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ShopLocalSD: NYLA Kensington - Best Of Both Coasts

NYLA owner Tanya Vallejo.
Photo by Rebekah Sager

As it’s somewhat schizophrenic name suggests, NYLA Kensington boutique draws from fashion trends on both coasts. But what makes this spot so special is its deep roots in Kensington. The owner, Tanya Vallejo, is a third-generation family member to run an amazing, creative and lucrative storefront on Adams Avenue.

When Vallejo decided to leave her cubicle job at the Southern Bell Company, there was little question of what she’d do. Her family has long been in local retail—her grandparents and parents have owned and operated Peevey Jewelry store for four decades.

At first, Vallejo considered a flower store. She finally settled on a plan to open the first clothing boutique in Kensington. Lucky for this startup, rent was covered by her father, Victor Vallejo. He just happened to own the building.

Tanya Vallejo's plan was to have a cute and very girly store with lots of bright colors but not too trendy. Also important was carrying a variety of sizes and to keep prices extremely competitive. In these goals, Vallejo has succeeded. With it’s green and pink motif, vibrant mural across the ceiling and less-expensive lines, NYLA Kensington is a fun and conservatively priced place to buy cute clothes for yourself or your mom.

It's one of few stores in San Diego to carry the new and very hot line by Sharon Segal and Joanna Catalado for their “basics” label. Segal is the daughter of uber-LA boutique owner Fred Segal.

NYLA Kensington boutique's interior.
Photo by Rebekah Sager

The basics line is known for meticulous cuts and buttery-soft, curve-hugging fabrics. The dresses, tees, and tanks are high quality and wonderful designs.

Angie is one NYLA’s best-selling lines, known for being fashion forward, offering flowery cotton prints and feminine looks.

Saint Grace is an L.A. collection that Vallejo says are composed of classic California casual pieces meant to transition easily from day to night wear. Saint Grace’s jerseys and Egyptian, wrinkle-free cottons have become favorites with celebrities from Scarlett Johansson to Jessica Simpson to Lindsay Lohan.

NYLA Kensington carries shoes, handbags, and clothing, and almost nothing is priced over $100.

The Kensington neighborhood was founded in 1909 by the Santa Fe Railway company; much of it appears very much the same today. With its 1920s Spanish revival-style architecture, block parties, and Memorial Day parades, Kensington—like NYLA boutique—is a symbiosis of old style and new. Vallejo pays homage every day to her family’s business by faithfully serving the fashion tastes of her young customers but also providing classic style for the women who’ve been in the iconic neighborhood when Grandma and Grandpa Vallejo were doing business at the very same location.

Details »
  • City: San Diego
  • Phone: 619-280-5300
  • Name: NYLA Kensington
  • Address: 4095 Adams Ave