Meet the People of Palisades Village

With less than two months remaining until the grand opening of Caruso’s Palisades Village,
the Palisadian-Post will introduce some of the names behind the stores.

By TRILBY BERESFORD | Reporter

Katie Johnson, Co-Founder and CEO of Carbon38

Carbon38 started as a small idea in the kitchen of Katie Johnson’s apartment and grew into a flourishing online retail business in under five years.

It focuses on women’s performance apparel with a fashion edge, driving home the idea that comfortable and functional gym clothes can fuse into the rest of one’s life.

The forthcoming location in Palisades Village will be its first permanent store.

“Since we were an online company, all our interactions were behind a screen,” Johnson explained to the Palisadian-Post. “We’re looking forward to meeting customers in the flesh.”

She went on to describe Pacific Palisades as a “robust, tight-knit community that is home to movers and shakers.”

With that in mind, the goal of Carbon38 is to build a wardrobe for modern women. “Leggings are our magical item,” Johnson said, adding that they are flexible garments that can be dressed up or dressed down as needed. She recently wore them with boots to a cocktail party and fit in seamlessly.

Johnson studied urban architecture at Harvard and emphasized her excitement that Rick Caruso is taking such a holistic approach to serving the town. She recognized the benefits of a walkable shopping center where customers can really enjoy themselves.

Originally from Washington, D.C., Johnson began her career as a professional ballet dancer and went on to work on Wall Street in New York City. She was also a fitness instructor before making the move to Los Angeles.

“This feels like the American dream,” Johnson said, referencing the Sept. 22 opening of Carbon38. “No, wait, the LA dream.”

_________________________________________________________________________

Elyse Walker, Founder of towne by elysewalker

Elyse Walker. Photo courtesy of Maria Waller Photography.

When Elyse Walker was 14 years old, her father dropped a stack of financial paperwork on her lap and said, “Here, pay the bills.” He was referring to the bills at his Capretto shoe store in New York City, where Walker grew up.

She learned how to run a successful business from her parents, but despite the fact that her school friends nicknamed her “fashionista,” Walker never imagined she would enter the fashion retail world.

Yet she felt empowered to seize the day—so she did. While studying mathematics at Columbia University, Walker opened a boutique shoe store on Madison Avenue.

Upon moving to Pacific Palisades in 1995, Walker conceived of a multi-label brand and gave it her namesake. “elysewalker” was, and still is, one of the most bustling operations on Antioch Street. It also appears in Newport Beach.

Her new concept store, towne by elysewalker, moves into Caruso’s Palisades Village on Sept. 22. “It’s men’s and women’s wear, fashionable casual,” Walker told the Palisadian Post. She explained that there are dressing rooms, though the approach is more “grab and go.”

In fact, the vibe is similar to Walker’s personal style. “It’s way more casual than people think,” she said with a laugh, referencing the sneakers and boots she wears all year round, along with the absence of high heels in her wardrobe. “Very California,” Walker concluded. She’s now a resident of Venice.

While towne is another multi-label affair, there will be fewer vendors than offered at Walker’s flagship store. “This gives us a chance to dive deeper into each one,” she explained. To round it out, the store will also carry accessories, artwork and jewelry.

Anticipating towne’s grand opening, Walker’s passion was evident: “I’m super excited about all the new developments in the Palisades.”