Courtesy of COS
Here at SWL we love lots of things but nothing so much as shopping. Lucky for us we live in Orange County, home of world-class shopping destinations and lately we are obsessed with South Coast Plaza’s re-vitalized contemporary wing near Bloomingdale’s. In recent years SCP has added cool Parisian brands like Sandro and Maje as well as J Crew’s denim-and-plaid-shirt-centric Madewell, Amsterdam-based Scotch & Soda, and has expanded Zara and Banana Republic. The wing will soon be home to Spain-based women’s and menswear maker Massimo Dutti and a Kate Spade boutique.
The most recent addition to the wing is COS, the grown-up, more sophisticated sister to fast-fashion retailer H&M. It’s the retailer’s third U.S. store and the second in California.
Opened last week in the space once occupied by Mango, COS boasts a clean gallery-style set-up to showcase its mens, women’s and children’s collections.
Known for its upscale, modern silhouettes, timeless staples and European sensibilities, COS’s clothes are versatile, well-made and easy on the wallet with women’s items priced from $19 for a top to $450 for a coat; bags, most rendered in classic but fashion-forward shapes run from $29 to $250. Menswear is priced about the same with kids clothes slightly less expensive.
Before COS’s opening party, which benefitted the Orange County Museum of Art, we sat down to talk to COS’s Head of Communications, Atul Pathak, to find out what COS is about:
Why did COS open in Orange County and specifically at South Coast Plaza?
It felt like a very natural progression for us. Our first California store opened in Beverly Hills and the response has been very positive, we’re very happy with the support. South Coast Plaza itself, reputation-wise, is exceptionally strong; the mix of brands here is really strong, so we’re sitting alongside really great company.
How would you describe COS’ style?
We’ve been very fortunate with our design teams; we have a very strong design DNA and we always refer back to that when the designers are making the collections. We look for modernity and a sense of timelessness around modernity. It’s not about following a trend of fashion, it’s about something that will live beyond the season, its about fabric that will last beyond a season, a sense of timelessness but quality as well. It feels like it much more favors style over fashion; it’s very clean style, very much about the shapes, silhouettes and the quality of the fabrics.
How do you think the O.C. customer—this is a sort of T-shirt and denim, Boho place—will respond?
Very positively. I think the good thing about COS is we’re very versatile; it’s a very a versatile collection. You are able to bring into your existing wardrobe as much as you are able to discover here. We offer a really great selection of what we call “COS essentials”, so season after season, our design team look at things like the white shirt, the classic pair of chinos, the little black dress and these kind of things are evolved each season—maybe there’s a slightly different use of fabric, maybe there’s a slight tweak in the detail, we introduce or take away a seam, but usually they evolve. In the winter you will find five or six different versions of the white shirt, same again with the little black dress, the classic chinos, it’s quite easy then to incorporate into your wardrobe. Also, it gives you the opportunity to style it your way and make it your own.
Who is the COS customer?
They have a sense of modernity, they probably have that thread running through their lives. It’s not just reflected in what they wear but it’s reflected in their lives. I can imagine they are very much into mid-century modern when it comes to home and furniture, they probably look towards contemporary art. They have that sense of modernity around them.
South Coast Plaza
3333 Bristol St.
Bloomindale’s Wing/Second Floor
MON-FRI: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
SAT: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
SUN: 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.