Calgary will be introduced to the world of “The New Luxury” when Saks Fifth Avenue opens its doors to the public February 22. The long-anticipated Saks Calgary is a 115,000-square-foot, two-level luxury retail space that not only offers first-class shopping opportunities but also one-of-a-kind shopping experiences for its visitors. And everyone is invited.
Lydia Seifert, Saks Calgary’s VP and General Manager, describes the design approach as feeling as if you’re stepping into your home. “Saks is really known for ‘The New Luxury,’” says Seifert. “It’s a lifestyle.”
With personalized services including private shopping and styling suites, beauty experiences, treatment rooms, and, in the near-future, made-to-measure custom suiting, this will surely be everyone’s new home when they visit CF Chinook Centre. Everyone can lounge in spaces such as the Fifth Avenue Club — designed as a chic living room — where they can enjoy a glass of champagne or a cup of coffee while they take a break from shopping.
In collaboration with Stantec, the HBC Store Design and Planning Team has made Saks Calgary a thoroughly modern, bright and open space with departments united by design elements such as the mixed metal fixtures, handcrafted materials, and finishes and the eclectic mix of furniture throughout. Local artwork collected from Newzones Gallery and Christine Klassen Gallery stands out against the understated colour palette.
The open-concept first floor features designer jewellery, accessories, menswear, cosmetics, fragrances and more, but the crown jewel will likely prove to be the 10022-SHOE salon. A destination within a destination, the salon has its own zip code — a carry-over from the 2007 launch of Saks’ shoe department in New York City. Overlooking covetable styles by Balenciaga and Valentino (to name just two of many) are hand-cast glass sculptures crafted in Czech Republic and installed by a Calgary artisan, another nod to the New York shoe department.
Centred by a stunning crystal chandelier and what could only be described as a rain-shower of jewels, the open-format cosmetics department is home to fragrances, an apothecary and treatment rooms for facials and massages. Here you’ll find Saks Calgary exclusives such as Byredo, Ex Nihilo and EB Florals, the perfume from florist-to-the-stars Eric Buterbaugh.
The cosmetic department will be home to Saks Beauty Week, masterclasses and play host to celebrity artists such as Calgarian Hung Vanngo. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet the world-renowned artist who has worked with Selena Gomez and Cindy Crawford and get the inside scoop on current makeup trends on February 24 at 1:30 pm.
The second floor is home to the Saks Fur Salon, women’s ready-to-wear, gowns, denim and lingerie and the soon-to-be-open in-store salon and an in-store restaurant, Buffo. While the entire space offers an unrivaled selection of luxury product, it will be Saks Calgary’s attention to detail and their visitors that will have you return time and again.
I’ve already zeroed in on my favourite service — a weekly bar in the Men’s Lounge every Saturday. When the doors open to this brave new world of luxury, it’ll be your opportunity to find your own.
Take a Look Inside
Saks Calgary opens Thursday, February 22 at CF Chinook Centre; ribbon cutting takes place at 10 am.
Saks Calgary, CF Chinook Centre, saksfifthavenue.com
By Fraser Tripp