I remember spending my childhood in Lido, a small suburb of Newport Beach. My brother and I were often dragged up there for boat shows (lured with the promise of chocolate covered bananas on Balboa Island).
Lido Marina Village, home to those infamous boat shows, has recently gone through a large-scale renovation--transforming it into one of the most unique shopping and lifestyle experiences in Southern California. While the renovation is yet to be completed, half of the expected tenants are already open. The retail spaces are all beautiful, with bay breezes and seaside views--it's an easy and relaxing place to spend the day.
The original structure of the marina still exists--retaining the history and maritime style of the quaint "village." Twelve stores are already open, including: Aesop, Alchemy Works Harbor House, Bailey44, Charlie & Me, Clare V, Curl Fitness, Juice Served Here, Lido Village Books, Planet Blue, Steven Alan, Tress Apothecary and Salon and Warby Parker. This selection of stores gives a sampling of the quality and aesthetic to be expected from the still-to-open retailers. Each of the stores are designed beautifully, with an attention to detail and thoughtful merchandising. I was impressed with every store, but a few truly stood out to me.
AESOP: founded in Melbourne, Australia in 1987, Aesop seeks to provide the highest quality, natural skincare. Each of their shops is uniquely designed--no two are the same. For more information on Aesop stores and their singular designs, check out this site--Taxonomy of Design. The Aesop location in the Lido Marina Village utilizes a cardboard-inspired pegboard wall to display their wide array of products. This CNC-cut pegboard panel follows a seemingly sporadic pattern (secret morse-code messages are hidden in the wall), creating an organic, yet industrial, atmosphere to the space. What really grabs your attention when entering Aesop is the large soapstone sink and copper taps. Be sure to test out some of Aesop's hand soaps and scrubs...they're pretty magical.
ALCHEMY WORKS HARBOR HOUSE: the Lido Village Marina location is Alchemy Works' second, the first being in LA's Arts District. Alchemy Works is a gallery, retail and events concept space--with a strong focus on unique and beautiful design. The aesthetic of their LA store is apparent in the Newport Beach location, but adjusted to suit the beachy locale. Both locations share a space with Warby Parker, a fantastic eye-wear brand that allows you to have a little more fun with your specs. Alchemy Works, founded by Lindsay Parton, features brands like Apolis, Almond Surfboards, Blackbird, Office of Angela Scott, Public Supply, and Rodin.
CLARE VIVIER: this beautiful and bright new addition to the Lido Marina Village is a perfect illustration of the Clare V. brand. Beyond-soft leather bags and French-inspired tees are paired with classic prints by Braque and Picasso. The store captures the effortless, feminine and eclectic vibe of this unique and forward-thinking brand. Clare Vivier is defined by that special Parisian style and charm, and for functionality over all.
JUICE SERVED HERE: another LA favorite, Juice Served Here is a yummy, refreshing (and healthy) addition to Newport Beach. Each location features amazing and bold designs, as well as delicious cold-pressed juices packed with nutrients. I recommend Number 5: Tropic Thunder, which is filled with pineapple, orange, spinach, romaine, kale, passion fruit, and mint. It's the perfect beverage for exploring the marina in the sunshine.
STEVEN ALAN: this latest location is the twenty-fourth Steven Alan, a brand well-known for it's aesthetic and originality. The Lido Marina Village location is simple, with beautiful wood paneling and unique turquoise tiling that immediately attracts your attention. The tiled geometric centerpiece at the entrance is almost reminiscent of a pool or a jacuzzi, perfect for this Southern California location. I love their current collection of Ilana Kohn, available here.
For more information on the Lido Marina Village and their continued renovation, click here.