Byline: Anamaria Wilson

NEW YORK — Au courant designer clothes appear to be edging out the longstanding Seattle uniform of Birkenstocks, polar fleece and cut-offs, with Nordstrom leading the charge.
As a result of customer requests, Nordstrom has opened a 500-square-foot Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche boutique in its downtown Seattle flagship. This marks the first retail outlet for the YSL collection in the northwestern U.S. The closest YSL boutique is in San Francisco — no short trip.
“Our customers have followed the recent developments of the Yves Saint Laurent collection and are very excited about it under the direction of Tom Ford,” said Sue Patneaude, vice president of designer apparel for Nordstrom. “Additionally, we believe there is tremendous potential for brand extensions in accessories and shoes in particular.”
The only other in-house boutique currently at the Seattle flagship is Chanel.
The new YSL shop carries the company’s entire ready-to-wear collection along with signature pieces, handbags and shoes. Key items include the safari suit in cognac, the jaguar print vest, the printed lace-up blouse and the horn-handle leather bag.
Nordstrom worked closely with YSL’s store planning staff in order to insure that signature fixtures, onyx wall casings and furniture such as a rough-hewn, Brazilian rosewood table, an anthracite vase and even YSL’s ebony mannequins, closely mirrored the freestanding YSL boutiques in the U.S.
“We love the way it works within our designer space. The concept is distinctive and chic,” said Susan Morton, Nordstrom’s store planning manager of interior design and concepts.
Nordstrom is kicking off the boutique opening with a private cocktail party and fashion show Thursday night at the store. Seattle socialites and Microsoft wives are expected to be in attendance. On Friday, the store is also hosting a YSL trunk show, which is open to all customers.

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