Eric Jennings, Saks Fifth Avenue vice president and fashion director.
We caught up with Eric Jennings, Saks Fifth Avenue vice president and fashion director, to get the scoop on the recently opened men’s department at Tyson’s Galleria (2051 International Dr., McLean, 703-761-0700). The new floor includes clothing, shoes, and accessories; a made-to-measure shop; and a new formalwear shop—just in time for the holidays and a host of political happenings.
Why did Saks roll out this new floor?
ERIC JENNINGS: We’re excited [about] menswear in general. We’ve done a lot of capital investment in our men’s department this year, so there are quite a few stores that are getting this kind of project upgrade. And of course Tyson’s is such a big market for us that we’re [taking] the entire first floor of the store and converting it into a 30,000-square-foot men’s destination.
What excites you most about this opening?
EJ: That we’re really able to expand the offerings of some of our pillar brands, from Armani, to Burberry, to Versace, to Valentino…and really capture a whole lifestyle element, whether it’s sportswear, work clothes, formal attire, or just casual weekend wear.
What other new offerings will people find?
EJ: If a man wants to get a more custom-made suit that’s very specific to his body type and his measurements, there will be an expert qualified specialist there. I think more men, and especially young men, are interested in things that are bespoke, things that are unique and really one of a kind. …The Hugo Boss shop, Ralph Lauren shop, and Armani shop [are also] new.
What trends are coming down the pike for men in our area?
EJ: There’s this whole movement toward tailored clothing, suits sport coats, but they’re much softer, they’re closer to the body. So they’re more flattering whether you’re a bigger guy or a thinner guy. ...These tailored pieces feel like you’re wearing a sweater or a really comfortable worn-in sweatshirt, but you still look polished, put-together, and professional.
Can you tell us what we’ll see for the holiday season?
EJ: We’re calling [it] “the formal remix.” …It’s not just a penguin tuxedo but it’s sort of mixing and matching dressier sport coats, and ties, and even dressier jeans. For example, wax-coated dark denim [trousers]—black, and dark colors with a coating or resined finish—are really popular right now, and they’re very dressy. So if you put them underneath a jacquard or silk jacket, it works.
How should these dressier jeans fit?
EJ: Avoid bootcut and just stick with clean, straight trousers. Stark straight. No flare on the bottom and not too pegged either.
Any thoughts on the importance of fit in general?
EJ: Not everybody is going to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe each season, but there are ways of taking things that are still in great shape and good quality in your wardrobe and finding a great tailor that can slim them down, that can shorten the length of your trousers, that can nip in the waist of your sport coat or your suit.
Back to the new opening. Can you share final thoughts on what local men can expect?
EJ: Go check it out. I think maybe sometimes guys are intimidated: They feel like we’re maybe going to be too fashion-forward or too expensive, but we’ve really done a great job of balancing our assortment and the brands we carry, and the price points that we carry. From more accessible price points all the way to high-end, made-to-measure pieces, there really is something for everybody.