Exclusive: Chief Merchant Tom Ott Exiting Saks Off 5th

After a 24-year run, Tom Ott is about to bid adieu to Saks Fifth Avenue. In the latest restructuring at the luxury department store, Ott, senior merchant of Saks Off 5th, will be leaving the company on Aug. 30. Ott’s position will be split between two other employees who are also longtime Saks Off 5th executives. Christine Merrick, formerly vice president and divisional merchandise manager of shoes and handbags for Off 5th, has been elevated to senior vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s, kids, shoes and handbags. Allison Ross, formerly vice president and dmm of women’s contemporary for Off 5th, has been named senior vice president and gmm of women’s, accessories, beauty and home. Both will report to Marc Metrick, president of Saks Fifth Avenue, who oversees the Off 5th off-price chain, which operates over 100 stores in the U.S. and Canada. “Tom has had a meaningful impact on the business in his 24-year career with the company, from his significant leadership in men’s to his more recent role at Saks Off 5th, we are grateful for his contributions,” Metrick said. “At Saks Off 5th, we continue our strategy to evolve the business to be more of a true off-price player and

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Oscar de la Renta, Saks Fifth Avenue Partner to Mark Save Lake Tahoe’s 50th Anniversary

When models walked the runway at the League to Save Lake Tahoe’s fund-raiser in 1969, they were barefoot on a beach. “It was raw,” said Saks Fifth Avenue’s president Marc Metrick, of the original setting. “It was fashion at its core.” Held at a Rubicon Bay beach house on the lake, the function began as a collaboration between the late Bill Blass and Saks Fifth Avenue’s James J. Ludwig, a vice president and general manager of the retailer’s San Francisco branch at the time. Along with Eugene Levin, owner of Maurice Rentner (Blass was its designer), they took notice of Bay Area customers vacationing in Lake Tahoe for the summer and relocated their habitual fall presentation, usually held in August, to the Sierra Nevada area. “It moved from a fashion show with boxed lunches — literally, there were boxed picnic lunches — to an involved community event,” continued Metrick. What started as an intimate show has evolved into a significant production that has raised $ 1 million this year and a total of more than $ 18 million for programs dedicated to the protection and preservation of the Lake Tahoe Basin. The affair, which now showcases Oscar de la Renta designs, celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend. “Oscar and

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Saks Re-creates Men’s Footwear Department at Flagship

Saks Fifth Avenue’s $ 250 million-plus grand renovation project is finally turning its attention to men’s.
Later this week, the store will take the wraps off a new men’s footwear department that it boasts will be one of the largest luxury shoe destinations in the country.
The 8,000-square-foot space unites shoes in one central location on the sixth floor in an area that has 60 percent more selling space. It will offer 2,000 stock-keeping units  from 60 brands — 15 of which are new to the store — and 160 exclusives, as well as other amenities such as shoe repair stations, extended sizes and personalization stations.
“We know how to build a category-dominant business,” said Marc Metrick, president of Saks. Metrick had been head of planning for Saks and chief merchant Tracy Margolies was vice president of women’s footwear more than a decade ago when they worked together to create Saks’ successful 10022-Shoe women’s floor.
“Twelve years ago, we built an amazing destination,” Margolies said of the women’s floor, one that offers up a “fun and social experience. There’s no reason not to re-create the same thing for men.”
She said when the management team sat down and talked about redeveloping the New York store, they

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Saks’ Roopal Patel and FIT’s Valerie Steele Talk Fashion Shows and Trends

After a whirlwind month covering the fashion shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris, Roopal Patel, senior vice president and fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue, gave the lowdown to Valerie Steele, curator and director of The Museum of FIT on Thursday afternoon.
The conversation, which took place at the third annual winter luncheon of the Couture Council of The Museum at FIT, was held at Avra Madison Estiatorio and sponsored by Saks.
By way of introduction, Kathy Reilly, luncheon chair, said Patel has driven the transformation of Saks since 2015, with responsibility for trend forecasting, spotting emerging designers and honing the seasonal fashion message.
Steele then kicked off the discussion, asking Patel to describe her primary day-to-day responsibilities and strategic point of view.
Patel, who oversees men’s, women’s, accessories, jewelry and beauty, said, “When we look at fashion, there’s a lot of storytelling that goes on. Our job and my responsibility is to be the translator and curator. Taking what we’re seeing on the runways in London, New York, Milan and Paris, and making sure that that vision and the trend direction is translated for the Saks customer to experience.”
One of Patel’s goals is to make sure they’re making shopping at Saks

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Saks Scores Retail Exclusive of Kim Jones’ Dior Men’s Collection

