Blair Luccio 

Blair Luccio of General Quarters

When did you open?

I opened at the end of 2010, just before the holiday season. I had been in retail since I was 16, it’s all I’ve ever done I’ll be thirty nine this year, I never wanted a store. I didn’t think I was going to be in retail and one day I was working on the East Coast, and I realized I loved this job, I loved the people and the product, but I didn’t want to do it like that anymore.

Where were you working?

I worked at Nordstroms, for ten years,
a couple different coasts and a couple different stores, but always the sales department. That was where the idea came along, and it took me a while to be okay with the idea of wanting to be in retail, no one ever wants to be in this, they do this, then go to college and get a real job.

What did you want the store to be?

Everything that’s in here are my actual interests, they weren’t based on trends or what was cool in the moment, or what was cool to the masses. For example motorcycles come and go in fashion, you see them all over photo ad’s and campaigns now, but it didn’t used to be like that. Really it was a year and a half of me daydreaming, what I would want this store to look like. I drew it on paper, pretty close to how it looks now. I’ve ridden motorcycles for a long time and I’ve always been into World War Two, and the styling of that era, I grew up with the music we play in the store. I knew that my place would be a better experience than most places you would go. I thought if I had a store that offers a service that I know people deserve, and the products that I want to wear, I would be comfortable watching them leave. That was the concept of the idea, and I knew that was unique to this store.

More From Issue 01 

Has general quarters always been here on La Brea?

This was the first space that I ever thought it could be in, there was an antique gallery in here, and I just knew it had to be in this space. I drove by it every day, and I made friends with a guy on the block, and asked if he would let me know if it ever became available, and one day it came open and I waited and waited and finally went to the landlord and said I had enough money for one months rent, and they said alright. There were 75 open leases from Fairfax to La Brea on Melrose alone. It was a terrible time to open a business technically, which made it the best time for me. I had 4,000 dollars on a visa card and that was all I had, I just had to make it work, even if I had to send someone to a different store for something, you’re going to remember I sent you there, and maybe you’ll come back, and that was really how it worked.

What did you sell at the start?

The only thing that was mine was the jewelry, because I had done that before, and I was in the back cutting belts and some of the leather key chains, so I was making as much as I could. I was doing graphics for some T-shirts, and all I could afford was to make twelve, and I still work with them now. I left Nordstrom’s November fifteenth and opened here December tenth, so that whole time I was working here trying to get it open. Then started working with Rogue Territory and he really showed me the ropes on how to make clothing, because I could tell you how to wear it, but had no idea how to make it, and he really showed me that, which was about two years into opening.

What influences you?

I’ve never really been into art, I knew what I liked but recently I’ve been getting into certain artists' stories, and their process, which some of it I don’t understand, but the way they work and the final outcome is really inspiring. Really I’m inspired by an era, the forties through the early sixties, that inspires me, a lot of old photographs, whether they’re motorcycles or work wear, I really enjoy candid photographs of people doing their trade.