Leaders of The New School | Platform LA

IMG_3055While in Los Angeles a couple weeks ago I soaked in a little more than sunny skies and heavy traffic. I spied Platform LA, an eye-catching retail concept situated in the often skipped over, but up-and-coming, Culver City. At first, the shopping district appears to take the form of a familiar outdoor mall but quickly revealed a refreshing twist – one-off retailers, restaurants, and art galleries for a destination-worthy, shopping experience. Platform LA serves up a branded shopping experience with a distinct “between the brands” expression that comes across through their tailored curation of retailers, a commitment to the arts, respite inspired landscaping, and an encouraging tone of voice that acts as a playful counter to their on-site wayfinding. Read more of this post

Oculus Mall Opens

World Trade Center Oculus

Traveling for work has its perks and this week it was being in New York City the same day as Westfield’s World Trade Center at the Oculus opened. 15 years after the devastating 9/11 terror attacks, the 350,000 square-foot mall is the newest destination rebuilding New York’s new downtown. The mall will eventually feature over 100 retail stores and already includes brands like Apple, Pandora, H&M and Lacoste.

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Brand Love: Marine Layer

Marine Layer, FRCH Creative Fuel

Last summer I fell in love. With a hoody. It had me at hello, or more accurately at ‘Oh, Hey’. My destination was Shinola in Chicago, a pilgrimage born of an earlier brand love affair. After resisting a major splurge on a watch from Detroit I heard the siren call of an unknown brand casually beckoning me from across Damen Avenue. Read more of this post

Exploring Atlanta’s Ponce City Market

ponce_city_market

Located in the historic Old Fourth Ward on the east side of Atlanta, Georgia – the Ponce City Market is a mixed-use development years in the making. The 2,100,000 SF building (the building’s lot covers over 16 acres), one of the largest by volume in the Southeast United States, was used by Sears, Roebuck and Co. from 1926-1987. Read more of this post

Shop Terrain

Terrain, FRCH Design Worldwide

My first and only visit to Westport, CT had me shopping (with my sisters…) for 3 hours in the fabulous Terrain store. This remarkable environment is a real celebration of Home and Garden, with beautifully merchandised indoor and outdoor plants; housewares and home textiles; as well as garden furniture, supplies and accessories.  Read more of this post

Friday: Refined

FRCH FridayRefinedThey say you can’t escape your past, so it’s no surprise that whenever the topic turns to fashion I’m usually asked to comment. You see, prior to joining the FRCH team I had a long career in fashion retail. It started casually of course, when a college-aged me realized the only way I could afford Lucky jeans and Dr. Marten’s was to land a healthy employee discount at Buckle. After stints with Von Maur (where I met my first suit) and Banana Republic, I began what became a 10 year relationship with Nordstrom. So my “fashion authority” (an old Nordstromism) is legit and with that comes a tie that binds (you’ll still see me in a tie at least twice a week). I came to Cincinnati from Chicago where “How are you doing?” was less common than “Who are you wearing?’ and while that may seem superficial (it is) it’s a powerful thing. The designer Kenneth Cole once told me that the one thing you have absolute control of every day is the way you present yourself to the world, and that’s impacted me to this day. So at the risk of sounding shallow, I’ll share with you my fashion manifesto and hope you’ll forgive me by the time you finish these prose on clothes. Read more of this post

Forever Fabulous

I don’t wear their clothes, but I can’t help it, I love this store! .

 The new Forever 21 flagship  store at 1540 Broadway (Times Square) opened this summer. There are four levels, and reportedly 90,000 square feet. If you start at the bottom floor, there is apparel, but the  Shoe department is the big draw. Mens and Kids are a big component of the  floor above that, complete with a treehouse display. Makeup and Jewelry are just below  the main floor, with plenty of apparel here also. The Jewelry and Accessories area houses a huge “play table” that creates a place to mix, match, and try on. The main floor  is the place to shop if you’re looking for Forever 21’s trademark merchandise….inexpensive, trendy, contemporary looks. This main floor uses the volume of space well, with large fashion graphics.

 The store is open until 2:00 a.m. on weekends, and the music is loud but not offensive (even for me!) .  This only adds to the energy and vibe that is part of this store experience. When I visited the store in August, the visual merchandising  gave a nod to the store’s New York location, predominately by parking a taxi display at the escalator well.  This store is a must-see if you’re shopping in new York.