Westfield Century City has undergone a 1 billion dollar (USD) renovation and the new focus on on Hollywood. It has a new studio services offering; providing a suite of services to the city’s film, television and music industries to fulfill their wardrobe, styling and shopping needs.
While many companies in the fashion and retail sectors focus just on celebrity styling, Westfield will establish a broader offering for the film and television industry that will capitalize on the huge volume of fashion buying that exists across all facets of the industry in Los Angeles – from purchasing wardrobes for TV and film to photoshoots for consumer and trade advertising campaigns.
To meet this need, Westfield Century City has become a dedicated “home base” for stylists and costume designers, partnering with the property’s retailers and their shopping services to provide required merchandise. At the same time, Westfield is offering these huge clients when it comes to sales, a variety of services including assistance with space onsite to coordinate buying, VIP or green rooms for fittings, personal shopping services, tailoring, shipping and other logistics services. The team can even make dinner reservations if needed or coordinate cars for transport to and from the center.
“We are tremendously excited to set a new standard in the services offered to the entertainment industry,” said Heather Vandenberghe, Westfield’s Chief Marketing Officer in the United States. “Westfield continues to position itself as the definitive ‘go to’ for the city’s entertainment and fashion clientele, while also driving business for our retailers and creating broader opportunities for the brands that make their home at Century City.”
To bring these concierge-level services directly to industry costume designers and wardrobe departments, Westfield formed a new partnership with the CDGA (Costume Designers Guild Awards), which honors and supports the Costume Designers Guild (CDG) Westfield is working with the CDGA to promote Century City’s Studio Services to CDG members as well as offer a variety of special services, programs and events. CDG members will have access to the center’s special Studio Services phone line and staff dedicated to servicing their needs at the center.
Westfield also partnered with the costume design community to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the CDGA on February 20, 2018.
“The CDGA is thrilled to partner with Westfield on their Studio Services,” said Sarah Cowperthwaite, Executive Producer of the CDGA and President of JumpLine Group. “The opportunity to shape their offering to insure that it serves costume designers’ distinct needs, as well as the broader design needs of the industry, is an incredible opportunity.”
Steeped in Hollywood history, Westfield Century City was once the home of the studio backlots for Fox Films and 20th Century-Fox, where iconic stars like Shirley Temple and Marilyn Monroe once worked and classics such as The Grapes of Wrath and a Miracle on 34th Street were filmed.
The center now offers a range of top fashion retailers and restaurants – many unique to Los Angeles and Southern California. The center also has flagship outposts for Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Macy’s.
So what is the Lifestyle Shopping Center? How are lifestyle centers different from a regular mall?
Edward Burzminski, President and CEO, Chamber Marketing Partners which publishes magazines for communities and Chamber of Commerces says they are an attempt to recreate the “Main Street” shopping of yesteryear with a contemporary, upscale vision. The ICSC, the International Council of Shopping Centers defines Lifestyle centers as specialized, upscale shopping centers.
He says they are different from regular malls becuase they are designed from the outset to create a destination-like experience with lots of outdoor space, cutting edge dining, garden-like areas, upscale stores, movie theaters, pet parks, gyms, and sometimes even condos and hotels.
Lifestyle centers are growing in part as a response to online shopping applying pressure traditional brick and mortar stores and because many traditional malls have become boring.
How are lifestyle centers changing the shopping experience?
Burzminski says Lifestyle centers are making the shopping experience more fun!
In Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso was an early Lifestyle center pioneer with his “Americana at Brand” in Glendale and “the Grove” in LA. Both are outdoor malls that create a family entertainment environment with grassy picnic areas, cutting-edge dining, beautiful architecture, Bellagio-style water shows, toe-tapping Rat-Pack music playing in the background and both even have actual old-time trolleys to ferry shoppers from one end of the mall to the other. The trolley drivers at the Americana were on a first-name basis with my 90-year old mom because she loved riding the trolley so much.
In Century City, along with 8 acres of open space and gardens, trees and creative outdoor seating, about 25% of Westfield here is dedicated to cutting edge dining. Restaurants tend to benefit other tenants by keeping malls busy well into the evening.
What is the goal of theLifestyle center?
Lifestyle centers’ want to connect with a wide range of discerning shoppers to get them out of the house and offer an alternative to online shopping. The convenience of online shopping through sites like Amazon.com and others has been chipping away at traditional brick & mortar retailers. Stores like JC Penney and Macy’s recently announced significant numbers of store closings.
Lifestyle centers may be tapping into a desire to create a community, a Main Street shopping experience where people can stroll, gather, shop, eat and be entertained.
Millennial shoppers are responding. Millennials often prefer to buy trusted brands at brick and mortar stores where they can touch and feel and try-on the products they are buying.
Approximately 20% of consumers who return an online purchase at a store make an additional purchase. And 71% of consumers surveyed would choose to purchase the product in store, if told online the item was in stock.
While it may seem counterintuitive, a majority of millennials trust what they read in print more than what they read online. They know all too well how easy it is for just about anyone to post information online which may or may not be accurate while perceiving that print requires more validation and verification.
While total online retail sales in 2015 were a substantial $300 billion, that represented only about 9% of total retail spending for that year. But the trend is growing and brick and mortar companies are responding.
Burminski says Fashion Island in Newport Beach, Caliofrnia is another great outdoor Lifestyle shopping destination. I often take my family with our dog to Fashion Island just to spend an afternoon. We get lunch to go from one of the many nice restaurants and sit on the cushy outdoor chairs under the big sun blocking umbrellas. I’m usually the one sitting on the chairs with the dog after lunch reading a magazine while my wife and daughter go visit the shops.
ABOUT WESTFIELD CENTURY CITY
The $1 billion modernization and beautification of Westfield Century City will create an open-air Southern California escape like no other. Opening in Fall 2017, this will be a more than 1.3 million sf destination encompassing over 200 shops and restaurants, including a new three-level Nordstrom featuring its latest design concepts, completely remodeled three-level Bloomingdale’s, modern new two-level Macy’s, luxurious Equinox fitness club and spa, as well as the West Coast’s first Eataly. For more information, please visit www.westfield.com/centurycity.
ABOUT THE COSTUME DESIGNERS GUILD
The Costume Designers Guild, IATSE local 892, is a proud member of the international alliance of theatrical stage employees. In addition to our union services, we promote the artistry, technical expertise, and creative vision of our members who design authentic fictional characters with accuracy and integrity. The Guild’s membership includes more than 900 Costume Designers and Illustrators working in motion pictures, television, commercials, music videos, and new media programs throughout the world.