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As promised, we have a whole new batch of photos from inside Santa Monica Place, the new mall that just opened at the end of Third Street Promenade, steps away from the iconic Santa Monica Pier. (C'mon, you've all seen it in "Forest Gump.")
While Third Street Promenade has provided most of the recreational and retail action for Santa Monica, it's going to have to take a backseat to this new mall. Aside from the designer brands (Louis Vuitton, Bloomies, Nordstroms, Burberry and Barneys Co-Op), Santa Monica Place is finally giving shoppers what they really want--a wide variety of food options.
The third-floor open-air Dining Deck has a mix of high-end restaurants (Sonoma Wine Garden, XINO and La Sandia) mixed in with somewhat upscale food court options like tacos, pizza, and Chinese food. Of course, you can still get a cinnamon sugar pretzel at Wetzel's Pretzels.
Way back in January 2008, Santa Monica Place, the mall at the end of the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Calif.--near the world famous Santa Monica Pier--closed for an extensive renovation. And we mean, extensive.
Much of the old mall, designed by Frank Gehry in 1980, was demolished and in its place, a 500,000sq.ft. three-story, open air shopping "destination" was erected.
Today that mall reopens as a spectacular high-end retail experience anchored by a stunning new Bloomingdale's. And not only does this new shopping mecca look pretty and modern but it's also eco-friendly and hopes to earn a LEED Silver certification.
Five-Must-See-Apple-Stores / Apple Stores / Technology / Travel Tech / Shopping / iPhone / → All Tags
It's late in the day and you've been anxiously twittering or emailing with friends about plans for evening when, horror of horrors, your enter key splits right in half. You call up the Genius Bar at your local Apple store to make an appointment, and while the Mac Genius is busy laughing at your misfortune, you stand back and look at the gleaming retail environment around you. It could be an awesome minimalist art studio without the gadgets, but with them it's a technology fantasyland.
Apple stores, magical places which can make your paycheck disappear with the tap of a touchscreen, place just as much stock in the design of their shop interiors as in the look of their laptops. Even their many mall stores attract because of the focus on simple, clean and classic design an anomaly in your typical mall.
Speaking of anomalies, several of Apple's 250+ international stores stand out as true innovators, whether due to their architectural details or interior features, and we'll show you which and why in our Five Must-See Apple Stores Map.
Five Must-See Apple Stores In The World
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If it were up to Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, the economy would bounce back this week in order for the world to embrace his love affair with animal prints, gold, and opulent environments through the opening of his new club in Dubai.
Alas, we awoke this morning to another day of the recession despite his attempts to re-invigorate the economy with pricey alcohol and a return to partying for partying's sake. Following the success of his first Florence club, Cavalli opened his second shindig space attached to The Fairmont Hotel at a cost of $30 million. Here's what you'll find behind its gilded gates:
Ever lose your luggage on a flight and wonder what happens to bags that never get reunited with their woeful owners?
Well, a good deal of it ends up in Scottsboro, Alabama at a massive thrift store called the Unclaimed Baggage Center. UBC buys unclaimed luggage from airlines in bulk, to the tune of 7,000 new items a day (that's a lot of lost bags!) Then everything is sold to the public out of their Alabama warehouse, and we do mean everything. Clothes, cameras, iPods, exotic souvenirs, prescription eyeglasses, and of course the bags themselves.
They've also got a museum where they put aside the stuff found in lost bags that's just too good to sell—for example, a life-size version of the creepy Hoggle puppet from the movie Labyrinth and a slew of 3,000-year-old Egyptian artifacts. Seems like those could have been reunited with their rightful owners, but oh well, finders keepers.
We’ll be honest: normally we don’t like fancy concept names with strange punctuation in the middle of them, like Ma(i)sonry, but in this case we’ll forgive the misguided parentheses and focus on the positive.
That’s because there’s a lot of positivity at this new one-stop destination in the heart of Napa Valley. Opened last October, Ma(i)sonry's purpose is to create a “life aesthetic” by pairing artisan wines with art and furnishings in a historic setting.
Basically, that means that there’s a bunch of cool art and furniture to look at (and sit in) and think about purchasing while you sip your glass of artisanal wine from the tasting room. Or just wander around the 104-year-old stone building and its grounds, which are down the block from The French Laundry in Yountville.
Call him spiffy, jaunty, natty or rakish, but don't you dare try to label him as a musician first and a fashion designer second. Andre 3000 of Outkast has long been known for his particularly colorful way of dressing to the nines, and once the stars aligned for him, he began to pursue this passion as a more than a hobby, creating a line of menswear named Benjamin Bixby. Entering its second season of retail, the retro-inspired and often ridiculously detailed looks of Bixby have finally earned themselves a cult following.
Believe it or not, the city of luxury shopping has finally birthed a store focused more on charity and less on marking items up to high heaven. Having opened yesterday in the middle of Paris' Fashion Week, Merci in the Marais is a boutique conceived by the owners of the "childrenswear couture house" Bonpoint. Seeking to turn their high-profile connections and retail know-how into a philanthropic mission, the pair will donate 100% of profits at Merci to a children's cause in Madagascar.
We know what you're thinking; they sell secondhand or overstock, right? As if! Merci is the result of three years of negotiating with brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, Alexis Mabille and Marni to manufacture pieces specifically for their store, and since the designers are not taking any profits, "the items are priced at 30 percent to 40 percent less than the clothing in their own shops." With three stories, a perfume bar and a home department, Merci has also left space for the rare vintage finds, so you will find some secondhand here. Alas, it is Chanel, Dior and Burberry, and all for the good of Madagascar as well as your closet.
The concept is about as recession-friendly as one can get, and we don't expect this to be the end of it: "Offering designer wear and home goods as well as books, perfumes, flowers and food, the [owners] say Merci is Europe's first philanthropic store, and hope to open sister-shops in London, Milan, New York and Tokyo."
· Fashion family decides to say 'Merci' [IHT]
· New Paris concept store to donate profits to Africa [The Age]
· Fashion Travel Coverage [Jaunted]
Culture shock has never been a problem for us; we're cool with whatever is the norm in a new destination and most of the time join in with gusto. But this week in Hong Kong, we've faced a huge challenge in embracing something so dear to the locals: the ubiquity of shopping malls.
In the main districts, you have something like a 95% chance of having to at least stroll through a mall to get where you are going. If you aren't inside of a mall, then you are on top of one, next to one, underneath one, or even using one as a landmark for orienting yourself in the city.
We've unwittingly hit a higher number of malls than days we've been in Hong Kong, and it doesn't look like the barrage of consumerism will be letting up soon. Since we hail from a Midwestern city that of course loves their Auntie Anne's pretzels and Abercrombie, we were at first unfazed by the shopping glut in HK.
After our fifth megaplex in two days, however, our patience with escalators and perfume counters began to wear thin and we stepped back to observe the scene.
When planning a trip to cultural hotspot Shanghai, you will invariably encounter the the simple yet enigmatic name of the city's most luxurious shopping and dining destination, 3 On the Bund. Occupying the stately Union Building on Shanghai's Bund, a thoroughfare running alongside the Huangpu River, No. 3 began welcoming the moneyed locals and well-heeled tourists back in 2004.
At first, No. 3 was a revolutionary repurposing of one of the Bund buildings, the strip of which had fallen from grace over the years and were rapidly descending into disrepair and vacant space. After the introduction of upscale dining with M on the Bund and the Shanghai Gallery of Art, the Michael Graves-designed spaces filled up with 5-star tenant after 5-star tenant.
Beloved by thrifty college students and design-hunters alike, Chicago's pop vintage store Hollywood Mirror delivers a hefty dose of kitsch for little cash. Specializing in everything from second-hand mid-century modern home furnishings to the most garish Hawaiian shirts from the 1950s, the store is like a thrift version of Vitra merged with Urban Outfitters--yet most everything is true vintage.
Enter the shop and pass the little jumble of Hot Topic-ish goods to reveal the true splendor of retro revival. Need a neon nightie from 1962 or a bowling bag only Bettie Page could love? You're in luck!
The lifeblood of Hollywood Mirror is of course its faithful customer base, who keep the colorful supply rotating, but the draw of the location is helped by its surrounding eclectic neighborhood, Lakeview. To locals, however, the area is simply known as "Boystown," and it takes only a minute on the streets on a Saturday night to see why. Luckily, Hollywood Mirror holds the recession-defying recipe of offering cheap, individual style in the midst of a true urban community who will never sell them out for Design Within Reach. Priceless.
If you're the type that has to find the perfect, funny gift for everyone instead of just running out and buying up overpriced items at the last minute, the store for you is Fred Flare in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Owned by Chicago transplants Chris Bick and Keith Carollo, Fred Flare's chock full of awesome (transportable) items.
By awesome we mean bacon flavored dental floss (yes, we know, perfect for your dad/grandpa/meat-loving brother), the hamburger phone from "Juno," a Holly Golightly sleep mask (excellent for your insomniac friend), sparrow salt and pepper shakers or even an LED menorah.
Fred Flare's the type of place where you'll find something hilarious for everyone, quickly making you the talk of the holiday. Our favorite part is that the stuff's cheap, and we mean like mostly under $25. If you shop online right now and spend $75, you get free shipping too.
Fred's motto is "stay cute," and employees are upbeat and helpful when you need them but stay away when you just want to browse. The shop's closed Monday and Tuesday but open noon-7 pm Wednesday-Saturday and noon-5 pm on Sunday.