If you build it, they will come. And the world’s biggest shoe designers know that Orange County’s South Coast Plaza is the place to be to show off their latest collections, open up shop, and earn a loyal following of customers ready for the next big thing. Following in the storied red footsteps of Monsieur Christian Louboutin, who opened in the center’s Penthouse wing back in 2008, many designers have opened up their own boutiques, proving the point that a woman can never have enough shoes. With two huge names set to bow this year, South Coast Plaza is poised to become a bonafide shoe mecca.
Charlotte Olympia, the whimsical British shoe and accessories brand opened in 2015. The shop, which is modeled after a vintage boudoir, offers up sky-high heels and cheeky accessories for those who prefer quirk and individuality over sex appeal. The boutique is Insta-ready with rich herringbone-patterned wooden floors, leopard-print furniture, and a slew of kitty flats, which have become a brand signature.
And before that, in 2012, the Roger Vivier renaissance was solidified when the French brand opened its very first West Coast boutique at the shopping center. After being purchased and rebuilt by Tod’s, the brand shot up in popularity, earning plenty of fans that were hungry for fun flats, that signature buckle, and a decidedly French take on footwear and accessories. Fans were practically banging down the door in the days leading up to the store’s opening and ever since, a steady clientele can be seen leaving the boutique with its signature red bags in tow.
Opening later this year, Gianvito Rossi is set to bow at South Coast Plaza, joining the ranks of Stuart Weitzman as one of the most celeb-adored brands on the red carpet. The son of Sergio Rossi, Gianvito has built a brand that centers on sex and celebrity. No red carpet is without its fair share of Rossi heels, which are known for their height and perfect amount of toe cleavage. Kate Middleton, Rosie Huntington Whiteley, the Kardashian sisters, and Emily Ratajkowski are all devotees, and soon, SoCal shoppers will be able to get their hands on these sky-high heels, too.
Aquazzura is also opening in 2017. The Italian brand is known for infusing fun and movement into its collections, which are heavy on embellishment, fringe, and ruffles. Founded by designer Edgardo Osorio, the shoes are made in Florence with a focus on quality and craftsmanship, not flash-in-the-pan trends and passing fads. Celebrities like Diane Kruger and Rihanna are loyal fans, but the line is sure to pick up dozens more with this opening. The South Coast location will be the brand’s first West Coast boutique. Judging by the excitement over its New York opening, expect plenty of fans to be lined up when it bows in OC, too.