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Rodd & Gunn Hosts Star-Studded Launch Party

Written By: Kat De Angelis
Photographed By: Passport Brand Design Rodd & Gunn

What are you to do if you’re a foreign brand opening up your first storefront in the U.S.? For Rodd & Gunn, Fashion Island’s newest retailer, they brought a little bit of their homeland of New Zealand right to Newport Beach.

At the grand opening celebration on Friday, Oct. 7, the premium menswear label threw an unforgettable bash to herald its first American flagship location. Earlier in the day, Rodd & Gunn welcomed shoppers with a bounty of fresh produce and culinary treats all showcasing the best of New Zealand flavors.Later that evening, more than 250 guests attended a private party that extended to outside the store, with an elegant wine featuring all New Zealand wines, along with a handsome cocktail bar.

“We really wanted to celebrate and honor all the key elements of our brand and culture—from an appreciation of the outdoors and active lifestyle to highlighting the best of New Zealand ingredients and lifestyle with this party, ” said Mike Beagley, Managing Director for Rodd & Gunn. “It means so much that we were able to open right here in Newport Beach—it really feels like our sister city.”

Guests were able to immerse themselves in the new store, which featured vaulted wood beam ceilings and herringbone wood paneling for a rustic but modern lodge look and feel. The digital backdrop behind the cashwrap provided a mesmerizing focal point of the retail space with a large livecam window into New Zealand’s rugged mountainous lakeside – direct from Rodd & Gunn’s storefront in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Among the stylishly dapper crowd were Rodd & Gunn’s VIP customers and fans, including actor Kellan Lutz of the movie “Twilight, ” on-air style correspondent Lawrence Zarian, actress Maggie Lawson from the shows “Angel from Hell” and “Psych”, and actor Ben Koldyke of “Masters of Sex” to name a few. Also in attendance were some of SoCal’s top men’s style influencers, including Gents Lounge, Men’s Fashion Post, Parker York Smith, Ty Severe, Atlas & Mason and Rule of Thumbs—all dressed in head-to-toe Rodd & Gunn.

Guests perused and shopped Rodd & Gunn’s fall collection of smart casual separates, shoes and accessories which included 100 percent Italian shirting, luxe sweaters and sport coats. Partygoers also enjoyed an amazing spread of New Zealand-inspired cuisine, including Hapuka fish & chips served in cones with cornichon tartar sauce; seared lamb sirloin on housemade olive oil crackers with harissa and labneh; seared venison carpaccio and fresh oysters on the half-shell with champagne mignonette. There was also a cheese & charcuterie grazing station, along with passed sweets of mini-ice cream cones with New Zealand honeycomb and Manuka honey steamed pudding with vanilla bean cream. A full bar offered specialty cocktails that were a nod to the brand’s longtime English Pointer mascot, such as the “Vodd & Gunner” with vodka, fresh citrus, ginger beer, ginger ale and angostura bitters and the “Gin Pointer” with gin, lavender syrup, tonic and fresh lemon.

Rodd & Gunn
Fashion Island
1129 Newport Center Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Rodd & Gunn Comes to Orange County!