angelenos can now make a quick dash for a Maria Tash fix. The New York-based jeweler, famous for her piercing studios and the perfect jewelry for multi-pierces ears, has just opened her fourth freestanding U.S. store in one of Los Angeles’ most popular retail rows, Melrose Place.
The brand, which has a significant retail presence in Europe and the Middle East, is in rapid retail expansion mode. But for Tash, the City of Angels location is especially key at this moment. “I have wanted to open in Los Angeles for many years,” she tells The Zing Report over email. “It’s an important city; it has style, movie production, and the tastemakers who live and create there make it interesting and fun.”
The 6,000-square-foot shop is the largest Maria Tash store to date—and is considerably large for a single-brand jewelry store. The shop was formerly a Bumble Hive, and before that a Carolina Herrera store.
Tash said she chose Melrose Place because “it’s an upscale designer enclave, and the location we found has multiple floors and is a uniquely shaped freestanding building.”
The West Coast flagship spans two levels and boasts six private piercing rooms. The brand’s internal store design team conceived and sourced the store design. “We had to work with the store’s unique angular architecture and light ‘wells,’” Tash says. “We wanted to incorporate a sculpture inside the space that was a nod to an iconic Maria Tash design,” said the jeweler.
Hence, a custom-made 9.5-foot-tall triple spike earring sculpture appears to intersect the two floors. Metal accents in white, yellow, and rose gold are featured throughout the store and reflect the primary colors of the jewelry designs.
A Los Angeles location opens up the possibility of celebrity dressing for the brand. And to that end, the store features a private VIP entrance—a brand first—leading to the second level with a dedicated suite catering to high-caliber clients. The second level also features a waiting area with access to the terrace and is adorned with a mirrored hall for clients to capture the #TASHD experience for social channels.
“This retail location will also have a dedicated VIP stylist to support high-profile clientele. We felt it was important if a client wants to have a private experience, that we are prepared to meet and exceed their expectations,” Tash adds.
The brand counts celebrities Rihanna, Ashley Graham, Charlize Theron, Blake Lively, Dua Lipa, H.E.R, Bad Bunny, and Maluma among its clientele. “With a home in Los Angeles, we expect to have many of our celebrity friends visit!” the jeweler added.
A specially curated selection of Maria Tash styles made from aqua blue diamonds is available exclusively in Los Angeles to celebrate the opening, a nod to the blue skies and ocean synonymous with California.
The Melrose store is one of a string of recent physical shopping experiences the brand has opened. After initially trying out pop-ups in Paris and Dallas, the brand decided to open more permanent spaces. The former is in Le Bon Marche, the multi-brand, multi-level iconic Parisian department store.
“I had such a wonderful time during our long pop-up before the pandemic at the store. It’s an honor to be included permanently with a large space on the second floor for my staff. The store is an iconic Parisian treasure; it’s a privilege to be part of the experience,” Tash said. The brand’s Dallas store in NorthPark also followed a successful pop-up.
The push behind retail reflects the brand’s unique DNA, which is defined by the styling and piercing experience more than anything else.
“In brick and mortar, customers interact with stylists and can see, touch, and hold the jewelry up to the ear,” says Tash, who developed the concept of the Curated Ear—choosing a style of jewelry according to personal aesthetic, selecting a metal tone or mix of tones to complement skin tone, and employing fashion principles of layering and storytelling to reflect uniqueness.
“While we can do styling virtually, piercing requires physical space, and our stores are carefully designed to ensure a safe, sterile, and private experience.”
Top photo: Inside the new Maria Tash store in L.A. (all photos courtesy of Maria Tash)