Suave, stylish, urbane, and ceaselessly charismatic, Shawn Suggs is the living embodiment of the new DTLA. Effortlessly cool with just the right amount of swagger, he’s a one-man Rat Pack updated and repackaged for 21st-century Los Angeles living. He’s the cool kid you wish you knew and the man you wish you could be. And he makes it look so damn easy…
Maybe he first caught your eye when he popped up on Oxygen’s Girlfriend Confidential. Or maybe you saw him carousing at one of the Downtown’s trendsetting clubs after the doorman finally let you in. Maybe you’re one of his 48,000-plus Instagram followers, enchanted by an elevated fashion sense that Suggs describes as “comfort chic”. Or maybe you’re just curious about the man who’s often described as “the Mayor of DTLA” – though Suggs is quick to point out that the moniker isn’t his own creation.
“Man, listen. They call me the Mayor of DTLA, I don’t call myself that,” asserts Suggs emphatically. “Let’s just clear that up real quick.”
And yet, the nickname fits. The Ladera Heights native is impossible to pigeonhole. But in so many ways, he’s the very definition of DTLA living. After working in the music industry and serving as brand ambassador to major fashion and liquor labels, Suggs now oversees his own popular club night, promotes a personal brand whose mantra is “live life elevated”, and sells merchandise on his website that captures the essence of his edgy, elevated lifestyle. And he does it all in Downtown.
“I was a pretty early adopter of the DTLA lifestyle,” says Suggs. “I moved to the neighborhood while it was still a work in progress, and because of having identified its potential before it was super poppin’, I’ve reaped the benefits of long-standing relationships here. Where better to eat, drink, and party than where you can also literally walk your drunk-self home?”
Among his many notable endeavors is DTLA54, the popular Thursday club night that was recently relaunched after a brief hiatus. Formerly held at The Reserve, DTLA54 found a new home at the Blue J Bar & Lounge in Downtown’s Arts District.
“Sometimes change is good. I had a great run at The Reserve, and I’m thankful for that relationship,” reminisces Suggs. “Working with the people there was a true pleasure, and they really gave it their-all in terms of bringing my vision to fruition. The Blue J Lounge is the next chapter in DTLA54, and I look at the move as a refresh and reset for the night. I’m confident that my people will enjoy the new space as we continue to elevate!”
Suggs is also quick to note that DTLA54 differs from other LA club nights, arguing that the vibe is distinctly Downtown. “What we do differently at DTLA54 is “party with chill”. It’s a much different feel than partying in Hollywood. Sure, we still get it in, we still drink, we still party, we still look good, but we do it without the pomp & circumstance of Hollywood.”
Nevertheless, Suggs views himself first and foremost as a cultural influencer. “In 2017, culture encompasses fashion, music, lifestyle, art, and much more,” says Suggs. “I use my taste in all of those areas to influence the culture around me. Luckily, I’ve been blessed to have a receptive audience, which I appreciate very much!” And he’s always eager to use his influence to rep other DTLA brands.
Asked about what he’s wearing, the ever-fashionable Suggs names M. Completely and Beautiful Fül, both DTLA-based menswear lines. Describing how he spends his free time, Suggs says “I like to stay in the neighborhood. Everyone knows that you’ll find me at somebody’s DTLA establishment, and I’m always advocating for local events and businesses. From brunch at Bottega Louie to dinner at Tom George to drinks at Preux & Proper…we in there!”
Find your way to DTLA54, or any other Downtown hot spot, and you might run into Shawn Suggs. But you’ll never catch him wearing dirty shoes or waiting in line at any club. The Mayor of DTLA has an image to uphold. #shawnsuggs