Skip to Content

Aerial photo exhibit scales new heights to capture the grandeur, vision of Fashion Island

See Newport Beach through a bird’s-eye lens July 14-Sept. 29

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (June 30, 2017) — Long before GoPro and drones, there was aerial photography. And Orange County star shooter Fred Emmert was a pioneer in the medium, soaring above Newport Beach as it transformed into one of the world’s most enviable seaside enclaves.

On July 14 through Sept. 29, “Fashion Island: 50 Years in the Making–An Aerial Photography Retrospective” will be on display in Atrium Court as part of the iconic outdoor shopping center’s golden anniversary celebration.

“This exhibit elevates the topography of Newport Beach into an art form while bringing Irvine Company’s vision to life,” said Easther Liu, chief marketing officer, Irvine Company Retail Properties. “You see history unfolding, which will resonate with long-time customers as well as visitors seeing Fashion Island for the first time.”

The visual narrative covers five decades of Fashion Island with images culled from the 2017 edition of “Real Estate Masterwork Series/Half Century Aerial Photography/Newport Center/Fashion Island,” a double-vision project from Emmert and Richard Frost, a developer-turned-historian.  Together, they describe the work as “a chronological time machine of an untold story.”

For the Instagram generation, it will provide a glimpse into the Irvine Company’s earliest blueprint for a cohesive master plan, encompassing the 93,000-acre Irvine Ranch. There’s black-and-white images of the budding land in 1953, construction commencing in the mid-’60s, and later in 2009, Emmert focused his lens on Fashion Island’s three-year, $100-million reimagining.

“These communities did not simply appear,” said Frost, who discovered Emmert’s eye for light and perspective in the ’70s while at Frost Trinen Partners, his former commercial real estate brokerage company.  “Instead our communities are the cumulative result of singular multi-decade hopes and dreams of individuals and institutions alike.,”

The star of the show—a full moon casting its glow over the lifestyle destination—was captured by the peripatetic Emmert on Aug. 29, 2015.  Unsatisfied with his first attempts, he took flight again for the elusive shot and achieved a photo finish with an image both intimate and revealing.

Nab an autographed copy of the book with four Saturday book signings on July 22, Aug. 12 and Aug. 26 from 1:30-4:30 p.m., as well as Sept. 9 from 1:30-5:30 p.m. The exhibit is sponsored by WoodSnap, an Irvine-based company specializing in images printed on wood.

To commemorate its golden anniversary, Fashion Island will kick off “50 Days of Fashion Island” beginning July 29 with select retailers extending exclusive in-store events and promotions. On Sept. 9, the official day of Fashion Island’s 50th anniversary, it will host a special event in honor of its loyal customers who have contributed to its success. With nearly 16 million visitors annually and $765 million in annual sales, there is much to laud.  For more information, please visit

About Fashion Island
As Orange County’s premier coastal shopping experience, Fashion Island features exclusive specialty boutiques, world-class department stores and a diverse assortment of restaurants and cafes. With nearly 16 million visitors a year, Fashion Island offers a sophisticated yet relaxed, resort-like atmosphere that is distinctively Southern Californian, with pristine views of the Pacific Ocean.

Owned by Irvine Company, Fashion Island is home to Orange County’s only Neiman Marcus, as well as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s Home Store and Macy’s – in addition to AG, Alice + Olivia, Rodd & Gunn, Nespresso, American Rag et Cie, Urban Decay, NIKE, SoulCycle, Trina Turk, Vince, Joie and ViX by Paula Hermanny, Fashion Island also features acclaimed restaurants such as Sushi Roku, FIG & OLIVE, Red O, CUCINA enoteca, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Lemonade, True Food Kitchen and R+D Kitchen. For more information, please visit