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When Style Icons Collide: St. John at Fashion Island

March 6, 2018

Modern fashionistas with discerning taste have a new reason to shop Fashion Island in their search for uncompromising quality and elegance: St. John Knits. Founded in 1962 by Robert and Marie Gray, the Irvine-based luxury fashion house emerged from a single, elegant proposition: to design the ultimate knit dress, one epitomizing both sophistication and functionality.

Fifty years later, the maverick label remains fresh and innovative as exemplified in its breezy new concept store located next to Pain du Monde and Bloomingdale’s. According to St. John’s design team, “St. John and Fashion Island are both quintessentially Southern Californian… Both appeal to a modern clientele who appreciate quality and relevant design.”

In recent years, the luxury fashion house has branched out in several revolutionary directions. First, in October, the label debuted The New Standard, a capsule collection for today’s professional working woman designed to shake the very foundations of “power dressing” by offering “an effortlessly undone” alternative replete with strong modern shapes and insistent touches of femininity. “St. John is constantly evolving, as is workwear, and we wanted to create something which allows women to mix and match wardrobe essentials without losing their personal style.”

Second, in January, the company shuttered its longtime Costa Mesa boutique after more than two decades at South Coast Plaza to make its jump to Fashion Island. Finally, the boutique’s February debut coincides with the release of its spring 2018 collection, an admixture of soft tailoring, delectable textures, and sophisticated shine.

Despite these innovations and changes, the label remains devoted to showcasing Great American Design. Craft and couture blend seamlessly in St. John’s luxury manufacturing with only the highest quality fine white wool and novelty yarns sourced from top European mills used in the creation of its signature knits. St. John’s exclusive blends and in-house dyeing have defined the fashion house’s golden standard: vibrant fabrics, clean lines, and functional design conceived for structure and ease. Touches of opulence include handcrafted buttons of gilded 24-karat gold and gleaming rhodium or Austrian crystals.

Headquartered in Southern California, St. John employs more than 1,500 people and is sold by high-end specialty store retailers in 26 countries and 29 company-owned retail boutiques. The St. John look appeals to women all over the world and its latest Newport Beach location underscores the label’s Southern California roots, an homage to light, airy sophistication.

The visionary concept store, with its cool confidence and sunny vibe, provides a luxurious addition to Fashion Island’s well-cultivated collection of the most sought-after brands in Orange County. “St. John and Fashion Island are a natural fit for one another. With our roots in Orange County, we have both found ways to appeal to an international audience without losing sight of our California heritage. We’re thrilled to bring our concept boutique to Fashion Island as we both work together to push fashion and retail forward.”

With 160 top-tier brands, Fashion Island is Southern California’s preeminent outdoor shopping experience and a style icon in its own right. Opened in 1967, Fashion Island represents the archetype for high-style, open air shopping offering an elegant yet relaxed ambience that attracts nearly 16 million visitors each year.

Written by: Engrid Barnett

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