NEW LOOK: On Wednesday night, Bloomingdale’s celebrated the reopening of its store at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Calif., where the retailer has been trying, since 1996, to inject fashion into notoriously fashion-challenged Silicon Valley. At the gala benefiting the Bay Area Autism Consortium, Tony Spring, Bloomingdale’s chief executive officer, set a stylish example for the locals by wearing a Canali suit, Burberry tie, Salvatore Ferragamo shoes and Eton shirt — and he suggested the techies are catching up to him in the dressing department. “They may have started more casually and maybe haven’t had the same level of interest that their parents or grandparents had in fashion, but we are seeing an interest emerge,” he said. “Beyond having an iPhone, there is a component of fashion that speaks to the special things in life. Whether it is buying a great swimsuit here or a great watch, there is a way to accessorize your life [beyond] just a hoodie and a pair of jeans, although we have hoodies and jeans.”

On the third floor of the 125,000-square-foot store and sitting around tables positioned between merchandise both casual and not, 250 guests, including event cochairs Eve and Ross Jaffe and guests Nanci and Gary Fredkin, listened to a set by Alexa Ray Joel. Walking through the store, Joel spotted some Diptyque candles she wanted to buy, but she didn’t have much time to shop, having to jet quickly back to New York for a bar mitzvah gig on Saturday. “It’s going to be a bunch of drunk teenagers. They are not going to be as attentive,” Joel said.

This story first appeared in the October 10, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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