Saks Fifth Avenue celebrated the opening of its third New York City store with a dinner for editors, influencers and a few special guests at the new Brookfield Place men’s store Thursday night.
Saks president Marc Metrick joked that “it took 91 years” for the retailer to add another hometown store, “but since I’ve gotten here, we’ve opened two.” Saks added a women’s store at Brookfield last summer.
Since the men’s store opened in mid-February, Metrick said the company has seen a lot of interest from workers and residents in the area. “We feel good,” he said. “There are a lot of people who are curious about what we’re doing.”
The small store — 16,750 square feet — and its edited mix is part of “a transformation” within the company, he said. “It’s a story we started telling last year. This isn’t a department store, this is a new way of talking to the customer.”
From a rotating pop-up — currently home to Master & Dynamics headphones — to a tech wall, made-to-measure shop and select advanced and contemporary designer wares, the store is intended to appeal to the varied needs of today’s customer.
“Men are having a fashion moment and they’re not wearing a uniform anymore,” he said. And while in women’s, “it’s an arms race,” in men’s “they don’t have a store” to address their varied needs, he believes. So the men’s store includes a Leather Spa shoe shine station — “Guys always love a shine,” Metrick said — an extended shoe department with a focus on the red-hot sneaker category and other special touches. For Father’s Day, he said, the pop-up will convert over to an Orlebar Brown shop, but instead of just selling swimwear, it will offer the opportunity to have customer photos infused onto the garments.
“It’s all about getting him here and getting him excited,” Metrick said.
Helping raise the profile of the store Thursday night were actress Christina Ricci and bull-riding cowboy Bonner Bolton, who took a break from “Dancing With the Stars” to attend the dinner.
“I love the store and I did a campaign for Saks last March, so they asked me to come,” he said.
Dressed in the standard cowboy uniform of a black hat, oversize belt buckle and boots, Bolton changed it up with more-contemporary jeans and jacket. “I’m trying to clean up,” he said. “But these are the three essentials. I don’t leave home without them.”
Ricci also confessed to being a Saks fan — “I like clothes and jewelry,” she said with a laugh. And although she lives in Brooklyn, she admitted she hadn’t yet visited Brookfield Place so the dinner was a good opportunity to check out Manhattan’s upscale mall.
She said she spends a lot of time being a “full-time mom” to her 2 ½-year-old son, but is also still working on “Z: The Beginning of Everything,” the Amazon series where she plays Zelda Fitzgerald. “I have some other things in development too,” she said, “but I can’t talk about them yet.”
The dinner was catered by Daniel Rose, chef/partner of Le Coucou and included a spring menu of white asparagus, beef cheeks with pommes boulangères, and mignardises and fresh cream with strawberry pavlovas.
Metrick joked that since he couldn’t get a reservation at Le Coucou, he decided to hire the chef to come to him.
Designers Adam and Ryan Goldston of APL, Donrad Duncan of EFM and Matthew Chevallard of Del Toro were also guests at the dinner.