slideshow: Bloomingdale’s {Santa Monica Place}

words_dena rochelle

This morning I toured the soon-to-be opened Bloomingdale’s at Santa Monica Place. The exterior of this store is just as beautiful as the inside, both being a far cry from the former building that housed Macy’s. It was fun to get a sneak peek at the new Bloomies but it was torture not being able to shop. The wall of sunglasses was calling my name but I was ushered right past them for tea and sweet treats from the always delicious Huckleberry cafe.

My tour was led by Fashion Director Stephanie Solomon and Executive VP, Creative Services Jack Hruska. Innovation was key in designing the 41st store. The new outpost is bright and airy, lit with as much natural light as possible (even despite the fog outside) and LED lights to showcase the products. Branded mini boutiques throughout the store make it easy to find your faves, while showcasing unique design and decorative elements for each. Dressing room pods in the b-Style Bar come down from the ceiling. Mannequins, which were being styled from head to toe during our tour, are hoisted and hung onto a moving fashion show via a rotating hanger system on the ceiling (à la your local dry cleaner but much more glamorous). This was one of many design elements that garnered ooh’s and ah’s from my fellow editors and photographers. In lieu of traditional floral arrangements there are bud-vase installations that hang from ceiling to floor on weighted wires, which are currently filled with orchids. A Parisian-inspired fragrance area, complete with two treatment rooms at The Spa, anchors the cosmetic department.

Video walls streaming ocean waves and other beach scenes flank the escalators. Beach Cabana fitting rooms, a cruiser bike hung from above the men’s section, and a ferris wheel sculpture on display, keep the Santa Monica vibe sprinkled around the store. Artwork from local photographers and artists displayed throughout the two-story shopping haven continue the beach/pier theme.

Fashion Director Stephanie Solomon said that the ready-to-wear inventory for this store is very much about prints, color and stripes. The store is filled with many of my laid-back luxe and casual-chic faves: Helmut Lang, RomyGold, Marc Jacobs, Vince, J Brand, Nation Ltd., Splendid, Hanky Panky, James Perse, Rebecca Minkoff, Pour La Victoire, Botkier, Foley+Corinna, Kooba, DVF, Kate Spade and many others. The store opens this Friday, 8.6.10. Can’t wait to go back to shop and check out the rest of Santa Monica Place. If you don’t live in SoCal, consider this another reason to come visit us soon.

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