By Marti Gacioch
Throughout successful careers in politics and investment banking, Lauren Turek maintained a passion for fashion, knowing one day she would open her own dream boutique. Two years ago, her dream took shape on Girard as Kerut (her surname spelled backwards). Styled as a beach-bungalow, Kerut sits open to an ocean view. Inside, food and wine await shoppers.
“People want an experience when they shop because going to a department store is a very sanitized experience,” Turek said. “I’ve lived in fashion meccas like New York and Aspen and know people here have an interest in fashion, and I want to put it right at their doorstep.”
Turek’s core customers (ages 35-65) seek fashion-forward but casual apparel to fit their busy lifestyles, and Turek must travel frequently to find specialty items with that focus.
“I study fashion every day of my life, all day, every day,” Turek said, “and travel is a constant inspiration for fashion whether in the U.S., India, Africa, the West Indies or Colorado.”
Western Mexican rancher belts that take a month to design are just one of Turek’s recent discoveries.
“These are the most exquisite belts that you wouldn’t find in a showroom,” Turek said.
Always on the hunt for unique pieces, Turek finds that fashion materials often take unlikely forms. West African bracelets made from recycled flip flops are now a hot item at Kerut.“We sell them five for $20 and people can mix them with their diamonds, watches and engagement rings,” Turek said.
Denim is a top seller at Kerut, and denim items come in dazzling colors and prints, including everything from a neon leopard print to a tropical beach scene titled “Day in Paradise.” Top designer denim labels include Current/Elliott, Gold Sign and Mother.
Fashion T-shirts remain in high demand, including Current/Elliott’s relaxed “Boyfriend” tee and Monrow’s v-neck, double tissue layered top in shades of lilac, aqua, gray, bright yellow and coral. For apparel that can easily cruise from poolside to dinner, Kerut features Camilla silk tunics, caftans and dresses inlaid with Swarovski crystals.
Kerut’s abundant collection of accessories includes shoes, bracelets, scarves and designer jewelry by La Jolla-born Leslie Russo, known for her earthy, elegant designs.
Kerut, 7944 Girard Ave., La Jolla
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday;
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday (858) 456-0800 · kerut.com