with a look
back in time
50,000 Attend National Boy Scout Jamboree
The Irvine Ranch hosts the third annual National Boy Scout Jamboree welcoming some 50,000 Scouts from all over the world. It was the first international gathering of Scouts in the West and took place in part on what is now known as Fashion Island. The event gave Jamboree Road its name.
Officially under construction
Groundbreaking for Newport Town Center (later named Fashion Island), a regional shopping center at the junction of MacArthur Boulevard.
Watch this quick video with historical clips of the 1966 groundbreaking event for Newport Center. If you’re wondering where the time capsule is buried, we are too! It’s a mystery as to where it is and what’s inside it.
Fashion Island Opens With a Bash
Fashion Island celebrates its grand opening on September 9, 1967 with an opening night charity benefit drawing 18,000 people.
The Original Four
At 909,000 square feet, Fashion Island opens with four department stores: Buffums, The Broadway, Robinson’s, and Penneys (known today as J.C. Penney); 52 specialty stores; two restaurants: Bob Burns and the Velvet Turtle; and parking for 5,500 cars.
Construction continues at Newport Center with Irvine Company headquarters. Employees in these office towers will enjoy expansive views of the Back Bay and Balboa Peninsula.
Irvine Company Headquarters Completed
Irvine Company headquarters in Newport Beach are completed at 500 and 550 Newport Center Drive, steps away from Fashion Island.
Fashion Island Koi Pond Installed
The Koi Pond at Fashion Island was a popular landmark from the start. The pond holds 20,000 gallons of water and 80 koi.
Bouffants and Sports Cars
While Newport Center continues to develop, locals and tourists enjoy coastal shopping at its finest at Fashion Island bringing with them the styles and trends of the '70s.
The “World’s Largest Wind Chimes” sculpture installed on the south side of then Robinson’s (now Macy’s) are the work of mural artist Tom Van Sant. While the chimes can no longer be heard, the sculpture still remains today.
Guests enjoy the Southern California sunshine in Butterfly Court in front of The Broadway. Now called the Neiman Marcus – Bloomingdale’s Courtyard, this gathering space is home to StyleWeekOC fashion shows, the Fashion Island Tree Lighting Ceremony, live weekend entertainment, Bloomingdale's 59th & Lex Cafe, and much more.
Bullock's and Neiman Marcus Open
Neiman Marcus at Fashion Island remains the only Orange County location to this day.
Did you know? Since 1939, Neiman Marcus has issued an annual Christmas Catalog filled with unusual and extravagant gifts, much of which is not sold in its stores. How fun!
GARYS Opens 3,500-Square-Foot Shop
Still a staple retailer at Fashion Island with a loyal following, GARYS, which opened in 1978, now features over 12,000 square feet of men’s fashion.
Atrium Court Opens
Penneys closes and Atrium Court opens in its place with numerous smaller shops and a food court on the lower level.
Atrium Court opens into Skydivers Court (also known as Stage Court). While referred to as skydivers, the three bronze figures are actually jesters as sculptor Aristides Demetrios drew inspiration from the graceful postures of circus aerials.
The figures, which were installed in 1967, are 12-feet-long each on top of 27-foot-high columns, making balance the utmost importance in positioning the sculpture.
Fashion Island Expands
After extensive remodeling and landscaping, Fashion Island reopened in 1989 with a festive celebration. Included in this expansion was 70,000 square feet of retail, three outdoor paseos, the Island Terrace food court, a seven-screen theater, and a four-level parking structure.
Thousands Welcome Hard Rock Café
Hard Rock Café opens with an outdoor concert featuring The Neville Brothers and draws more than 15,000 attendees.
Robinson's Consolidates & Renames
Robinson’s becomes Robinsons-May after the consolidation of J. W. Robinson’s and May Company California.
Wolfgang Puck Café Arrives
Shoppers dine al fresco at Wolfgang Puck Café.
Bullock’s for Women quickly reopens as Macy’s women’s store as a result of the continued consolidation of the department store industry.
A family enjoying an afternoon at Edwards Theater (now Island Cinema).
Island Hotel Newport Beach Arrives
Four Seasons Hotel Newport Beach rebrands as Island Hotel Newport Beach under Irvine Company management.
