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Coventry feels like Los Angeles inside new hipster-style store
The Plain Dealer
Laura DeMarco
November 17, 2006

It didn't feel like Cleveland on a recent Saturday evening on Coventry Road. (I know, I know, Coventry is in Cleveland Heights — it didn't feel like that crunchy burb, either).

With so many shoppers doing a little browsing after (or before) dining at one of the street's numerous restaurants, it felt downright New Yorkish.

Or make that Los Angeles-ish in the case of American Apparel, which brought a dash of laid-back West Coast hipster style to the area when it opened three months ago.

Located at 1782 Coventry Road, American Apparel is one of the most welcome additions to the former hippie haven — a chain store that doesn't seem like a chain, where you won't find a vial of patchouli or a Birkenstock in sight.

Launched in Los Angeles in 2003, and now with 150 stores across the globe, American Apparel is best known for its colorful cotton basics and sweatshop-free, completely made in America ethics.

But don't confuse "basics" with boring. At American Apparel, that means anything from cotton T-shirts, boatnecks, leisure shirts, mod dresses and leggings to metallic lamé short-shorts, tank tops and body suits; to ultra retro "PE shorts" for men and women; to old-school unisex tube socks and colorful cotton undies and bras; to mini tank tops and onesies for toddlers and babies; to much, much more.

Everything comes in a rainbow of solid colors, neatly displayed around the sleek, all-white store, where the helpful staff is as cool as the rock 'n' roll tunes on their iPod (it was Wire's edgy post-punk riffs last week). Prices range from under $10 for socks and accessories to the $50 range for jackets.

Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Call 216-320-1761.