By  on October 28, 2010

Lord & Taylor was ready to party.

The retailer on Tuesday night celebrated the yearlong restoration of its Fifth Avenue flagship with an event attended by an estimated 5,000 people that recalled the glory days of department stores.

The main floor and upper levels of the landmark 650,000-square-foot store were crammed with models wearing giant headdresses, aerial dancers swirling and twirling by the 1,000-pound Swarovski crystal chandelier, designers, celebrities and others who came to check out the upgrades or grab a mojito. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg breezed through after a stop on the red carpet, where he gazed up at Ciara and proclaimed the occasion Lord & Taylor Day.

The event, which supported the VH1 Save the Music Foundation with a $100,000 donation from Lord & Taylor, surpassed the scene at the store on Fashion’s Night Out in terms of crowd size and intensity, getting the L&T team stoked for maintaining the momentum.

“After all the acrobats go home, it’s about great product,” said Brendan Hoffman, president and chief executive officer of the $1.3 billion, 46-store chain.

“This renovation is very Lord & Taylor — elegant, appropriate and not ostentatious,” said Richard Baker, chairman of Hudson’s Bay Trading Co., which owns L&T. “The good news is we fixed Lord & Taylor and we have a big future.”

Monica Rich Kosann, who sells her jewelry at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, said, “It’s very inviting and makes me think about creating a collection for Lord & Taylor.”

“In this type of economy, it’s awesome to see glamour and beauty back in focus,” said designer Joanna Mastroianni.

“Men’s wear typically gets treated like a stepchild,” said designer Joseph Abboud. “Here, the housekeeping is great, the lighting sets the mood and you can see the product. It’s men’s wear redefined.”

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