L.A.’s Fashion Ascendency the Talk of Saks Dinner

Saks Fifth Avenue toasted Los Angeles on Wednesday night, throwing a dinner party for friends and clients at new hot spot Caviar Kaspia.

The retailer will be turning its attention to the market next year when it takes over the former Barneys New York building on Wilshire Boulevard, opening its Saks store there in fall 2023.

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Saks is not giving up its current building, either, which it has plans to use for other projects.

“L.A. is such an important market and if you’re not careful, you can be living in a bubble in New York. It’s been part of Saks almost since Saks has been Saks. It was one of our first stores,” said chief executive officer Marc Metrick.

“We are investing in the market, we took the Barneys building and the parking lot adjacent to it.…This is a market for us that was underdeveloped and it’s important. Look at what all the brands are doing on Rodeo. We’re not alone here,” he continued.

Indeed, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is in the midst of developing a nine-story Cheval Blanc hotel on Rodeo Drive, where it also purchased the Luxe hotel building, and just opened its first L.A. Loewe store; Dior is due to break ground soon on a four-story boutique and restaurant, and Chanel is in the throes of constructing its boutique, which will be one of the brand’s largest in the world.

Emma Roberts and her boyfriend Cody John, Ava Phillippe, Alexandra Shipp, Kathy Hilton, Anita Ko and others sat under the stars at the restaurant, sipping Champagne and eating caviar baked potatoes with hand-calligraphed spoons.

Emma Roberts
Emma Roberts

The talk was all about the crazy end-of-year fashion news, including Balenciaga’s disturbing ad campaigns (“I think the brand is done, don’t you?” said one guest) and Alessandro Michele’s surprise departure from Gucci.

People who saw the designer in L.A. just weeks ago for the LACMA Art + Film gala said they didn’t see any signs he was leaving, but suggested he would land on his feet, maybe even “pulling a Tom Ford,” and launching his own brand, which has proven to be quite lucrative.

L.A.’s continued ascendence was a hot topic, from the upcoming Celine and Versace runway shows here, to the continuing store openings, which don’t seem to be stopping in 2023. Beauty entrepreneur Tina Craig revealed that she will spending a lot more time in L.A., since she’s opening her first U Beauty store here.

“This is my second time here in a month, and my wife is starting to ask questions,” Metrick joked during his toast to the crowd, referring to an event he hosted with Staud’s Sarah Staudinger a few weeks ago at Tony Duquette’s Dawnridge. He continued, “Enjoy the night, enjoy the carbs. It’s OK when they’re French.”

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