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Fashion / Shopping

New York City Glamour Arrives at Houston’s Galleria

Swanky, Stunning Changes Unveiled

BY // 12.14.16
photography Dave Rossman
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Before the pipe and drape ceremonially dropped Tuesday morning to reveal the swank new mall entrance to Saks Fifth Avenue, The Galleria concourse connecting the retailer to the rest of the shopping mecca was so stunning that it enjoyed a museum vibe. Glistening marble flooring with colorful tile inserts, overhead skylights populated with contemporary light sculptures, and modern furnishings gave notice that mall owner Simon was ready to take on the competition.

“The goal was to open up the common areas so that you could see through the mall,” explained Galleria general manager Greg Noble. “There used to be stairs that blocked sight lines. Those are gone. We’ve put in new escalators by the elevators to help the vertical transportation needs of the customers and we’ve redone level one and level two with all new finishes.” Add brand new Christmas decorations that cast a silvery glimmer the full length of the concourse, all the way to Neiman Marcus.

In anticipation of rejoining the mall’s transportation flow, Saks created an inspired window dressing that channels the holiday glitz of the retailer’s Fifth Avenue store in New York. Three mannequins, beautifully draped in festive gowns, rotate on shiny pedestals surrounded by colorful candy ribbons and Christmas decor. (Don’t miss it.)

Saks GM Bobby Dees was all but giddy over the reconnection to The Galleria proper, saying, “The number one question I’ve had over the last seven and a half months has been this, ‘How do I find the mall?’ As of today, I don’t have to worry about that question and that’s a good thing.” The new Saks opened to rave reviews last spring but access to the mall required traveling through a winding maze.

Completion of this phase of the multi-million dollar expansion and renovation is a milestone in the project that began in 2013. While the new concourse (where the previous Saks Fifth Avenue stood) is open, the shops and restaurants that line the sleek pathway won’t begin opening until the second quarter of 2017 with restaurant openings (Nobu and Fig & Olive among them) not scheduled until the fourth quarter.

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