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Saks to Get Formal for Fall

Born from what was once an internal list of the season’s must-have items, the chainwide promotion captures the retailer’s take on the season’s hottest trends.

NEW YORK  — Saks is making style easy for men again.

The luxury retailer shot the fall ’07 installment of its “Want It!” campaign last week at photographer Diego Uchitel’s downtown New York studio.

Born from what was once an internal list of the season’s must-have items generated for Saks’ sales associates, the chainwide promotion—now entering its third season—captures the retailer’s take on the season’s hottest trends.

“We make it easy for people to shop, telling them what the most important styles are,” explained Terron Schaefer, Saks’ group senior vice-president of marketing and creative. “It has been very successful in terms of sales, as well as customer reaction.”

Bringing the campaign to life last Tuesday with his easy Southern charm and classic good looks was former Calvin Klein model and Bruce Weber subject Tyke Darlington, who sported a white velour blazer from Versace to translate fall’s essential tuxedo trend. Weber shot the now mostly retired Darlington and his family last year for Saks’ spring advertising campaign.

“[Tyke is] such a strong, handsome and genuine individual—and a family man,” said Jan Richter, Saks’ senior vice-president of creative brand management. “And that’s where we think the connection will be—he brings all the clothes to life and shows that we’re not just catering to a specific age.”

Other featured must-have looks for men for fall include novel neckwear—such as a black-and-white striped bow tie from Boulder, Colo.–based Carrot & Gibbs—extra-long, lace-up shoes from To Boot and Alan Paine cashmere turtlenecks. Darlington’s least favorite? A pair of shiny black jeans from 7 For All Mankind paired with a sparkling black shirt and black, patent-leather high-top sneakers from Dolce & Gabbana. “I’m not sure I’d wear these back home in Tennessee,” he joked while having his hair cut. “Shiny jeans aren’t considered too cool down there!”

Aside from adapting its list of must-haves for the fall, Saks also hired celebrated typographer and graphic artist Marian Bantjes to create 18 illustrations that interpret the top nine trends for both men and women. Appearing opposite each photograph, the name of each “Want It” item is displayed in unique calligraphy set against a colorful backdrop and then beautifully woven into an iconic silhouette of the must-have item.

“The illustrations really bring a smile to your face,” said Richter. “Fashion should not be too serious.”