LEFT: Zebra-print, pony hair, and patent leather pump, Jimmy Choo ($950). RIGHT: Fifi spiked patent leather pump, Christian Louboutin ($1,195).
In national news media, the District often gets knocked for its unfashionable looks. But anyone who actually lives here knows that the region has seen an influx of decidedly stylish types. And DC’s department stores have been noticing: Both local Saks Fifth Avenue locations have introduced timely changes for label-conscious shoppers, including an updated men’s floor at the Tysons Galleria location and a new Chevy Chase 10022-SHOE department, modeled after the sprawling floor dedicated to footwear inside the New York flagship.
The vibrant men’s department at Tysons Galleria now features contemporary art and spans 30,000 square feet of shopping space. “Saks Fifth Avenue recognized that men in the DC metro region, and specifically Northern Virginia, are much more adventurous in their wardrobe than the area’s conservative reputation might lead some to believe,” says Sandy Heilner, vice president and general manager of Saks Fifth Avenue Tysons Galleria. “Men here were still hungry for a larger range of elevated men’s fashions. We hope to fill those voids with new additions including Valentino, a Ralph Lauren Black Label shop, a new contemporary men’s shoe department, and a new formal shop.”
Offerings from stalwart labels such as Armani, Burberry, and Versace include sportswear, work attire, and formalwear—and the space also offers made-to-measure services. This spring, “watch out for even more exclusives and a broader selection,” teases Heilner.
Saks Fifth Avenue Chevy Chase joined the redesign party when it relocated the store’s women’s shoe department from its main level to a nearly 6,000-square-foot area on the lower level. The department now shows off more than 1,200 styles, with up to 20,000 pairs of shoes housed in its on-site inventory, according to Kert Rosenkoetter, vice president and general manager of Saks Fifth Avenue Chevy Chase. (The expanded 10022-SHOE floors have been introduced only in “select flagship markets,” Rosenkoetter says, adding that Chevy Chase is one of 15 of these locations, which include Boston and Bal Harbor in South Florida.)
The department is outfitted like a gallery, with selections from designers such as Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, and Brian Atwood displayed on surfaces like white carerra marble. The lower level also offers clothing from contemporary designers, including 3.1 Phillip Lim. “What we’re trying to do is set ourselves apart in a highly competitive marketplace,” Rosenkoetter explains. “For us this is a major step forward.”
Other Chevy Chase changes include a complete renovation of the main level, including a spacious new shop-in-shop from Louis Vuitton. Also new are more modern clothing options (St. John is “out of the mix,” while Burberry London is newly available, Rosenkoetter reports), and the store has a larger designer-handbag department under construction. 5555 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase, 301-657-9000; Tysons Galleria, 703-761-0700