LOS ANGELES — Orange County’s upscale coastal shopping center Fashion Island will ring in its golden anniversary later this year.The center, like that of neighboring South Coast Plaza, turns 50 this year with a raft of promotions planned at retail in the lead-up to and even following its birthday on Sept. 9. The first of those events kicks off Saturday with the home- and design-themed Paseo Party, which will include in-store entertainment and parties at The Horchow Shop in Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s Home Store and Anthropologie, among others.Fashion Island enlisted a number of its retailers and restaurants to participate in a 50 Days of Fashion promotion that includes exclusive deals running from July 29 through Sept. 16. The development also teamed with Trina Turk on an anniversary beach towel, which will be part of a gift with purchase for shoppers spending at least $550 at the center.“[Fashion Island’s] location obviously is unique. I think the tenant mix…and especially the mass of outstanding food offerings are more than just a regional draw; it’s a destination,” said Dave Moore, president of retail properties at Newport Beach-based real estate investor and developer Irvine Co., which owns Fashion Island.The executive said what largely started out as just another mall — with 52 stores and anchors in Buffums, The Broadway, Robinson’s and J.C. Penney — has evolved into a flagship retail property for the county totaling more than 150 stores and restaurants across 1.5 million square feet.The center now has annual sales nearing $800 million. South Coast Plaza, by comparison, has annual sales close to $2 billion.Like other retail center operators looking to remain competitive in the market today, Fashion Island has focused on exclusives or first-to-market retailers, laying claim to plenty of firsts: an Orange County Bonobos; brick-and-mortar store for Urban Decay; a flagship Anthropologie; a West Coast Ray-Ban; a Lincoln Experience Center, and a U.S. Rodd & Gunn.“We take pride in not just curation but incubation,” Moore said.The leasing team is in talks with a luxury theater operator and recently launched a delivery service and mobile concierge for customers. The company earlier in the year also tested SoftBank’s robot Pepper, which Westfield tested at a couple Northern California malls late last year.“Technology for us, as a company, we try to be as forward-thinking as the next shopping center owner and developer,” said Irvine Co. Retail Properties chief marketing officer Easther Liu. “We test a lot….Our big mantra around it is convenience.”Technology and tenant exclusives have helped the center solidify its position in what is a changing marketplace.“Clearly, the fundamentals of the A and above properties are not experiencing what the B and C malls are,” Moore said. “That said, we’re clearly caught up in the swirling headwinds of the department store industry. We’re very lucky in that we have not been, in this recent cycle, affected by that.”Instead, Moore reported steady increases in rental rates, occupancy in the high-90 percentile and healthy interest in leasing at Fashion Island. He also said the center is pivoting to place more successful tenants in larger footprints.“I don’t want to say that Fashion Island is recession proof or immune to what’s going on, but it sure is resistant,” Moore said.For More West Coast Shopping Center Coverage in WWD:Sunset Development Looks to Create Downtown for San RamonSouth Coast Plaza Teams With AFI to Toast Diane KeatonBeverly Center Inks More Dining DealsAmazon Books to Join Westfield Century City Tenant RosterSnap Links With Caruso to Bring Snapbot Back to the Grove
For its next men’s wear collection, @roberto_cavalli will show as a special guest at #PittiUomo, running from June 12-15. The brand, which has Florence in its roots, will relaunch its men’s wear collection, which will be presented separately from women’s wear for the first time since Paul Surridge was appointed creative director in May. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.