Saks Fifth Avenue has managed to snag the early launch of the much-coveted debut collection of Kim Jones for Dior Men.
Although the line will be offered at other stores in early February — including in an installation with some exclusive pieces at Nordstrom Men in New York and Seattle — Saks has secured the early retail exclusive for the line. The line has already launched at Dior’s stores, including the eight in the U.S. that carry men’s wear.
Saks will be carrying the full collection of ready-to-wear, sneakers and accessories embellished with the brand’s signature bee logo that has been reimagined by street artist KAWS.
The summer collection will be available at Saks’ New York, Beverly Hills, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston and Toronto stores on Jan. 16, two weeks ahead of other retailers. It will not be available online at Saks but is being sold on the Dior e-commerce site.
Product pricing will range from $ 490 for a KAWS bee T-shirt to $ 5,900 for a crystal KAWS bee denim jacket.
Saks will devote the center six windows at its Fifth Avenue flagship to the launch from Jan. 16 to Jan. 30. They will feature KAWS’ designs including the bee motif as well as

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Saks’ All-American Push

New York City real estate doesn’t get more prime than Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th streets. The East Side stretch belongs to Saks Fifth Avenue, which is using its flagship to make a major statement in support of American fashion beginning today. For two weeks, the department store is filling all of its windows with American brands showing during New York Fashion Week in September.
Timed to the lead up to NYFW, the window concept is meant as a pep rally of homegrown fashion during a moment when American designers could use a boost. “The whole state of American fashion is going through a change,” said Roopal Patel, Saks’ senior vice president and fashion director. “For the last few seasons, there’s been a lot discussion, a lot of conversation about the calendar, and New York Fashion Week, and what American fashion means today. We felt it was a really important moment to celebrate American fashion and creativity.”
Patel said Saks asked all of the American brands the store carries that are showing during New York Fashion Week to participate, and the return was high.
The center six Saks Fifth Avenue windows will feature designer windows by Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, Carolina Herrera, Marc Jacobs, Michael

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Saks x Bumble Hive to Kick Off at Saks Flagship

SAKS AND BUMBLE MAKE A CONNECTION: Saks Fifth Avenue is getting into the networking game. This spring, Saks will partner with female-centric networking app, Bumble, on an initiative designed to empower women. Together, they will launch the Saks x Bumble Hive at the Fifth Avenue flagship from May 17 through May 31. As part of the collaboration, they will host networking events, entrepreneur panel series with notable hosts, styling services and exclusive products. The goal of Saks x Bumble Hive is to bring the companies’ positive, female-empowering energy out of the digital world and into real life — and the brick-and-mortar space.
In recognition of the partnership, Bumble founder and chief executive officer Whitney Wolfe Herd and heads of creative for Bumble BFF and Bizz Sara and Erin Foster are featured on the cover of Saks’ spring 2018 fashion book. In addition, Wolfe Herd curated three looks, available at Saks that she will wear for networking and socializing this spring.
Emily Essner, senior vice president, marketing and digital at Saks, said, “Within the last four years, Bumble built a digital ecosystem centered around its female empowerment credo, which aims to disrupt and alter the serious issues of sexism in three facets of life: dating,

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Saks Elevates DiGiacomo to Men’s GMM

Saks Fifth Avenue has a new chief men’s merchant and it’s a familiar face.
Louis DiGiacomo, a 22-year veteran who most recently served as divisional merchandise manager of footwear, accessories and men’s private brands, has been promoted to general merchandise manager of men’s wear for the upscale retailer.
He succeeds Tom Ott, who last month was named chief merchant of Saks Off 5th and Gilt, which, along with Saks Fifth Avenue, are divisions of Hudson’s Bay Co.
At Saks, DiGiacomo will report to Tracy Margolies, the retailer’s chief merchant.
In his more than two-decade career at the store, DiGiacomo has held a variety of positions. He began his career as an executive trainee in 1995 and has since served in positions including assistant buyer for home and gifts; assistant buyer, men’s designer sportswear; planner and buyer in men’s sportswear; and dmm of men’s, home and gifts.
Saks’ men’s division has been in a state of flux this summer with Ott moving over to Off 5th and Gilt and men’s fashion director Eric Jennings being let go. Shawn Howell, who had overseen luxury collections for Saks, also went over to Off 5th and Gilt as dmm of contemporary collections in June.
Margolies said, “Throughout Louis’ career, he’s

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Saks & League to Save Lake Tahoe Hold Annual Oscar de la Renta Luncheon

Oscar de la Renta’s Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, special guests at the annual Saks Fifth Avenue and League to Save Lake Tahoe luncheon last Saturday, decided to get a close-up look at the nature under threat — and got more than they bargained for.
“Laura and I were going to do a hike at 6:30 in the morning when we saw a bear tear right out of the neighbor’s gate, which was quite the wake-up call. That thing was running fast and I was terrified,” Garcia related. The pair ended up waiting it out and completed their hike, and also enjoyed swimming and waterskiing on the lake.
The centerpiece of the event was a showing of the resort 2018 collection in front of 650 guests at the Schumacher family estate on the shores of the famed body of water.
Created 48 years ago when Bill Blass began showing his collection there to a small group of clients and friends, the event has evolved into a benefit luncheon and fashion show partnership with Oscar de la Renta and Saks Fifth Avenue for almost 20 years. This year’s event raised a record $ 1.1 million.
“We were lucky enough to go on Oscar’s last trip to Lake Tahoe,

