It’s been more than two years in the making, but it is finally here.
Hermès unveiled its 7,500-square-foot store on Friday that is the center of a new luxury wing at Westfield Topanga, a major shopping center in Southern California gaining importance because of its proximity to some very wealthy suburban enclaves such as Calabasas and Hidden Hills.
It is in these burgeoning neighborhoods where celebrities, including the Kardashians, Drake, Jessica Simpson, Miley Cyrus and LeBron James, have lived or currently reside in gated communities.
The luxury wing was created when a mammoth Sears store, closed in 2015 and a relic of past retail glory days, was demolished and reimagined into a 180,000-square-foot luxury retail district bringing in Hermès as the anchor tenant in addition to more than 10 luxury stores.
Hermès will be sharing the luxury wing with other high-end brands including Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Celine, Dior, Omega and Valentino. There also is a 19,000-square-foot Arhaus location featuring artisan-crafted home furnishings as well as upscale dining options and an AMC dine-in movie theater with 12 screens.
The Hermès store has its own dedicated entry with valet parking for shoppers wishing for a discreet entrance or a quick in-and-out experience. This appealed to the French brand’s retail team scouting new venues. “We are very deliberate in our retail locations. We don’t open a lot of stores,” said Diane Mahady, recently named president of Hermès’s American division. “We waited until we found the right location.”
This is Hermès’s sixth store in California and 35th in the United States. In the Los Angeles area, the French company has one other location, located 22 miles away on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. “We have some clients that live nearby [Westfield Topanga] and don’t want to make the trek all the way into Beverly Hills. So, for us, it’s nice because we think we have a combination of clients who already are familiar with the brand who are excited for us to open here as well as a chance for us to speak to new and younger clients who may not be shopping with us,” Mahady explained.
For the new outpost in the San Fernando Valley, Hermès worked with Parisian architecture agency RDAI. Together they created an interior with colors that blend in with the California landscape and climate. The store’s façade has columns with hues and textures taking their cue from the nearby Topanga State Park.
Inside, there are four spaces showcasing different categories. In the first are women’s silk, perfume and beauty products in a terracotta setting. Also inside this first space is a subspace where small leather goods and equestrian accessories are displayed inside a mural-decorated library. The second area houses fashion jewelry and men’s silk, giving way to a third area displaying men’s and women’s shoes. The fourth space displays men’s and women’s ready-to-wear.
This new wing complements the other luxury stores that have been in the shopping center for years, including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Tiffany & Co., Burberry, Cartier and Louis Vuitton.
“With the new luxury stores coming to Westfield Topanga, we will have more than 25 luxury stores,” said Colin Shaughnessy, executive vice president of U.S. leasing at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, which owns the mall. “The valley is turning into that second luxury destination outside of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. We get the Malibu customer coming through the canyon. We are pulling the Santa Barbara customer down here quite frequently, which saves them an hour to drive to Rodeo Drive. And our core customers are in Calabasas and Hidden Hills.”
This new Hermès store comes a month after the French luxury brand traveled to the Colorado mountains to unveil a new outpost in Aspen, Colorado. In February, the high-end label unveiled a new location in Naples, Florida.
“For us, three new stores [in the United States] in a year is quite a lot,” Mahady said. “But we also have some exciting renovations going on.”
One of those renovations is taking place in Chicago, where the brand’s store on Oak Street is getting a third floor to have a VIP room and enhanced services. It should be unveiled in October.