Virgil Normal x Oldpal x Free Design
The location of the Virgil Normal shanty shop has always been a cool kids club house. Originally conceived as the Choke Motorcycle space that specialized in wrenching on rare mopeds, the small garage birthed The Latebirds moped army whose self-description reads like something out of a Hunter S. Thompson novel. Their adopted mantra reads: "We are the Latebirds; a conglomeration of revivalutionaires, capitalistactivisionaires, esoteric dorks, post adolescent kitchen knife sluts, two stroke tinkerers, double fisted drinkers, certifiable bonefied world class ladies and gentlemen of sport and leisure.”
When Choke closed their doors a few years ago it seemed befitting to pass the torch to Latebirds’ members, Charlie Staunton and Shirley Kurata. The two quickly reimagined what the space would look like to keep their community close and put their own spin on new retail joint. A highly curated vintage section, rare zines, limited-edition household products, trippy Japanese imports and their signature line of goods keeps consistent with the taste level of fans heading to the destination spot in LA’s Virgil village. Co-collaborators include fashion darlings, Rodarte, Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs for her partnership with Kenzo and even the actor and jazz daddy, Jeff Goldblum.
Old Pal joined this long roster of cool conspirators to create an intimate “tree lighting” holiday party with custom t-shirt printing by Free Design featuring Old Pal cosmic cognition icons. There was a sense of familiarity for anyone who’s stepped foot in there before so some sparked up a joint and shared stories of parties past while the uninitiated ogled the Alexis Ross paintings on the walls along with his contemporary the She Chimp, Virgil Normal's household painting primate. A vintage Puch moped still dangles from the wall as a reminder of its vibrant history, but the happening shared by Old Pal and Virgil Normal reminded us that creating a new community will never go out of style.