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Saks Opens Traveling Pop-up Shop for North Sails in Miami

MIAMI — Saks Fifth Avenue christened its wholesale partnership with North Sails Collection with a pop-up at its new Brickell City Centre store in Miami. The shop, which will be housed on the store’s third level during the month of March, will then travel to the retailer’s Union Square store in San Francisco in May, followed by Manhattan’s Brookfield Place in July.
North Sails’ foray into U.S. wholesale — it operates freestanding stores in New York; Annapolis, Md.; and Newport, R.I. — coincides with the 52 Super Series Miami Royal Cup regatta, which runs through March 11, when top local clients are invited to be in the center of the action on a spectator boat.
“Guys are interested in pop-ups and an elevated shopping experience, and we’re putting a lot of effort into them,” said Tom Ott, senior vice president and general merchandise manager for men’s wear at Saks Fifth Avenue, of the afternoon outing on Biscayne Bay, which he believes will appeal to Miamians’ outdoor lifestyle, sailor or not. “Once you do these experiential events, customers become loyal and excited about the brick-and-mortar experience.”
Before they climb aboard, customers can dress the part by shopping at the pop-up’s edited selection of 30

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Manolo Blahnik Books First-ever Personal Appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue

SHOE IN: Manolo Blahnik will make his first-ever personal appearance at a Saks Fifth Avenue store next month. On Sept. 10 the stiletto-maker will appear within his Saks shop-in-shop boutique — located on the retailer’s “10022” shoe floor — for a signing.
From 5 to 7 p.m., shoppers who purchase a new pair of Blahniks can have their shoes signed by the footwear impresario.
Blahnik’s Saks shop-in-shop — his first-ever permanent retail fixture at a Saks store — opened within the retailer’s Manhattan flagship location earlier this month.
“New York is a very important city for me, so seeing this shop coming to life means a lot…It is very exciting to meet new faces and see the usual customers again. I really enjoy communicating with them; it’s always great to hear their experiences and feedback in first person,” Blahnik said of the event.

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A. Saks 36″ Lightweight Folding Duffel

A. Saks 36″ Lightweight Folding Duffel


The lightest most E-X-P-A-N-D-A-B-L-E Luggage in the Industry. Great on an African Safari or the backgrounds of America. Product Material: 420 Denier Nylon Product Weight: 1.40 lbs. Super Lightweight Interlock runners on Main Zipper Fold in 11″ Zip Expandable Waterproof Pouch Detachable Shoulder Strap One Outside Pocket

Price: $
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Saks Fifth Avenue Dedicates Windows to Fern Mallis

SAKS CELEBRATES MALLIS: Saks Fifth Avenue is putting Fern Mallis in the spotlight by dedicating 16 of its streetfront windows — including all of the Fifth Avenue ones — to her new book “Fashion Icons.” Drawing from her “Fashion Icons” conversations at 92Y with the likes of Calvin Klein, Tom Ford, Donna Karan, Diane von Furstenberg, Vera Wang and Marc Jacobs, the Rizzoli-published tome will be stacked up in the displays with select mannequins adorned in designer attire from each of her respective subjects.
Expected at Monday’s book signing and party are Klein, von Furstenberg, Ralph Lauren, Norma Kamali, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Kenneth Cole, André Leon Talley, Betsey Johnson, Simon Doonan and Bill Cunningham. The event will be the first one to be hosted by Saks’ new president Marc Metrick.
As for how she reeled in so many people to the Upper East Side Y, Mallis said, “I don’t want to pat myself on the back, but I did a lot of research. Most people don’t get to know a designer in that way or hear them talk about their lives. There was a warmth and comfort in each of the conversations that made people feel safe in talking to me.”
Knowing

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A. Saks Expandable Garment Bag

A. Saks Expandable Garment Bag


The lightest most E-X-P-A-N-D-A-B-L-E Luggage in the Industry. Great on an African Safari or the back roads of America. Product Material: 420 Denier Nylon Product Weight: 1.10 lbs. Carry on only weighs 1.1 pounds Exceptionally lightweight with tremendous capacity Made of strong 420 denier nylon Expands to 8 inches deep By expanding the zipper around the bag the hanging capacity doubles Double hanging "Wally" bags 2 large outside pockets 2 inside shoe/toiletry pockets Detachable shoulder strap and hanging hook Interior adjustable tie down straps Key and Lock included

Price: $
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