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After its $1-billion facelift, Westfield Century City awaits last-minute holiday shoppers with high-end everything — and a few bargains too

After its $1-billion facelift, Westfield Century City awaits last-minute holiday shoppers with high-end everything — and a few bargains too
Westfield Century City shopping center offers three major department stores -- Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's and Macy's -- and a range of local and national- and international-based shops as well as a host of shopping services and eateries. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

That the revamped Westfield Century City was envisioned as a series of walking streets and gathering places could also make it the kind of place where you can check off those last few people on your holiday shopping list.

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The sprawling Los Angeles shopping center at 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., which received a makeover to the tune of $1 billion, was created as a community hub, according to a Westfield executive, but also to serve time-starved, on-the-go people.

“We had to think about the influence of the internet, lifestyle and how people shop,” said David Ruddick, Westfield’s executive vice president of leasing. “It’s nicely positioned near Melrose Avenue and Robertson Boulevard, the Beverly Center, Rodeo Drive, which all have their own personalities but also their size limits.”

Westfield Century City is also about retail innovation — a concierge can direct you to where to go to buy whatever is on your list; a luxury Private Suite for shoppers provides the sort of access and attention that only celebrities usually get. (The suite is $1,500 a day to use and half that price for members of Private Suite at Los Angeles International Airport.) Also, two of the shopping center’s department stores, Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom, offer complimentary personal shopping, and a slew of new stores have opened in recent months offering something at every price point.

Before you go, you might want to sign up for the Smart Parking service, which will recognize your license plate, then charge any parking fees via an app, and therefore, there’s no need to rummage for a lost parking ticket. That’s one less thing to worry about, especially if you’re holiday shopping at the last minute.


Handmade luggage

For the person who has everything, consider giving bespoke luggage from New Zealand brand Rodd & Gunn. The pieces are handmade from Australian crocodile and are designed to last a lifetime. The Roxburgh briefcase is $12,500; the weekender bag is $17,500. www.roddandgunn.com/us

Crocodile-skin bags come with a lifetime guarantee.
Crocodile-skin bags come with a lifetime guarantee. (Rodd & Gunn)
Cool in the shades

The full range of luxury Sama Eyewear is available at a 1,100-square-foot retail space whose interior was designed by celebrity jewelry designer Loree Rodkin. The extensive line is known for its technical materials at one end and its focus on precious metals at the other. For the holidays, look for 24-karat frames with liquid gold vapor lenses, priced from $690 to $990. samaeyewearshop.com

The Sama Mega Minis, sleeker, smaller sunglasses in matte and shiny black titanium, copper, rose gold and antique gold. Priced from $275 to $395.
The Sama Mega Minis, sleeker, smaller sunglasses in matte and shiny black titanium, copper, rose gold and antique gold. Priced from $275 to $395. (Dmitry Dolzhanskiy / Sama Eyewear)
‘Star Wars’ with sparkle

For the design-savvy “Star Wars” fanatic in your life is this crystal BB-8 from Swarovski, with 226 sparkling facets, less than 2 inches tall. (Darth Vader, R2-D2, C-3PO also available.) The BB-8 is $129. www.swarovski.com

Quirky crystal figurines from Swarovski.
Quirky crystal figurines from Swarovski. (Swarovski)
When in doubt, go with chocolate

It’s almost impossible to disappoint with a gift of chocolate. Compartés, with its hand-plastered emerald green walls and a marble-and-brass showcase housing 1,500 bars of the stuff, is a chocolate treasure trove. Among the offerings are its signature flavors such as lavender violet, churros and milk, and caramelized green pistachio, as well as chocolate-dipped fruit. The 20-piece Holiday Truffles Collection starts at $59.95. compartes.com

Artistic chocolate offerings from Compartés.
Artistic chocolate offerings from Compartés. (Compartés)
Pretty journals

For around $25, Papyrus sells pretty notebooks — an embossed peacock feather, floral or butterfly journal — or for $50 a black Italian suede-covered version. Check out the store’s eco-friendly gift-wrapping paper while there. www.papyrusonline.com

Paper products from Papyrus extend to attractive keepsake notebooks.
Paper products from Papyrus extend to attractive keepsake notebooks. (Papyrus)
Seize the necklace

Check out the inspirational “Carpe Diem” necklaces from Monica Rich Kosann, who has made the locket necklace cool and modern. Highlights from the collection for the holidays include a sterling silver necklace charm with an engraved “Carpe Diem” at $585; the 18-karat version is $3,450. www.monicarichkosann.com

"Carpe Diem" necklace centered around a chunk of sparkling crystal.
"Carpe Diem" necklace centered around a chunk of sparkling crystal. (Monica Rich Kosann)
Make a splash

Workout buffs say they can never have enough fitness clothes. Seafolly addresses this subject with a range of vibrantly patterned swim and athletic gear. This crop top and legging comes in a Palm Beach-inspired motif. The top is $102, and leggings are $112. www.seafolly.com

Pieces from Seafolly's active and swimwear lines come emblazoned with vivid prints such as this Palm Beach-influenced two-piece workout set.
Pieces from Seafolly's active and swimwear lines come emblazoned with vivid prints such as this Palm Beach-influenced two-piece workout set. (Seafolly)
$50 makeup lesson

Between now and Jan. 1, for a $50 minimum purchase, an in-store makeup artist will spend 50 minutes on a private, full-face makeup lesson at beauty boutique NYX. Customers can choose from one of the brand’s “Haul-iday” looks; among them Snow Globe Diva or Metallic Spirit. The brand is known for its well-priced, on-trend makeup palettes. www.nyxcosmetics.com

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Seasonal offerings include an Advent calendar inspired box of lipsticks.
Seasonal offerings include an Advent calendar inspired box of lipsticks. (NYX)
Say, ‘Spa’

A spa treatment from noted natural French brand Caudalie won’t go unappreciated. The 900-square-foot boutique and spa was designed with the brand’s Bordeaux vineyard roots in mind. (The heart of the product line is antioxidant-rich grapes.) Options include the Premier Cru Facial, an anti-aging treatment for $140. us.caudalie.com

The heart of the Caudalie product is antioxidant-rich grapes.
The heart of the Caudalie product is antioxidant-rich grapes. (Caudalie)

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