Robinsons-May Becomes Macy's
Robinsons-May becomes a full-line Macy’s store following the merger of Federated Department Stores and The May Department Stores Company.
The former Macy’s women’s store closes and is ultimately demolished and rebuilt as Nordstrom in 2010.
Snapshot In Time
As technology changes, so does retail! Here’s a look back at a former Ritz Camera storefront.
New Logo & Signage
Fashion Island introduces a new logo, which is also reflected on the new monument signage at the Center’s entries.
Fashion Island Undergoes $100 Million Renovation
Fashion Island completes its $100 million reinvestment that transformed the Center’s buildings and outdoor spaces with dramatic new architecture and common area amenities, new landscape and water fountains, and expanded parking and retail spaces.
As part of the reinvestment, 20 new stores and restaurants were added including Nordstrom, Dick’s Sporting Goods and True Food Kitchen.
Forever 21 Expands
Forever 21 opens a two-story location in place of the former Circuit City.
Then Project Runway co-host and Liz Claiborne Inc. Chief Creative Officer Tim Gunn hosts a fashion presentation.
Fashion Island adds complimentary San Francisco-style trolley service to take shoppers throughout the parking areas.
Mouse In The House
Mickey Mouse & Friends from the Disneyland Resort host Fashion Island’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony through 2015.
Luxury Theater Raises Curtain
Island Cinema opens December 16, 2011, bringing one of the first luxury theaters to Orange County complete with reserved seating, in-theater dining, and beer & wine service.
Fashion Island Turns 45
Fashion Island celebrates its 45-year anniversary by adding 22,000 square feet of retail space. As a result of the recent reinvestment, more than 40 stores and restaurants opened at the shopping center since early 2010, including Great Maple, Joie, ‘lette macarons, and Tesla.
STYLEWEEKOC, which had previously been hosted at sister-property Irvine Spectrum Center since 2008, debuts at Fashion Island with fashion shows hosted outside in the Neiman Marcus – Bloomingdale’s Courtyard.
Whole Foods Opens
“America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” arrives at Fashion Island.
FIG & OLIVE Opens
FIG & OLIVE, the elegant Mediterranean restaurant from New York and Los Angeles, opens.
Red O Opens
Red O, the upscale, Mexican-inspired concept from renowned chef Rick Bayless, opens.
Traditional Jewelers Debuts New Look
After 35 years as OC’s preeminent purveyor of fine jewelry, Traditional Jewelers debuts its new look and location at Fashion Island that also includes exclusive shop-in-shops from Rolex, Cartier, and more.
Urban Decay OpensUrban Decay Opens
Urban Decay opens first stand-alone store/flagship location at Fashion Island.
Louis Vuitton Boutique Opens
Louis Vuitton boutique opens at Neiman Marcus.
The Bonobos Guideshop Opens First O.C. Location
Bonobos, the largest online-launched men’s clothing brand in the US, opens its first Orange County brick-and-mortar e-commerce store – the Bonobos Guideshop – bringing together the best of two shopping worlds for a unique hybrid shopping experience.
Sushi Roku Opens First O.C. Location
Sushi Roku opens first Orange County location.
“Ultimate Anthropologie Experience” Arrives
Anthropologie unveils its major expansion and transformation into California’s first “Ultimate Anthropologie Experience” store featuring 12 full-scale bedroom, living, and dining rooms filled with home furnishings, a design center, more than 800 beauty products, and nearly 40 brands of shoes. The expansions doubles the store’s footprint to nearly 20,000 square feet.
Celebrating 20+ Years
Local merchants celebrating 20+ years at Fashion Island include GARYS, Traditional Jewelers, Pain du Monde, Stevie Sister (formerly Modern Romance), Newport Tobacco, and Häagen-Dazs.
On September 9, 2017, Fashion Island celebrated 50 years of being a premier coastal shopping and dining destination. Thank you for 50 fabulous years!
St. John Opens
The American luxury women’s apparel brand joined Fashion Island in February with a breezy new concept store.
Cinemas / Restaurant / Bar / Café
THE LOT, a luxury lifestyle entertainment destination that offers a dining, drinking and cinematic experience unlike any other opened to the public April 20 with its first showing of Avengers: Infinity War.