Tailored for Takeoff
How to Start Your Trip Before Your Plane Even Leaves the Airport
Written By: Racquel Natasha & Kiley Coleman
Photographed By: Jonathan Yacoub
Styled By: Maureen Borsodi Where to Eat & Shop While Waiting for Your Flight at LAX
For those of you who have been following my blog within the last year, you know that I have traveled A LOT. Europe has been my home away from home for the last 2 years, and I am so happy to be heading back there this summer! When I think of airports and long lines, anxiety and stress come to mind. LAX is one of North America’s busiest airports and holds some of the world’s top luxury brands when it comes to news, gifts and specialty retail shops. For those long haul flights, I make sure to get myself checked into the new Tom Bradley International Terminal at least 3 hours ahead to sit, relax, unwind and treat myself to some retail therapy! What I love most about this terminal is that it gives off a unique Rodeo Drive feel with its glittering glass storefronts, and a taste of lavish LA restaurants. Not to mention the on-demand spa treatments like facials, massages and manicures. I look forward to starting my vacation the minute I walk through the doors of LAX.
My first pit stop is at the Fred Segal store located directly in front of security. A world-renowned upscale boutique that has captured the world by storm has made its way from Melrose right into the airport terminal. You cannot miss the faux greenery framing around the store front. I love how they have captured the same outdoor feel that the store in West Hollywood has. Fred Segal is like a candy store for me. It has almost everything and anything you are looking for and more, with a wide range of hip, eclectic clothing, shoes, accessories, tech toys and fun gifts! They are especially known for their denim selection — my personal favorite is J Brand! I can’t walk into this store without leaving with bags in hand. I left today with a full head-to-toe outfit. I bought the Finn Tank Top by Equipment in white as a go-to staple piece for any outfit and topped it with their Sullivan Cardigan. My fingers are always covered in jewelry, so, of course, I bought Bing Bang’s Delta Bezel Ring and Skinny Mixed Ring set. Naturally, I am that girl that has a closet full of bags and clutches, so I couldn’t resist buying a cute foldover clutch to add to my collection.
Native Knowledge: In 1960, Fred Segal opened the first jeans-only store.
An hour later, I was so excited to make my way over to my favorite Champagne and caviar situated in the middle of the madness, post shopping. I like to respite my stress of air travel with a choice of over 20 different vodkas, and top shelf Champagne paired with famous caviar. It’s all a matter of personal preference. I only started to acquire the taste of caviar about 2 years ago. My favorite is the Siberian, which gives the “taste of the sea.” There were a few other caviars that stood out to me to try next time. Alverta President Caviar had a nutty and buttery flavor, Hackleback Caviar offered a dry and strong briny zest, and Tsar Imperial Ossetra Caviar gives a bold, juicy taste. If caviar isn’t your thing, don’t worry. There are many other options. There are foie gras options galore such as goose or duck, pate, cheese selections to die for — even a cheese of the month. Of course, there are different chocolate delectables and candies to go along with this classy menu. I took home the Petrossian Fudge and Pates de Fruit. But hands down, the fresh truffles were some of the best I’ve ever tasted!
Native Knowledge: If you like endless indulgence, purchase a Caviar in the Air picnic pack including a caviar selection of your choice, blinis, and crème fraiche presented in an insulated carry-on Petrossian pouch.
Manicures while waiting for your flight? Why not! Since I am always in a rush for everything, it is such a relief to have this spa right by the gates. They offer express manicures and pedicures besides regular mani-pedis. It’s a treatment of cuticle care, moisturizing, buffing and polish — then you’re on your way! They have the comfiest massage chairs to sit back and relax in while receiving the fastest and best spa treatments. The one thing I admire about the XpresSpa is how fast they were able to accomplish a gel manicure. I was in and out of there in about 20 minutes all dried and ready to catch my flight! There are endless polish options which is extremely important to me. If I had more time on my hands, I would have opted to add the neck and back massage. What’s great is that they offer memberships as well, that way I can accumulate specials every time I book a massage, wax, facial, nails or all of the above. Because, let’s be real, who doesn’t wish they could get a quick wax and facial treatment last minute before a trip?
Native Knowledge: If you like the products used during treatment at XpresSpa, they are also available for sale to take home with you.
Any time there is a bookstore, I have to stop in. I spent a good amount of my time inside Hudson Booksellers browsing high and low through the autobiographies (and trashy magazines)! Every time I travel, I make it a goal to buy one book and finish it on the plane ride there and back.
Whether you are male or female, who doesn’t love Victoria’s Secret? Having a clothing store ranging from casual to sexy in an airport is one of my best go-tos. Whether I am traveling for a romantic vacation and want one last goody bag, or I’m tired from a layover and looking for comfortable sweat pants — this store has all of my needs. I even dab on some lotion just to freshen up my scent after a long plane ride.
A few hours into my day, I stopped for a bite at Michael Voltaggio’s Ink.Sack. This fast-casual sandwich shop makes high-quality miniature sandwiches. The ones that stood out to me were the Smoked Trout, Branzino and the Beef Tartare featuring hearts of palm, sea bean chimichurri, horseradish and rye.
I love having a guilty pleasure store in LAX. Michael Kors is actually the place I buy my boyfriend all his presents. He is a major fan of the Winward Silver-Tone Watch, and woven silk ties. When we travel together, he skips belting his pants at home and waits till he gets to LAX’s Michael Kors to treat himself to a new belt.
I wouldn’t be a fashionista if I didn’t love Coach. Between the Tristen Stainless Steel Color Dial Bracelet Watch and the new Turnlock Tie Rucksack, I couldn’t leave empty handed. I have been eyeing those items for weeks, and instead of doing the Los Angeles traffic, I got my goodies right then and there!
I love having a luxury luggage store in an airport. When I travel, I tend to pack way too many things into too small of a bag (like most people do). There are countless times I have been at the airport and my strap, handle or zipper have broken, and Tumi is there to save the day! Featuring amazing leather totes, small accessible wallets or a simple briefcase, I’m always grateful for the few bags I had broken because purchasing those pieces from Tumi were well worth the value.
“Life’s a box of chocolates.” At least that’s what I have been told every year when I receive a box of See’s Candies from my mother. I love being able to grab a box of the mixed chocolates featuring a variety of options inside such as chocolate coated almonds, dark chocolate with raspberry filling and my favorite chocolate covered marshmallows. I will usually make sure to stop and pick up these delicious treats as a gift to family or friends when going to visit, and I make sure to grab an extra gift for myself!
Fashion Credits: All clothes, handbags and jewelry provided by Fred Segal LAX
Want more from Racquel Natasha? Check out her blog at: www.racquelnatasha.com