Isack Fadlon, owner of Sportie LA, has operated footwear stores on Melrose Ave. for 31 years. His flagship store at 7753 Melrose Ave is a favorite of celebrities and sneaker enthusiasts alike.
Renowned for its vast shoe assortment, Sportie LA was one of the first shoe retailers to carry limited-edition sneakers when the store opened in 1985. While popular brands have come and gone over the years, Fadlon’s customers remain loyal. “People come to us because of our selection, our diversity, and the exclusiveness of our product. We focus on a lot of shoes you can’t find at many locations. A lot of people say that if we don’t have a shoe, it doesn’t exist,” he laughs.
High quality, one-of-a-kind sneakers are Fadlon’s signature, and Sportie LA carries many unique shoes and brands. One of his personal favorites? “I would have to say right now it’s a collaboration between Adidas and Jeremy Scott. There is one shoe in particular that features the face of a teddy bear on the tongue. I’m partial to it – my four-year-old daughter and I both have a pair, and it’s fun to wear them together.”
Sportie LA draws both a domestic and international clientele. “We have a big following from Japan, Korea, Spain, France, the U.K., and Australia. Domestically we have great customers from both the east and west coasts. We have a very wide customer base.”
Fadlon says that over the 31 years Sportie LA has been in business, the store has frequently reimagined itself. “The business part of that process is how we can continue to grow. Part of that for us is opening additional locations, and another part is a new focus on Sportie LA branded apparel, such as T-shirts and hats.”
Some of these branded items are already in his store, but more are on their way. “We have started designing, and in the next few months we’ll be expanding on items for both men and women.” The initial branded items Fadlon offers have done well for the store. “I think LA geographically speaking, we have such a caché internationally. We’re lucky enough to have ‘LA’ in our name, so the reaction to branded apparel is very positive.”
Always ready to develop new concepts and ideas, Fadlon feels plenty of support from the Melrose Ave. community for Sportie LA to do so.
“It’s been really nice. A lot of our neighbors, including other retailers and residents of the area really support us,” he says. “One of the things I love about Melrose is the people who live here are really appreciative of the independent retailers versus the mall-based, cookie-cutter stores.”
He is working to rebuild a second Melrose store that was lost in a recent fire. “We still have a two-store presence on Melrose,” Fadlon attests. “We have consolidated our children’s store with our flagship store; the store we are currently rebuilding will be more of a boutique concept with limited edition sneakers and high-end fashion.”
“We’re optimistic about the future of Melrose Ave,” Fadlon says, “The street has a lot of great restaurants coming in, and there are all kinds of eclectic, independent retailers that want to be here. We love the street, it’s our home, and we look forward to it being so for many more years.”
7753 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Open 11am-8pm daily, except Sunday, 12pm-7:30pm