It was a massive celebration befitting the scale of the event – the grand opening of the new, improved and greatly expanded Westfield Century City shopping center. Hundreds of Angelenos filled the atrium in the shadow of the just-opened Nordstrom for a private party Tuesday that went well into the night.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had kicked off the festivities with Westfield Century City Co-CEOs Peter and Steven Lowy.
With the theme of “California Soul,” guests sipped cocktails and enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres in a multi-level outdoor area especially red carpeted for the occasion.
The party really got started when L.A.-based Fitz and the Tantrums took the stage for a high-energy set including some of their popular hits like “Handclap.”
DNCE and the iconic 70s era group The Village People also performed to a warm reception.
Among those enjoying the entertainment and hospitality were will.i.am, Debbie Allen, Metta World Peace, Carolyn Hennessy, Dolvett Quince, Wallis Annenberg, Gillian Wynn, Lawrence Zarian and J.R. Martinez.
The celebration was in partnership with the Infinite Hero Foundation, which helps returning veterans and their families by funding programs that drive innovation and the accessibility of effective treatments dealing with service-related mental and physical injuries.
Full disclosure: I have been a huge fan of Westfield Century City for about a decade – since the new AMC movie theater opened there. With Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Gelson’s, Sephora and a host of specialty shops and restaurants, it was far and above any other mall in Los Angeles.
Now, with the massive expansion and renovation—to the tune of $1 billion– it’s left all of them in the dust. Literally, there is nothing that compares to the retail and restaurant experience that now encompasses more than 1.3 million square feet with 200 shops.
The new Nordstrom took over the space formerly held by Macy’s which has moved further to the east and opened earlier this year. That new wing, located near Avenue of the Stars, also contains an Equinox fitness center and spa and a soon to open Eataly, one of New York’s top restaurants.
The additions and renovations, which were designed by Westfield’s own in-house studio in collaboration with acclaimed L.A.-based designer Kelly Wearstler, practically invite visitors to take a moment and hang out and enjoy the beautiful indoor/outdoor venue.
Some of the recently opened specialty shops we’ve enjoyed are Zadig & Voltaire, Urban Decay and Bailey 44. My favorite department store, Bloomingdale’s, also got a facelift during the renovation, making it reminiscent of the flagship 59th and Lex store in New York City.
After all the craziness in the world, who wouldn’t be ready for some retail therapy?
(Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA.)