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StyleWeekOC Event Hits Runway

Highlights Fashion Island during 55th anniversary

Fashion Island last month again served as the home of StyleWeekOC, which showcases the newest season of regional fashion, with various presentations and events “curated for Orange County’s most discerning fashion lovers.”

The event, now in its 11th year, also highlighted the Newport Center shopping center’s growing collection of luxury retail offerings, which includes several homegrown brands that are seeing rapid expansion here and abroad.

Events from Sept. 14 to Sept. 18 included a Neiman Marcus runway show, fashion panel discussions, and in-store shopping experiences at almost 40 locations at the center.

The latest edition of StyleWeekOC coincided with the Fashion Island’s 55th anniversary. The luxury destination, with nearly 1.5 million square feet of leasable space, is OC’s second-largest shopping center by taxable sales, trailing only South Coast Plaza. Fashion Island reported sales of $596 million for 12 months ended June 2021.

The latest issue of the Fashion Island Magazine, an in-house publication put together by Irvine Co.’s retail division, was also unveiled during the festivities.

OC Runway

A few notable Orange County-based apparel companies with shops at Fashion Island were participants of StyleWeek, including luxury knit house St. John Knits, golf and lifestyle brand TravisMathew, and jeweler Gorjana.

The latter two retailers offered exclusive offers and in-store experiences during the weekend, and St. John pieces were featured in both the Fashion Island magazine and the fashion show.

The Irvine-based knitwear brand has participated in StyleWeek since its Fashion Island boutique opened in 2018.

“This is our community and it’s an integral part of our Southern California heritage,” Senior Director of Global PR and Brand Partnerships Marina Keiler told the Business Journal.
The theme of this year’s fashion week was “Layers of Luxury.”

“St. John is an American luxury fashion brand known for knitwear, so layers of luxury perfectly fits our brand DNA. Luxury is in part how you feel, quality products and how you style yourself by layering the perfect look to make you feel confidant,” Keiler said.

St. John’s parent company, Shanghai-based Lanvin Group, announced in March it was looking to go public via a reverse merger in a deal that values the group around $1.5 billion.

A timeline for completing the deal still hasn’t been disclosed. St. John brought in nearly $70 million in revenue last year, up about 10% year-over-year. It represented about 24% of the parent’ company’s revenue last year.

Other movement at the Newport Center mall this year included Huntington Beach-based TravisMathew expanding its flagship store; the new location was unveiled in June.

Accessories, Evening Events

As for the biggest trends in local fashion, Neiman Marcus has seen “sharp tailoring, platform shoes and bold pops of color,” according to officials.

According to District Manager Dachelle Boehm, the fashion of the OC community is “reflective of the Southern California lifestyle, casual chic.”

She noted that demand for eveningwear was increasing as events come back, with accessories also trending well.

“Both categories will be areas we’re looking to grow,” Boehm said.

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