Retailers in Southern California were struggling to cope with wind-driven wildfires that forced the evacuation Monday of at least 250,000 people in San Diego County.
Westfield Group, operator of seven malls in the San Diego region, said its 185-store North County mall, which includes Nordstrom, Macy's, J.C. Penney and Sears, was closed and was being used as a staging area for firefighters and police. Another property, UTC center, a recently remodeled open-air mall that features Nordstrom and Coach, among others, "has large volumes of smoke,'' said a Westfield spokesman, who was unable to confirm if it was shut down.
Westfield Mission Valley, which sits between the two main fires burning in San Diego, was open, but traffic was slow because major portions of the freeways that feed into the mall were closed, said manager Emmett Durnan.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. About a dozen fires fanned by high winds had ravaged more than 100,000 acres from San Diego to 300 miles north in Santa Barbara. At least one person was killed.
Simon Property Group has three malls in San Diego, but none were closed as of noon Monday.
In the wealthy coastal enclave of Malibu, commercial activity was largely put on hold by a blaze that swept through 2,400 acres after apparently being sparked by downed power lines. The Malibu Country Mart, home to James Perse, Ron Herman and Planet Blue, was closed. Several businesses in the Malibu Colony Plaza shopping center were damaged.
"We sometimes become immune to the things we deal with here,'' said Laura Doughty, owner of the Tola Life Spa at Malibu Colony Plaza. "We get the Santa Ana [winds] every fall, and we know they are coming...you just survive."
Stretches of major thoroughfares, most notably Pacific Coast Highway, were closed. Mandatory evacuations were in effect for an estimated 2,000 people of some 13,000 who live in Malibu.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
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“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia