New and NotableJune 1, 2008 By: Marianne Dougherty, Carrie Watson, Lotus Abrams, Rachel Aguiar American Salon
Tom Julian, president of the Tom Julian Group, a brand-consultancy firm, checks out Santa Monica, CA.
Where Ocean Avenue meets Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, an art deco statue of Saint Monica has been standing since 1934 and has been a symbol of her namesake community. The statue was a Public Works of Art Project and is perfectly positioned against a blue panorama of the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica Pier and the bluffs of Malibu. This historic beach community has several miles of beachfront and is home to almost 90,000 residents. For a taste of the vibrant retail and cultural experiences available in Santa Monica, don't miss a visit to these hot spots.
Third Street Promenade. The original 1965 "park-and-shop" setting of Santa Monica's Third Street district included storefronts like JCPenney and Montgomery Ward. During the late 1980s, the City of Santa Monica joined forces with private partners to revitalize the urban shopping street. Today, the Third Street Promenade is considered to be one of the country's most popular pedestrian malls, complete with street performers and a farmer's market. With more than 100 stores and restaurants and numerous fountains and topiary dinosaurs, the Promenade is the ultimate outdoor shopping destination. Specialty apparel brands include Anthropologie, J.Crew, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and Urban Outfitters. International brands Zara International and MNG by Mango were recently added to the mix, while furniture retailers include Restoration Hardware, Sur La Table and Pottery Barn. Beauty brands range from Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics to Sephora and M.A.C. thirdstreetpromenade.org
THIRD STREET PROMENADE
Fred Segal. Located at 500 Broadway, the premier specialty retailer continues to lead the retail scene with two complete shops that merchandise men's, women's and children's apparel, accessories, gifts, decor and beauty. The two stores are set up as a series of mini-boutiques under one roof. fredsegal.com
Santa Monica Place. This Frank Gehry-designed indoor mall, which opened in 1980, is undergoing a major renovation. It will reopen as an open-air facility with an outdoor plaza and dining deck in 2009. The Vidal Sassoon Academy and TONI&GUY Hairdressing Academy are both located near this retail area. santamonicaplace.com
Hotels and Spas. Top-rated stays include The Fairmont Miramar Hotel, Viceroy Hotel, Le Merigot, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, Shutters Hotel on the Beach and Hotel Casa del Mar. Meanwhile, day spas like Burke Williams Spa, Forme and Exhale do a brisk business with locals and tourists alike.