First Look at Saks Fifth Avenue’s New Men’s Advanced Designer Floor – WWD

Saks Fifth Avenue has renovated its seventh floor.

Although still a work in progress, the retailer has unveiled a dramatically improved mens designer ready-to-wear and advanced contemporary presentation at its New York City flagship store that boasts 15 new in-store stores and a significantly brighter and more attractive. aesthetic.

Among the additions are Alexander McQueen’s first concept store, designed by creative director Sarah Burton in association with Chilean architect Smiljan Radic; Balenciaga’s first Raw Architecture concept store; Balmain’s first men’s store in the US with its new global concept; Burberrythe first New York City concept store to mirror the design of its Sloane Street store in London, and the first men’s stores for Celine Homme, Palm Angels and Bottega Veneta in the US. There are also new stores for Thomas BrowneVersace and Dolce & Gabbana.

The 40,000-square-foot floor is not yet complete and by the end of this year, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Off-White and Saint Laurent Paris stores will also make their debut.

But it’s not just the stores that are new. In all, 23 established and emerging brands have been added to the mix, including Blk Dnm, Celine, Frame, Jil Sander, June 79, JW Anderson, Louis Vuitton, Maison Margiela, Martine Rose, Nahmias, Wales Bonner, Who Decides War and NSF. . And there’s more in the pipeline for spring when Bode, Comme des Garçons Homme, Dickies, Junya Watanabe, Sacai, Sky High Farm Workwear, Undercover and Drole de Monsieur join the assortment.

“This is the first phase of our seventh-floor renovation,” said Louis DiGiacomo, senior vice president and general manager of menswear merchandise for Saks. “We started working on it last year and it will be finished in February.”

The remodeling of the seventh floor is part of saks fifth avenueThe major renovation project of more than $250 million that includes a major reinvention of the flagship. That includes a main floor focused on luxury leather goods and accessories and a stunning multicolored escalator designed by Rem Koolhaas that leads to a beauty floor expanded by two.

The 646,000-square-foot flagship accounted for about 20 percent of Saks’ total volume, which four years ago was valued at $3.7 billion. Since then, the brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce division have been spun off, and neither Saks nor its parent Hudson’s Bay Co. disclose further sales.

Men’s, which accounted for 30 percent of the company’s total summer 2020 sales, is located on the store’s sixth and seventh floors. In 2019, the store created a luxury footwear for men department that expanded by 60 percent to 8,000 square feet with some 2,000 stock-keeping units from 60 brands.

A staircase with colorful accents that mimics the escalator on the main floor connects the newly renovated seventh floor with the shoe department. “It’s our way of creating a men’s store experience,” said DiGiacomo.

The new space is heavily dedicated to stores, signaling Saks’ belief in partnering with its suppliers to create unique experiences. “We believe in stores,” she said, “and in telling a whole lifestyle story. They are the key to growing the men’s business.”

In addition, the flow of the floor has been enhanced with a redesigned walkway running the full length of the Fifth Avenue side, and the previously covered bank of windows in the rear has been revealed, providing natural light and a view of the avenue.

“It’s brighter and much more open,” DiGiacomo said.

In addition to the floor’s spacious feel, it features “two main touchpoints,” including a “hub” in the atrium between the elevator banks where patrons can explore new and emerging designers, collaborations and other special products to be featured. over there. There will be a similar area in front of the windows and there will be seating areas throughout to encourage shoppers to linger awhile and “socialize” with others, she said.

These touchpoints are a way to create “balance” on the floor and present options outside of stores, DiGiacomo said.

Throughout the space, the assortment has been updated to focus more on lifestyle offerings. So when you enter the Gucci shop, for example, customers will find accessories and footwear in addition to clothing.

“We have curated entire lifestyle assortments that are unparalleled anywhere else in the city,” he said.

Since he started opening the flat, he said business has been “incredible and getting stronger every week.” What this shows, DiGiacomo believes, is that “our customer wants more of a fashion item and we champion fashion.”

The merchant said the heightened assortment reflects the post-pandemic needs of the customer, who has returned to the office, is traveling again and attending events. “We are seeing a shift towards something less casual and he needs a wardrobe that is functional and versatile to take him from office to night. And comfort is very important,” said DiGiacomo, pointing to the “easy tailoring” that marks the offering, as well as loafers and dress shoes that are back on trend.

Later this year, Saks will break ground on the sixth floor, which houses men’s luxury collections and accessories as well as footwear. It is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2023.

“The men continue to function and this floor is a testament to that,” DiGiacomo said.

While the focus is on the flagship, Saks is also bringing a taste of this new strategy to its branches, which DiGiacomo said the company “continues to elevate with more fashion,” particularly in places that have independent men’s stores like Boston and Greenwich, Conn. , as well as places for strong men like Chicago.

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