SUNRISE ON SUNSET: The wine and sliders flowed freely at the Sunset Tower Hotel Wednesday night as Refinery29’s holiday bash also proved a celebration for the lifestyle site’s plans to create a second home in Los Angeles.
The New York headquartered Refinery29 is now actively shopping for real estate in Los Angeles as it seeks to push into television and video next year, according to editor in chief and co-founder Christene Barberich.
“Entertainment’s been a really big area of growth for us on the site just within our content and we were doing so many shoots in New York and profiles,” she said, “and it just really made sense to have a home base here and to really have more control over the kind of content we’re doing and also create an environment and a real experience here.”
The company earlier this year entered into a partnership with Beverly Hills-based Relativity to work on programming for television.
The news comes on the heels of the release of Refinery29’s documentary Web series “Style Out There.”
The company has also got its sights set on expansion into Europe in 2015 and Barberich added “there’s going to be more satellite offices to come.”
Currently, Refinery has an editorial staff of about 60 full-timers along with another 50 contributers writing content for the site. Among the staff is Drew Barrymore, who was named editor at large in January. She has since written articles ranging from her favorite fried egg sandwich to where she gets her news.
One of the future pieces by Barrymore, who hosted the evening’s event, tackles the topic of closet cleaning, one of several ideas she was surprised to see given the green light from editors.
“I’m always fascinated with what [the editors will] get more excited about or be less excited about,” Barrymore told WWD. “I would say out of five stories, maybe two to three they’re interested in, but they’re very honest, very direct. Christene will tell me when I’m rambling or [when to] wrap it up.”
She’s working on her next set of articles for the site and said her goal is to strike a balance with the content so it doesn’t skew too heavily toward beauty or fashion, for example.
“I want news. I want to talk about why I cry in the car listening to Oprah radio. And they let me, which I really appreciate,” Barrymore said. “I want to make sure some are fun and light and some are more raw and emotional.”
The evening drew a mix of attendees who included Heather McDonald, Bella Thorne and Kat Graham.