Editors Note

Chicago Snatches NYC Wig….Saks Fifth Avenue…The Men’s Store…


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By- DeoVonte “Deo” Means

To help spread the secret but rumored word that Saks The Men’s store had moved out of its iconic but dated location on Michigan Ave and relocated to the newly refurbished and multimillion dollar renovated 6th and 7th floor of the flagship store; the clientele specialist reached out to their clients and personally invited us on a private introduction of the new space. Charles greeted me at the legendary corner entrance. Now before I go any further, let me inform you of the “kee”.  Saks is perhaps the Vogue of American fashion luxury retailers. Old money built it and it has a refined and respected taste, It‘s a well-known fact that in the last few years, a sort of Lil Kim/Nicki Minaj effect has transpired. Competitors such as Neiman’s, Bergdorf and Barneys have surpassed them in evolving towards the client and keeping up with market trends. Neiman’s (Chicago), unveiled their impressively renovated 4th floor Men’s Store last spring to rave reviews. Therefore as I walk through these doors, I’m about to witness who will be named victor in another one of the Saks v/s Neiman’s legendary battles… I gagged immediately ….

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Upon entrance, a collection of roughly six male mannequins, stood posed and clothed on a pedestal that forced the eye to look up and almost behold them. I gasped as I realized I was stunned for a second. I was mentally taken back to my ballroom- BQ labels days, circa early to mid-2000’s, when sophisticated MEN came down the runway in a collection of modern, industry accoladed, hard to get, fashionable, straight off the runway, Euro pieces. They worked in the NYC showrooms!!! I composed myself as Charles escorted me to the express elevator that gets you to the Men’s Store in less than 2 seconds (the previous Men’s Store had the WORST elevators that took the LONGEST). As the modern, and what appear to be bronze elevator doors open, you gag at what personify to be a fashion image of someone saying “oh I know you gagging…come on in and enjoy…” I began to visibly pause and think to myself ..wow… I have stepped into Collette Paris. This is when I realized, Saks did not come to spar in a petty local battle. Saks came to shake the industry and by doing this, they have “broke the legs off the table” and placed Chicago at first place, international acclaim within the luxury menswear  industry. This action is fluidly sending a popular message that Chicago is the new trend. Obama has ties, Oprah has ties. Yeah, it’s cute…

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Labels such as Carven, Kenzo, Givenchy, Dior Homme, DSquared2, Brooklyn We Go Hard, AMI, McQueen, Fendi, Giuseppi Zanotti, and Jimmy Choo all greeted me.  The setup is ultra-modern, strong and clear, almost spotlight-like lightening.  The floor layout is roomy and spacious, but also situated like a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory maze. Everywhere you turn, eye popping delights jump out at you.  You soon realize, on this journey, you are not only being visually guided, but you’re also being introduced to many designers you never acquired or were exposed to. You nod in agreement as you realize, “oh, the editors were right…that is hotttt”.  Saks Men’s Store- Chicago is rumored to carry the largest selection of Versace’s, industry lauded, S/S 14, footwear line outside of Milan, Italy…but the official numbers are not in yet. The staff, in suits of course, actively engages you about the product with no pretense of making a sale. They just wanna whisper in your ear the quality and description of the luxury item you are attracted to. A few steps away but well in sight and easily accessed, is the restaurant/bar Sophie’s. Sophie’s is also sleek and modern, and set up as a chic lounge for friends who may want to meet at Saks for an afternoon cocktail.  The chef, Barcelona, Spain-born, Alexandro Reyes and Chicago executive chef Ron Aleman created the menu. Some of the selected dishes are plates such as sashimi of shaved fluke with blood orange and large plates such as a lobster salad with African blue basil, Pink Lady apple, butter lettuce and vanilla bean caramel vinaigrette. The bar is stocked with a selection of l’assemblage (Beyoncé, Drunk in Love) just in case you and your boys wanna grab a $5000 cocktail…no worries…

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In closing, please do not think I am biased towards Chicago because I reside here. Although I love my city, I am also most critical of it, because Chicago will surely put out some crock-shit if you don’t catch em and pull their coat tail. But this move right here just changed the game. If you are an out-of-town, label villain, it’s worth a quick weekend trip. If you reside in Chicago, even if you do not plan to buy anything, it’s worth a trip down to the Ave., just to behold what true luxury menswear should resemble. The Flyy-Life endorses this… Winner- Saks Fifth Avenue- CHICAGO…….cheers.

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Dior...off the runway...

Dior…off the runway…

Carven

Carven

Givenchy

Givenchy

The new Gucci corporate loafer

The new Gucci corporate loafer

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