While on-line shopping is putting a dent in brick-and-mortar bottom lines across the country, Saks Fifth Avenue throws down the retail gauntlet on Thursday with opening of its spectacular 200,000 square foot store in the Galleria. And you won't want to miss it.
A media tour on Tuesday raised the curtain on the two-story emporium that will host fundraisers Tuesday night and Wednesday night before the official ribbon cutting Thursday morning.
Open and airy, sophisticated and contemporary, this new destination for Houston retailing is sure to reign as a fashionista's paradise. The store boasts luxury at every turn from the hand-knotted Tibetan wool and silk inset area rugs throughout to ceramic sculptures by Canadian Pascale Girardin to the variety of chandeliers including a striking Murano-inspired glass bubble spline chandelier in the expanded shoe department.
Focal point on both floors is a sculptured spiral staircase that speaks to the mid-century modern influences felt throughout. Tucked into the curve of the stairway is Bar 12 serving coffees, drinks and pastries. On the second floor, 51Fifteen Cuisine & Cocktails continues its culinary and watering hole traditions established at the original Saks, but with more space and more design pizzazz.
With 22 designer boutiques, plus various emerging designers, on the second floor, a girl could spend some serious dinero particularly with labels exclusive to Saks such as Brandon Maxwell, Lanvin, Derek Lam and Erdem. Don't miss the hand-hammered copper chairs that feed to contemporary vibe.
While the ladies will be lavishly cosseted in the upgraded Fifth Avenue Club with its private suites, the gents will find their own shopping nirvana in the masculine men's lounge where made-to-order suits are part of the shopping experience. In a change from the previous store, menswear is located on the first floor.
With more room than in the original Galleria store, Saks has expanded its beauty and fragrance department, making it the second largest such department outside of the New York flagship store. The boutiques — nine beauty and five fragrance — include Kilian, Gucci, Hermés, and Tom Ford.
The luxurious mode extends, as would be expected, to the fine jewelry department where there is a private consulting room and seven boutiques, with designs by Hermés, Piaget, Pomellato, Vhernier and many more.
With opening of the new Saks Fifth Avenue, demolition will being on the old location, making way for an expanded corridor with 35 stores and restaurants.