Shopping Centers Today International

NOV 2015

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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annual celebration she called a "love party" at her home, as a means of bring- ing all her favorite people together in one place. Soon she was designing T- shirts and pajamas with "love," "peace" and similar phrases on them to distrib- ute to the attendees. Increasingly, people were asking how they could get T-shirts of their own. After Villasante's children managed to sell some $85,000 worth of this merchandise at trunk shows around Miami, a friend persuaded Villasante to open a store. The 1,000-square-foot, he MeSSAge of luxury lIfeSTyle brand Peace love World is one of lightness, gratefulness and joy. oprah Winfrey, Jennifer lopez and other celebrities have all been spotted wear- ing Peace love World T-shirts with phrases like "Smile" and "half full" emblazoned on them. each year the company designs a specialty line to help raise awareness and money for various charities. Peace love World is the concept of Alina Villasante, a Cuban-born, Miami clothing designer who signs her name with peace, love and happiness symbols. "It's my personality," she said. In 1999 Villasante began holding an freestanding space, brimming with tops, tanks, hoodies and sleepwear at prices ranging from $35 to $160, opened on a street of upscale retail shops in south Mi- ami in 2009. This was just after the finan- cial markets collapsed, so Villasante won- dered at first whether her store would end up being just another casualty of the recession. "It turns out when you're go- ing through the worst times, what do you look for? A blessing, a reminder of the real meaning of life," she observed. Sales went through the roof, she says, though the company does not disclose financials. Now, six years later, people are still thirsting for this message of joy and thankfulness. Indeed, the company has a distribution deal with the oprah Win- frey Network, and also with the NBA — which commissioned a female-centric loungewear line dubbed "I Am game." T on a mission PEACE LOVE WORLD is gOing gLObAL With its mEssAgE AnD mERChAnDisE By Rebecca Meiser r e T a i l i n g T o d a y 18 S C T / n O V E m b E R 2 0 1 5

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