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Image courtesy Alissa Jacob & Aliza Zelin Neidich
Interview

Alissa Jacob & Aliza Zelin Neidich

10.20.15

The east side of LA will get even cooler when Reservoir opens later this year. Alissa Jacob & Aliza Zelin Neidich are former New Yorkers who relocated out west and immediately identified a need for a boutique that represented their vibe as fashion-conscious, relaxed and approachable. They are setting up shop in an old woodshop in the very cool neighborhood, Silver Lake, which has emerged as the cultural destination of LA. The women are longtime friends and together have years of fashion industry experience. Ahead of the store opening, Reservoir is open as an online shopping destination. As the name suggest, Reservoir offers a sanctuary of their most beloved designers ready-to-wear, jewelry, shoes, and home furnishings. It’s lifestyle shopping at its best.

Interview

What made you to choose to launch e-commerce in advance of the brick and mortar location?

We thought it would be a really great way to cohesively show the aesthetic of Reservoir and introduce the concept of the store to a wide audience at one time. We wanted to give our customers who don’t live in LA, an opportunity to experience the launch of the store and a feel for what the shopping experience will be like. Our local customers will hopefully be driven to the brick and mortar location, wanting an extension of what they see online.

When do you anticipate opening in Silver Lake?

This Fall! Building out such a beautiful, old space takes time and we have a commitment to detail. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the design process and seeing our vision come to life.

Why did you choose this area? What are you favorite businesses in the area currently?

Aliza lives in the neighborhood and recognized a need for a one-stop-shop that carried the brands women were already wearing around the area but had to drive far to buy. We realized that, as transplants living in LA, you also get a lot less done than in a city like New York, which prides itself on convenience. At Reservoir, a woman can come in, say she has a party that night, and buy a great dress, a hostess gift, a quick-fix hair product, and a beach towel for the next morning’s trip to Malibu. We clearly enjoy imagining these scenarios.

There are such great businesses that have been servicing the neighborhood for years. We love Café Stella and Cliff’s Edge for dining, and The Vista Theater is an incredible time-warp experience for any moviegoer. Sifting through racks of vintage clothing at Rag Mopp or Yes California Vintage within Reform School is a really fun pastime. Nearby retail newcomers like A.P.C. and Retrosuperfuture have been very welcome (and dangerous for spending) additions, diversifying the fashion retail scene.

As childhood friends did you ever fantasize about opening a store together?

We had fantasized about working together when we were children, but in that same fantasy we had also married brothers, lived in the same house, and ran a veterinary clinic to take care of orphaned puppies. But once we started our careers in New York we never considered that we could even work together as we were on two very separate paths. It was serendipitous that we were both in LA and between projects at the same time. Once Alissa suggested that we should actually do this, it was kind of like, “of course, this makes sense.”

How long have you both lived on the west coast? Was it challenging to adjust?

Aliza’s been in LA for just over four years, and Alissa for almost two. Adjusting to a new city always has its challenges, but we both found LA to be a very welcoming place. Because it really is a city of transplants, there was always someone willing to take us out or introduce us to friends, because they had once been in our shoes before. Additionally, moving to LA from New York requires a bit of slowing down, which, as you can imagine, was pleasant for us to adjust to.

What is the overall direction for Reservoir?

The direction for Reservoir is a modern place to shop for anything from a t-shirt to an evening gown, a teapot to a towel. We want our customers to feel comfortable in the space and provide enough merchandise to encourage discovery, where they can recognize brands they love as well as be introduced to new designers we believe in. With the amount of indoor and outdoor space we have, we plan to hold a fair amount of both fashion and lifestyle events. Because we’re so inspired by the neighborhood, we want to return the favor by inspiring our customers in as many ways as we can.

Will the store be more of a concept shop? What categories do you plan to cover?

Reservoir is definitely a concept store in the truest sense of the term. We have all categories of clothing and accessories, from casual-wear to evening wear, active-wear and beachwear, to shoes, bags, jewelry, and sunglasses, in addition to home goods ranging from furniture to dishes, candles, tech accessories, towels, rugs, leather organizers, pet supplies, beauty products and art.

Who are some of the designers you will feature?

In terms of clothing and accessories, a selection of brands include: Alexander Wang, Ryan Roche, Rag & Bone, Ellery, Dosa, Opening Ceremony, Wendy Nichol, Sidney Garber, Anita Ko, Linda Farrow, Hellessy, Jennifer Fisher, Newbark, Vince, Equipment, and more.

For home goods we carry Tina Frey, Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, Assouline, This Is Ground, Yield Design, Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co., Costes, Black Sheep (white light), Ware of the Dog, Joey Roth, Yield Design, Oscar Maschera, and more.

Can you tell us a bit about the services you plan to offer that will set you apart from other high end retailers in LA?

Foremost, we believe our space will set us apart from many retailers in Los Angeles. Reservoir is a 4,700 square-foot former woodshop on Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake. In addition to the cavernous indoor space, which is being designed by our architect Studio Hus with a range of custom modern furniture and fixtures, we have a rear outdoor courtyard that will feel like a small urban oasis, where customers will be invited to relax and where we will be able to have dinners and events.

Aside from the space itself, we will feature rotating art exhibits, with the opening exhibit featuring work by a very talented local artist, Devin Farrand.

Additionally, we will be offering personal styling, packing services for trips, as well as an option for same-day delivery in Los Angeles.

What was your inspiration behind the name?

A reservoir by definition is a source and supply, and we want to be that source and supply of goods for our customers. We also were inspired by the Silver Lake Reservoir, which is not far from our store, and a beautiful space within the sprawl of LA.

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