Saks Throws Cocktail Party for New Beverly Hills Women’s Flagship at Former Barneys Location

“It’s not old Barneys, it’s the new Saks staircase,” mused Annabelle Fleur.

The content creator, a fixture in the L.A. fashion scene, stood in front of the pièce de résistance — the spiraling marble steps. It’s what’s left of the former department store, which ended an era when it closed its doors in 2020. Saks Fifth Avenue has taken over the space at 9570 Wilshire Boulevard, throwing an opening party on Wednesday night to mark the unveiling, encompassing 130,000 square feet. Some had already gotten a sneak peek.

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“I got the whole tour,” said Kathy Hilton. “I’m in love with it. And I’m not just saying that.”

In a sea of cocktail dresses, Hilton stood out in a T-shirt, jeans and zip-up hoodie, paired with black lace Manolo Blahnik booties and chains of massive diamonds dazzling in the florescent lighting.

“I just like that ying-yang,” she said of the contrast. “Why not, right?”

Madelaine Petsch opted for head-to-toe Saint Laurent, an oversized wool blazer and leather miniskirt. She works with stylists Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn.

“I just picked this out,” the actor said of the look, rain-ready in tights and boots as it poured outside. “I just got this. Saks hooked me up.”

Did she have her eye on anything in-store? “A lot of things. I’m going to have to come back.”

Fleur, in Monse and a Bazilika coat, planned to return, too: “I shop online for necessity. But in store, in-person purchases, they’re more special, they’re sentimental. There’s a story around it.”

It’s “slow shopping,” she went on. “It’s more of a moment. It’s a little bit of shopping, maybe lunch with a friend. It’s taking the time for yourself.”

Shopping as a hangout experience is certainly encouraged; drinks can be ordered on the floor in any department using a QR code. And the terrace, which was closed off during the event, offers lunch for those in Fifth Avenue Club, with a few seats saved for Resy.

“It’s the kind of place you spend the day,” said Hilton.

Guests shared whispers about the old days of Barneys and what Saks hopes to bring with its $52 million investment. They sipped on cocktails by the makeshift bars in the very front, surrounding a Lucid car — the night’s sponsor and a partner, with Saks providing demo drives of the electric vehicle at select locations.

“Why is there a car inside?” one asked.

“It’s a Lucid.”


“Why not?”

A few, the VIP clients, roamed the shops-in-shop at Chanel and Louis Vuitton upstairs in the ready-to-wear. But most mingled on the first floor, which is focused on accessories with a shoe footprint nearly double the former women’s Saks store.

“Fashion changes so every season is something different,” chief merchandising officer Tracy Margolies said of the selection.

In footwear, “when I look, I think loafers are really important,” she continued. “I think ballets are important — seeing some mid-heels. And I think people are looking to transfer from sneakers into something a little bit more comfortable, but that’s fashion.”

Shoppers are looking for “something special and unique and embellished,” she added. “Looks great either dressed up or with denim.”

Those who came out for the occasion included Morgan Stewart McGraw, Brittany Xavier, Carmella Rose, Marta Pozzan, Leah Talabi, Caroline Day, Phillip Picardi, Gab Waller, as well as design duo Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard, who have been in town showcasing their new handbag launch.

“The customer here really does love fashion,” Margolies said.

Launch Gallery: Saks Fifth Avenue Unveils the New Women's Store in Los Angeles

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