Consider it the latest move in a game of retail roulette. South Coast Plaza’s existing stores are welcoming some new neighbors and — what’s more SoCal than this? — other stores are getting face lifts. This year, the Orange County shopping center is welcoming a bevy of new boutiques, but these three additions are sure to be the crown jewels of the season. Gucci recently unveiled a brand-new look in its old space, StellaMcCartney is debuting her very first Orange County location, and Dior Homme is opening its doors for the guys.
Gucci, which has been undergoing a major renaissance thanks to new creative director Alessando Michele, just opened up its new store after a long renovation. While the temporary store was upholstered in deep burgundy tufted velvet, the new permanent location is total 180 from that dark boudoir-inspired spot. Instead, shoppers can check out Michele’s latest bags, ready-to-wear, and more (fragrance, kids, shoes) in a store that looks half-done. The concrete floors are inlaid with tiles in some spots and covered in rugs in others. The fixtures are glass and meta, leaving plenty of room to show off Michele’s love of embellishment. While smaller than the store’s previous footprint, there’s plenty of whimsy and high-fashion fun on display.
Opening up next door to Gucci is Stella McCartney. The boutique, which is set to open in spring of 2017, will be the designer’s very first boutique in Orange County. While McCartney’s stores don’t follow a cookie-cutter pattern, we expect the South Coast location to look something like the stores that debuted in Palo Alto and Las Vegas, which boast rich wood floors, modular shelves, and gilt racks to show off McCartney’s ready-to-wear. Accessories are sure to take center stage at the SCP spot, which has a huge platform shoe on its façade as finishing touches are being made inside.
For the guys, Dior Homme recently opened, showcasing designs from creative director Kris Van Assche. The Belgian designer has been at the helm of Dior Homme since 2007 (and was right hand to a certain Hedi Slimane before that), maintaining its minimal, sleek, and shrunken look. Rock star-style suits — in a decidedly non-John Varvatos way — are plentiful. Think: shrunken shapes, skinny lapels, and abbreviated pants. But for guys who aren’t into wearing high-fashion highwaters, there are plenty of accessories to snag. Sunglasses, shoes, and small leather goods are kept on clean mirrored fixtures and sleek shiny shelves.