This morning I was invited to an exclusive press preview of the fabulous new Bloomingdale's at Santa Monica Place. The mall has been under construction for a few years now, so the re-opening (complete with glitzy new stores like Nordstrom and Bloomie's) is highly-anticipated, to say the least.
I got a comprehensive tour of every facet of the store, and let me just say, it was something to write home about.
"Our other stores look a lot more serious than this one!" laughed Jack Hruska, executive vice president of creative services.
Clad in very serious head-to-toe black (the typical New Yorker look and Bloomingdale's uniform), Hruska and his team paraded clusters of (more colorfully-dressed) L.A. fashion press around the store to explain their new concept. So here it goes:
Iconically known as a very New York brand with a city sleek polished presence, Bloomingdale's has loosened things up and adapted to its beachy new address, just this once. In presentation, particular importance was given to retaining a SoCal lifestyle aesthetic in every way possible--meaning plenty of natural light, 'cabana' style dressing rooms, whimsical touches at every corner and a cheery, enthusiastic team ready to sell, sell, sell to stylish Santa Monica shoppers.
Also, to note: no more glossy black and white checkered marble floors--this location has unearthed slightly sandblasted floors, sea-inspired decor (albeit stylish as all get out) and a well-edited mix of the brands Bloomie's is best known for.
The fixtures were mind-blowing (think: dressing room 'pods' that lower and raise from the ceiling in the personal shopping stylist 'B-Bar', immaculate bathrooms with surf photography emblazoned on the doors, an in-house spa in the cosmetic department, rotating mannequins that dangle from the ceiling, and much, much more. Whew.
Oh, and Forty Carrots is here! The yogurt shop that draws crowds like no other in their flagship 59th and Lexington location in NYC will finally be serving Californians, too. (And sidenote, my very first apartment in the city was a mere two blocks away from Bloomie's, so this is particularly exciting to me, personally.)
The store opens officially to the public on Friday, August 5th. And trust me, it's a sight to see.
Check out my snapshots and a few mini-videos from my tour: