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STORE SPACES

Saks Fifth Avenue unveils transformed main floor at NYC flagship

BY Marianne Wilson

The ongoing $250 million renovation of Saks’ Manhattan flagship reached an important milestone with the unveiling of its totally redone ground floor, which has been transformed into a luxury handbag nirvana.

The expansive 53,000-sq.-ft. main floor triples the handbag department’s selling space and includes more than 50 brands — 14 of which are new to the store. Select brands will offer customization including monogramming, embossing, hand stamping, artwork, graffiti and more, all free of charge with purchase

The floor features an escalator, designed by OMA/Rem Koolhass in collaboration with Saks’ planning and design, that connects it to the new, second-level beauty floor, which was renovated last year, and to the Vault, a high-end jewelry experience on the lower level that will open later this year. The iridescent dichroic film-coated escalators are stacked with open views through the store, visually and physically linking the first two floors, while changing colors as shoppers travel between levels.

Other floor highlights include folded metal origami-inspired tables and glass fixtures built with two-way mirrors and a multimedia large-scale installation centered by a 60′ by 20′ LED screen. The display is located in an atrium connecting the main floor with beauty and jewelry. Custom terrazzo flooring from Italy along with transparent and opaque high-design fixturing helps guide customers down runway-inspired aisles. Experiential installations to be housed in 600 square feet of flex space

“The new handbag floor reinforces Saks’ position as a fashion authority with an exceptional offering,” said Marc Metrick, president, Saks Fifth Avenue. “Seamless access between our dominant handbag presentation, revolutionary beauty experience on the second floor, and the upcoming Vault on the lower level reinforces our New York City flagship as a one-of-a-kind luxury destination with unparalleled service and merchandise.”

The opening of the main floor is the latest step in Saks’ New York flagship renovation, and follows:

• L’Avenue at Saks, an upscale Parisian dining experience in store designed by Philippe Starck; the destination marks the first venture for L’Avenue outside Paris (February 2019);

• Beauty on 2, an experiential makeup, skincare, fragrance and wellness destination (May 2018);

• Jewelry on 2, the jewelry lover’s ultimate destination featuring a mix of established and emerging jewelry designers (May 2018);

• L3 Designer, a one-of-a-kind destination for fashion from around the world (September 2017) ;

• L5, The Collective and The Advance, a destination for fresh contemporary fashion (Summer 2017);

• L4, home to designer collections (August 2016); and

• Select shops in 10022-SHOE on 8, Saks’ famed shoe salon so big it needed its own zip code (2015)

Saks is set to debut two additional phases of its renovation project later in 2019: the Vault jewelry experience and Men’s.

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