Malibu's Multi Layered Canvas

Photography By Aaron Lacy
Q & A Jac and Arlington Forbes

We caught up with retail experts, lifestyle curators, and West Lake Village residents Jac and Arlington Forbes who were gracious to share their new store/gallery layout as well as some secrets on balancing marriage, and work. I met Arlington and Jac at a tradeshow roughly about 10 years ago. They were poised, classy, and some of the few Black buyers on the tradeshow floor. I quickly found out that they owned a cool shop in the seaside town of Malibu with a gallery concept as part of the store. Over the years we've built a special relationship that continues to blossom, and that I am very inspired by. My visits to the shop were nothing short of amazing, and a lesson in the matter of fact attitude of wealth in America.

Over the years Canvas has evolved and managed to stay ahead of the market. What is the key to staying ahead for you guys?

Over the years, Canvas Malibu has evolved as my wife and I have evolved, and grown. We have always believed that if we are changing our clients are changing because we are not alone in our thoughts and perspectives on life, fashion, art and the world. Our key to staying ahead of the market is trusting our intuition, keeping our eyes and ears open, and to seek information to aid us in the decision making process as well. Being ahead of the market is necessary, but we have learned that you do not want to be so far ahead that you have left your clients behind.

Love the layout of the new Canvas store/gallery. What was the driving force behind the new approach to retail? 

The new approach to retail was spurred by our desire for change. Everything must change and we wanted to create a retail experience in the manner we wanted to shop, and to create an unobstructive gallery experience that would showcase Jac's abilities as a curator, and present the elements that we saw as essential for our vision of a new gallery model.

Has art become more important to the Canvas narrative, if so, when and why?

Art has not become more important to the Canvas Malibu narrative. Rather, we wanted to get it back to an equal footing with the retail component. We felt that balancing our experiences gallery to retail was off, and also we could see the wave of art was on the move in addition,  retail was shifting as people placed more emphasis on experience over apparel, and their living spaces over their wardrobe.

As a couple, do share some gems that you've used to balance the personal and business relationship. 

The main gems we live by are: trust your partner, embrace and support their unique talents/skill sets because they are your ride or die. Lastly there is more to life than the business, so make room for yourselves, and your life beyond the business. It will actually make you better as partners, and a business couple.

Speaking of home, describe your home through the art, furniture, or things that make Jac and Arlington's home feel personal?  

Our home is a combination of tastes.  Arlington has a bit of humor in his choices, light and more whimsical.  I can only say that with me it's a mixture of photography and works by artists we have shown or sought to collect. We also have art that my parents collected during their years living in Paris.  Our home is also overflowing with art books that are carefully curated by Arlington, and opened to selected pages as inspiration for his creative focus, and his decor mood.