The Los Angeles suburb of Torrance is not known as an international city, but recent shopping trends indicate otherwise. The Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance is one of many shopping malls around the world attracting large numbers of international shoppers, in part due to the proximity to a major international airport, a trend getting the attention of developers and retailers. Del Amo hosts 200 international travelers a night, among them, French, German, and Dutch flight crews staying at the adjacent Torrance Marriott, according to a recent article in the Daily Breeze.

The repositioning of the Del Amo Fashion Center took into consideration the impact of the international shopper arriving from Los Angeles International Airport while creating a new experience and look for the once-fading shopping center. The Del Amo mall had fallen victim to its own physical nostalgia, following the fate of many architectural icons from the 60’s and 70’s. Brick pavers and dated details left little to be desired by local shoppers looking for more a modern experience.

RSM Design worked with Simon Properties Group,  to complement and define a new brand that merged an urban beach aesthetic with international elements into a single fluid and sophisticated tone.

Capitalizing on the coastal location, design inspiration was taken from elements of the waters’ fluid lines and bright sunlight, which were all woven into the new Del Amo brand. The RSM Design team was inspired by the ocean, natural woods and grand sweeping lines emblematic of waves and sails. All these themes were incorporated throughout the signage and wayfinding program.

These elements were used by the RSM Design team to provide subtle details that complement the modern edge of Del Amo’s new brand within the logo, monumentation signage and wayfinding design. RSM Design used patterning and pops of color throughout the project to support the coastal chic elegance of this new, refreshed environment.

The contemporary look is an impressive upgrade from the Del Amo of the past decade. Seeing the before-and-after images reinforces how much has changed since the mall’s origination. Part of the challenge in this exercise was unifying three separate mall pads into one new center, while creating an easy shopping experience for guests on foot, starting with their arrival in parking lots and garages.

Bright open and airy entryways filled with sunlight, which highlight the fluid contours of the interior architecture, are a stark contrast to the dimly-lit brick walls that once limited the interest of today’s shopper. Lighting experts KGM were selected by Simon to bring experience and success used on previous international jobs. KGM captured the sophistication of European shopping experiences, enhancing the interior re-design and elegant lines of the new space.

This new standard sets a mark for Simon, a refreshing offering within the retailers’ portfolio to both domestic and international guests, who have already begun to visit this center in droves. According to Simon Property Group officials, Del Amo is now the largest shopping center in the western United States and the fifth largest in the nation.