Retail Happenings: Gucci grows, C magazine opens a stylish store


The newly opened Studio C boutique at the Fashion Island shopping center in Newport Beach was designed to feel decidedly Californian.

“We chose an aesthetic that reflects the effortlessly cool attitude you only find in California,” said Jennifer Smith Hale, founder, editorial director and chief executive of C magazine, which is behind the venture. “The dusky pink palette speaks to the sunsets, the geometric shapes to the rich history of modernist design, and custom pieces in blond wood and marble represent the beautiful nature that surrounds us.”

The 1,500-square-foot store, which opened its doors Feb. 1 (it’s located between Restoration Hardware and Summer Daze), carries a curated selection of brands across fashion, beauty and home products, all based in the Golden State: clothes by Rodarte, hats from Nick Fouquet, Jacques Marie Mage sunglasses, Shiva Rose serums and Flamingo Estate candles. Prices range from $20 for a Jillian Dempsey eyeliner to $48,000 for a bejeweled vape holder necklace by Daniela Villegas.

It’s a permanent version of the SoCal-centric pop-up shop the magazine hosted at the Westfield Century City shopping Center in December 2017.


“California is such a hotbed of creativity at the moment, and exciting new names are cropping up across all categories,” said Smith Hale, adding that monthly trunk shows and events would serve to further introduce brands to locals.

Studio C, 401 Newport Center Drive, Suite A206, Newport Beach,

Gucci’s in overdrive on Rodeo Drive

With its new dedicated men’s boutique, expanded women’s area and a chic rooftop restaurant, the Gucci flagship store in Beverly Hills is on track to becoming a full-service lifestyle destination.

In early February, the venerable Florentine fashion house announced the official opening of its renovated and expanded Rodeo Drive property, which now includes a 3,500-square-foot men’s store — complete with its own entrance — next door to an expanded women’s section, which now spans some 9,000 square feet. Within its walls, shoppers can find just about everything the brand makes: ready-to-wear apparel, accessories, jewelry, watches, eyewear, home goods and beauty products. Decorative touches include sage green velvet upholstery, vintage rugs and herringbone wood floors. The Gucci Beauty space is designed so that customers can sit at vanity-style dressers while exploring lipsticks and fragrances.

And that’s not the only seating of note; on Feb. 17, the brand unveiled its rooftop Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura Beverly Hills helmed by three-time Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura. The restaurant is the chef’s first U.S. location.

Gucci, 347 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills,

Dermalogica plants a flagship in WeHo

Skin-care brand Dermalogica, which has had a bricks-and-mortar presence in Santa Monica for 15 years, in mid-February opened a second Los Angeles-area flagship store, a 1,000-square-foot location in West Hollywood that company founder Jane Wurwand says reflects shifting tastes in beauty shopping.

“The West Hollywood community is very strong for us,” said Wurwand. “We’ve always wanted to have a presence here, so people don’t have to cross the 405 going West. And this area has so many brands that our clients identify with.”


In addition to selling Dermalogica’s range of skin-care products, the new space offers treatments that include a 10-minute FaceFit pick-me-up and microdermabrasion; it plans to host community events where people can come in to learn skin-care basics, try out new products and talk to skin experts. Coinciding with the opening: the launch of Invisible Physical Defense SPF30 ($54), a blendable, lightweight sunscreen that contains green tea and a mushroom complex and leaves no sticky white residue.

Dermalogica, 605 N. West Knoll Drive, West Hollywood,

George Esquivel collaborates with Marrow

The collaboration between Buena Park-based prestige shoe designer George Esquivel and fine jewelry brand Marrow started with a direct message on social media. Jillian Sassone, Marrow‘s founder, messaged the designer to say how much she loved his shoes. Esquivel, whose handmade shoes are a celebrity favorite (Janelle Monáe wore a pair during her recent Academy Awards show performance), was a fan of Marrow’s jewelry and “after a couple of double dates we felt our aesthetics were symbiotic,” said Esquivel.

The capsule collection, which launched Feb. 7, includes five pairs of shoes and 15 rings that are designed to complement each other. “Everything flows together — the colors of the jewelry directly correlates with the colors of the shoes,” said Sassone. A flat beribboned metallic gold leather Esquivel mule has flecks of turquoise paint, for example; Sassone designed a turquoise and diamond ring to be worn alongside them.

The shoes in the George Esquivel X Marrow collaboration range from $975 to $1,175 and are available online at The rings are priced from $2,450 to $6,500 and are available online at and at the Marrow flagship store at One Paseo, 3665 Caminito Court, Suite 720, San Diego.

George Esquivel X Marrow,,

Byredo opens its first West Coast boutique

Ben Gorham, founder of luxe Swedish fragrance and accessory house Byredo, spent three years looking for the right spot for his first West Coast outpost — and finally found it in a 3,000-square-foot former West Hollywood art gallery.

The location, which opened Feb. 13, is the third U.S. stand-alone store (the others are in New York and Miami) and sixth globally for the brand.

Founded 15 years ago in Stockholm, Byredo is known for its spare, architectural packaging and thoughtful fragrances; top sellers include Mojave Ghost, which is made with ambrette (an aromatic plant from India), Jamaican naseberry and Chantilly musk. Its scented candle Chai has notes of cardamom, clove and ginger and celebrates the ritual of tea making in the Indian subcontinent where Gorham has family ties.

Fragrances are $180 for 50 millimeters; candles are $85 each.

Byredo, 8920 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood,

Marcell Von Berlin boutique quadruples in size

About 18 months after opening his store here, German designer Marcell Pustul has quadrupled the size of his Melrose Avenue boutique and added a couture salon and coffee bar.

“People here were excited about the clothes, and we got bigger and bigger,” said Pustul of his edgy label, Marcell Von Berlin, which opened the smaller version of its West Hollywood store in November 2018 and the expanded footprint earlier this month.

The 4,000-square-foot space is also home to a späti, a version of the convenience stores that can be found all over Berlin, where shoppers can pick up German confections and read magazines. The couture salon holds pieces like a scarlet women’s gown with marabou feather trim and embroidery, and a three-quarter-length tuxedo jacket with baby blue satin lapel for men. Spring and summer offerings revolve around a print theme of thick brushstrokes in red and blue that appear on boots, pants and cropped jackets. Neon brights in yellow and lime — as in casual jumpsuits — are also key.

Prices are around $180 for T-shirts, dresses retail from $500 to $2,000, and couture gowns range as high as $10,000.

Marcell Von Berlin, 8619 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood,