Saks Fifth Avenue’s beauty floor has moved on up. Today the Fifth Avenue flagship opens the doors to its new beauty floor: a 32,000-square-foot space embodying what Saks has identified as the future of beauty.
Designed in collaboration with architectural firm Gensler, the revamped space features an abundance of natural light — a result of opening up the store’s historic windows to Fifth Avenue views — that reflects off of custom terrazzo tile flooring from Italy. Traditional signage has been replaced with video screens, a move that feels smart, sleek and, true to theme, futuristic.
Eventually the floor will be reached via an escalator as well as a glass elevator with a wraparound staircase. These won’t be completed until February 2019, so for now the department is reached via the existing elevators.
“The combination of Saks fixturing and vendor shops is a unique point of view for New York City,” said Kate Oldham, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of beauty, jewelry and home, during a tour of the beauty floor on Monday. “Most places you go into, you’d see the majority of it was branded. We wanted to have a Saks point of view.”
Some of the concept stores, including Gucci’s and Givenchy’s, are the first of their kind in the U.S., and Saks urged vendors to come up with services exclusive to the department store. The results include a Dior spa room, a Guerlain Parfumeur boutique, a Chanel spa room, an Ex Nihilo Osmologue for custom fragrances and personalized leather lipstick cases at Givenchy.
The beauty floor also features an EB Florals flower shop, natural face lifting by FaceGym, brow services by Blink Brow Bar London, an 850-square-foot event space for master classes and wellness talks, an apothecary and a beauty concierge — all of which are aimed at making the second floor a destination spot.
Asked whether brands have voiced any concerns over the move upstairs, Oldham said, “Everybody would prefer to be on the first floor, I don’t think that’s unusual. But what I would tell you is that we couldn’t do something revolutionary without moving upstairs. When faced with the option of being landlocked, nothing new and more of the same or doing something brave, we chose brave.”
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