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West Hollywood Newsstand Becomes Sunset Strip Hotspot

West Hollywood Newsstand Becomes Sunset Strip Hotspot

Hollywood is a haven for hybrids — from film genres and cuisines to actor/singer/content creators — but what about an art space/boutique/newsstand mashup? Wait, didn’t newsstands go the way of the dodo?

Not completely. A decades-old newsstand at 8224 Sunset Blvd. has been resurrected as the Kiosk-o-thèque by one Arman Naféei, very much a hybrid himself. The Berliner turned Londoner graduated university in London, then morphed into a major DJ by age 15.

“Then I wanted to go move to N.Y.,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter. So he switched it up again, becoming the mix master of nightlife magic for New York’s famed Boom Boom Room: “I grew my own cultural network over time,” the enterprising Naféei explains. “Fashion people, film, music and art — all feeding off each other, artist to artist conversations. That’s what I relish. I’m all about the culture.”

After moving to L.A. in 2016, his multidiscipline fixations started to take coherent form when he founded the podcast Are We on Air? Soon after, the list of on-air guests read like a chronological cultural zeitgeist: Duran Duran, Julian Schnabel, Patti Smith, fashion designer Jonathan Anderson, Gia Coppola. “We launched the podcast with the pandemic,” he explains. “Patti Smith was my first interview, in her room at the Chateau. What I’m doing is sharing my access. It’s public and free for anyone. Patti loved the interview, started telling everyone, ‘You’ve got to do something with this guy.’”

Naféei first spotted the Sunset Strip newsstand when he was working for Chateau Marmont just across the street. “I was the music director of the Chateau for more than 10 years,” Naféei says. (His actual title was director of ambience.)

Nadia Lee Cohen’s book signing at the Kiosk-o-thèque.

Katie Walsh

“I would walk by this funny little newsstand space — I had my eye on it. Then I noticed it was storage for The Den, the restaurant next door. One day I just walked in and asked, ‘Can I rent this as a pop up?’ I had this idea: I wanted to curate it with vintage magazines, records, candles, merch, candy, non-alcoholic beverages, coffee for friends — and artwork. It’s the live musical/literary version of a podcast. Every two weeks, we invite guests to come and curate.”

After opening Oscar week in March, the first “show” was a presentation of the archives of fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez. “The archive had reached out,” he explains. “I was very, very excited — that’s my period, I’m a huge fan, I love his work. We showed original Kodak prints, photos. We played music from that period. It was a beautiful evening. Several hundred people came; each opening gets bigger and bigger. It’s like a neighborhood block party. People who don’t know are coming by for newspapers and getting culture.”

Arman Naféei


The Kiosk-o-thèque, as the physical form of Naféei’s Are We on Air? podcast, also promotes it, with the title inscribed in large red letters on the yellow-and-white striped awning.

A couple of months back, Naféei devoted the newsstand to showcasing the work of buzzy photographer Nadia Lee Cohen, complete with books and installations of her film and video work, including music videos with Beyoncé, Lana Del Rey, A$AP Rocky and Katy Perry. “That brought out a mob, a really broad and exciting audience. Nadia did a book signing — there were 60 books [available] globally. We ran out of books fast,” Naféei recalls. “I think people like to experience the artist in a non-traditional environment.” Outside of openings, most hours at the Kiosk are by appointment only. On Saturdays and Sundays, it’s open as a newsstand.

The next two weekends — Friday, June 28, through Sunday, June 30, and Friday, July 5 to Sunday July 7, from 7 p.m. to midnight — will likely be the kiosk’s biggest opening yet.

Certainly, it will be its biggest promotion/merch mashup. Fox Searchlight has collaborated with the Kiosk-o-thèque on all kinds of exclusive and high-end promo pieces for its new Yorgos Lanthimos film Kinds of Kindness starring Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe and Jesse Plemons.

“They reached out to us, love the podcast,” explains Naféei. “Searchlight wanted to be involved. It’s great to start an interaction with a Hollywood studio — we’re creating experiences. We get a cool cultural crowd that mixes with the public. It’s all about engaging with the art. The public gets to participate. How do you make a movie come alive? Create a mini premiere on the street! We even have a tiny red carpet within the space. Searchlight is giving us the coolest movie merch.”

Selima Optique X Kinds of Kindness sunglasses feature the monogram RMF (which is inspired by the three stories in the Yorgos Lanthimos’ film); available at Kiosk-o-theque in Los Angeles and Selima Optique boutique in NYC.

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Courtesy of brand

Among the exclusive items are sunglasses from Selima Optique. The Selima Optique X Kinds of Kindness shades come in two colors, black or tortoise shell, with the monogram “RMF,” inspired by the three stories in the film, with a special lens cloth. In L.A., you can only get them at the kiosk; in New York, at Selima Optical boutiques. 

Clothing brand Lafayette 148 also did a collab. Lafayette 148 X Kinds of Kindness monogrammed white shirts feature the film’s initials “K.O.K.” in limited-edition thread colors and chest pocket placement inspired by the film. The shirts are a partnership with celebrity stylist Petra Flannery (who just happens to dress Stone). Again, the kiosk will be L.A.’s only location for purchase. (They are also available on and at Lafayette 148’s Green Street boutique in NYC.)

In addition, Seachlight is providing  limited edition Kinds of Kindness totes, T-shirts and other fun items from Searchlight partner Kodak (the film is on 35mm). The first guests to arrive will receive a signed movie poster, as well. “They’ll also get to see some scenes!” says Naféei.

Created in partnership with celebrity stylist Petra Flannery, the special edition Lafayette 148 x Kinds of Kindness monogram white shirt features the film’s initials (K.O.K.) in limited-edition thread colors and chest pocket placement inspired by the film; available at Kiosk-o-theque in L.A., at Lafayette 148’s Green Street boutique in New York and at

Lafayette 148

“I call the space The Blank Canvas,” says Naféei of the newsstand. “It changes with everything we do, we customize it for the partners. We even have a red carpet and popcorn! We have an in-house production team — we design everything ourselves. And revenue is starting. What we call our ‘backup house’ is our own brand, Are We on Air?, in which we work with other brands, from hotels and music, like Lulu in Paris, to Moncler stores worldwide — all luxury brands. I work with Chanel and Gucci. We run random ads on the podcast.”

He plans to keep the Kiosk-o-thèque open through next year’s awards season. Explains Naféei, “The landlord’s tearing it down for a billboard. That’s hard for me — I love resurrecting old newsstands. I plan to do Berlin and New York [next], updating them for today’s culture. I can’t sell chewing gum to save my life! But I can sell original art!”

A version of this story first appeared in the June 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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