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October 19, 2014

The Shopping Block, collaboration between independent style website Refinery29 and Simon

*I was invited to attend and cover the event. I did not receive any compensation from the company. All opinions are my own and not influenced in anyway. My reviews are not always positive, but they are my personal and honest opinions. Other people's views and experiences with the show might be different from mine.

The Shopping Block, which is a collaboration between independent style website Refinery29 and Simon, inspired by millennials and based on fashion, discovery and community. Six of Simon's premier shopping centers across the U.S. will showcase The Shopping Block experience, with Brea Mall marking the only event slated for the West Coast.

The Shopping Block will feature a stylist concierge,  beauty bars, DIY station, sweepstakes, the latest fashion trends and more.
Free and open to the public, The Shopping Block will offer consumer touch-points around fashion, discovery, and community. The event design, inspired by modernist artists such as Donald Judd and Dan Flavin, as well as the art and architecture of Marfa, Texas, will provide a variety of features that appeal to the millennial audience, including:


  • Indie Boutiques + National Brands: Refinery29 and Simon will invite indie boutiques with local reach and relevance to participate in The Shopping Block. This will create an interplay between the native, in-market shopping experiences and the very best national retail brands, all within the mall landscape.
  • Stylist Concierge: The Shopping Block attendees will receive curated style guides that highlight fall’s biggest trends, and where to shop them at Simon retailers.
  • Guest Hosts: At each event, city insiders—chosen from local tastemakers in style, fashion and lifestyle industries—will act as hosts.
  • Sweepstakes: Shoppers can enter to win a Simon shopping spree in the form of Simon Giftcards valued at $1,500. A “virtual closet” made up of the hottest items from Simon retailers and curated by Refinery29 editors will be on display during The Shopping Block event to serve as inspiration for what the winner could buy.
  • Beauty Bars: Makeup artists will be on-hand at pop-up beauty bars to give shoppers mini makeovers, and share the latest beauty tips from the experts at Refinery29.
  • DIY Station: The Shopping Block guests will have an opportunity to personalize tote bags, taking inspiration from two fall 2014 runway trends – Sporty and Embellished. Each trend will have its own moodboard of inspiration pictures posted with a brief description and example of that tote. Guests will be given materials to create their own version of the tote. Brand Ambassadors will be on hand to help guests and explain the activation. 

In a recent study by Refinery29, millennial women of all ages and income groups expressed how online, mobile, and social elements all play a critical role in how they shop, often merging their online and in-person experiences. As a reflection of those shopping preferences, Refinery29 and Simon created custom activations that marry the digital and physical experiences together and maximize the social aspects of both.  


“The Shopping Block at Brea Mall is a totally new experience targeted specifically to millennials,” said Anna Cotter, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Brea Mall. “The event mixes local, independent boutiques and brands with established fashion purveyors, creating a new fashion hybrid that celebrates the power of personal style.”


“Refinery29 has always been rooted in shopping and discovery, and is a champion of independent thinking and true personal style,” said Piera Gelardi, Creative Director, Refinery29. “Refinery29’s audience of millennial women turns to us as a trusted digital source of inspiration and they visit Simon shopping centers for a tangible, tactile experience. The Shopping Block is a perfect marriage of both worlds.”


The Shopping Block experience will be enhanced by editorial posts on Refinery29, including a “Found at the Mall” photo series showcasing the street style sensibility of shoppers who visit The Shopping Block. The events will be supported through co-branded banners on Refinery29 and promotions on Refinery29 and Simon social channels, Simon’s style blog at stylesetter.simon.com and at simon.com/shoppingblock.


Additionally, attendees are encouraged to share their Shopping Block experiences and discoveries using the hashtags #TheShoppingBlock and #FoundAtSimon. Anyone who posts their style on Instagram or Twitter using #FoundAtSimon #Contest will be entered to win a $500 gift card from Simon. Refinery29 editors will select the best Shopping Block inspired entry in October.

Visit simon.com/shoppingblock or Brea Mall’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages at https://www.facebook.com/BreaMall, https://twitter.com/ShopBreaMall or http://www.instagram.com/shopbreamall for the latest event updates.

I was invited to attend the Brea Mall to cover The Shopping Block event. Although we had to make some major changes to our family weekend calendar to clear up my day, I was glad that we were able to make it happen. Like many of my friends, I avoid the mall. Besides the fact that it is difficult to shop with my overly active kids, I simply find online shopping much more convenient. I love that I could purchase whatever I like whenever I am free; sometimes I get my shopping on my phone next the the swimming pool as I wait for my daughter's lesson to finish, other times it is at 1 in the morning after a long busy day. Attending the Shopping Block event at the Brea Mall was a great reminder of why I used to love shopping at the stores. I enjoyed meeting the designers and discussing their creations with them. The personal interaction is definitely lacking in my online shopping, so checking out the Indie boutiques was one of the many highlights for me
All in all, The Shopping Block created a fun shopping experience different from my typical mall browsing. I thought it was really great and I look forward to see what other collaborations that Simon malls will present in the future.

About Brea Mall

Brea Mall is an upscale center showcasing four major department stores, including Nordstrom, Macy’s, jcpenney and Sears, and more than 175 specialty shops. Brea Mall also features a full-service day spa, a newly upgraded Food Court, and several fine restaurants, including The Cheesecake Factory, BJ's Restaurant and California Pizza Kitchen, which all feature outdoor patios. In March 2013, Brea Mall underwent a large-scale interior and exterior renovation that touched several areas of the shopping center, including new mall entrances and light fixtures, the addition of family-style restrooms, a brand new children’s Play Area on the lower level, a larger and faster elevator in Center Court, and new flooring, landscaping, handrails, signage and lighting throughout. With the completion of the renovation in April 2014, the center showcases updated textures, colors and amenities, creating a more contemporary and inviting shopping environment. For a map and store listings, as well as directions, events and job listings, visit http://www.simon.com/mall/brea-mall or call 714-990-2732.


About Simon

Simon is a global leader in retail real estate ownership, management, and development, and a S&P100 company (Simon Property Group, NYSE:SPG). Our industry-leading retail properties and investments across North America, Europe, and Asia provide shopping experiences for millions of consumers every day and generate billions in annual retail sales. For more information, visit simon.com.


About Refinery29

Refinery29 is the largest independent style website in the United States and the fastest growing media company on the 2013 Inc. 500 list. Through its 24/7 original editorial content, global and local newsletters, and engaged social community, Refinery29 inspires millennial women to live a more mindful, artful and enlightened life. Refinery29 is based in New York, NY and has raised $30.4 million in funding from Stripes Group, FLOODGATE, First Round, Hearst Corporate, Lerer Ventures, Eastern Capital, and more.


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