Retail Happenings: Stella McCartney arrives at South Coast Plaza; Gucci delivers fall’s ‘it’ bag
On any given day, Ursula Lyon and Michelle Reeves, cofounders of Westport, Conn., accessories e-tailer the Accessory Junkie, can be found in an obscure bazaar, street market or quirky designer studio somewhere in the world.
“And the buying frenzy begins,” Reeves said.
The duo then puts up their prized finds such as knuckle rings, embroidered clutches, nifty hats and chandelier earrings onto their website and watch the goods sell out within a few weeks. Usually they shut down the website while they pack their bags, go on another global shopping spree and replenish.
Now, these ardent accessory fans are doing a first for their brand in L.A. They are bringing their latest offerings to a location in West Hollywood for a pop-up this week from Aug. 23 to 25. (You’ll have to email the e-tailers to get the exact location so keep reading.) There will be between 600 and 800 pieces for sale that the duo has culled from Australia, Brazil, Venezuela, India, Israel and Canada.
“The core of our brand is to curate pieces that are one-of-a-kind, where you know you’re not going to see someone walking down the street with the same thing,” Reeves said recently. “We find talented designers who are under the radar.”
Pieces range in price from $40 to $600 and will include embellished Panamanian- and Columbian-made bags from a brand called Mola Sasa and dangling earrings from Cyprus made from silken thread and stones.
Stores, including Stella McCartney, arrive or revamp at South Coast Plaza
There’s been a flurry of activity at South Coast Plaza in Orange County — with more to come — intended to lure shoppers who are seeking more than a point-and-click retail experience.
Stella McCartney opened a boutique in late June around the time the British designer established new outposts in Florence, Italy, New York and Paris. Earlier this month, the Orange County shopping center saw the unveiling of a revamped MAC Pro boutique, which now has a dedicated section for makeup professionals. Also, a redesigned Coach store, which sells accessories as well as women’s and men’s clothes, now offers the brand’s Made to Order Rogue bar, allowing customers to customize the brand’s classic Rogue bag. It’s being called the largest customization bar on the West Coast. And there’s more to come. In December, luxury Italian watch brand Officine Panerai is set to make its O.C. debut with a South Coast Plaza boutique.
South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, www.southcoastplaza.com
Gucci delivers an ‘it’ bag for fall
Predicted to be fall’s new “it” accessory is Gucci’s “Ottilia,” a leather bag with the brand’s signature bamboo handle and adorned with moths, butterflies and bugs in mixed metals. Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, aimed to revitalize the curved bamboo top handle bag with added exotic touches such as crocodile and ostrich skin and motifs from nature. (The insects also appear on other accessories from Gucci this season, including belts, wallets and scarves.) The “Ottilia” starts at $3,500. The classic handle can be found on other Gucci offerings such as a simple basket bag ($1,890) or a purse in ivory ostrich ($7,500). Also, there’s a winged-tiger-embroidered men’s black leather briefcase with a bamboo handle ($4,900) available for fall.
Order custom boots at Stuart Weitzman
For those who find boot-shopping an arduous process, you’re in luck. Shoe brand Stuart Weitzman has created a service that allows clients to customize their boots. Launching on Aug. 28 and running for two weeks at Stuart Weitzman boutiques in Beverly Hills and South Coast Plaza as well as online, the program will offer eight styles, among them the thigh-high, over-the-knee, the sock bootie and the scrunch boot, which can be made in one of 10 colors from neutral to bold. Shoppers can select suede, leather or velvet. And the season’s dominant trends will be available, including an ankle-grazing boot with a sleek stiletto heel and an elongated one given a graceful kitten heel. Orders will be delivered in about 12 weeks during the height of fall. Prices range from $535 to $1,098 depending on the style.
437 N. Rodeo Drive, 310-860-9600; South Coast Plaza, Level 1, 333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714-432-8100, www.stuartweitzman.com
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2:18 p.m.: This article was updated to correct the name of a bag brand offered through the Accessory Junkie pop-up. It is Mola Sasa not Mola Bags.
This article was originally published at 5 a.m.