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Posts Tagged ‘Mall of America’

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Len at MOA

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Len, the value-oriented offshoot of trendy Galleria-based retailer Len Druskin, opens its fourth location today at Mall of America – third level, near Nordstrom. Find contemporary, casual apparel for women and men at reasonable prices. The other Len stores are at Southdale, Rosedale and City Center.

Maria Rivolta Moving to MOA

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

One step forward, another step back for Southdale.

The struggling Edina mall recently scored a victory in signing Michael Kors (opening planned for holiday time), which will also open at Mall of America in September. (Guess MK is hot on the southwest metro – it’s surprising to see a retailer open stores at MOA and Southdale back to back.) Francesca’s Collections is also coming to Southdale in early 2012 and Herberger’s is scheduled to open in early November.

Meanwhile, local retailer Marge Schwab just announced she is moving her little gem, Maria Rivolta, from Southdale to MOA (the mall started wooing her soon after she opened last year). The last day to shop the affordably priced Argentinian jewelry line – known for mixed material and color – is Tuesday, Aug. 30. The new store will open at MOA, first level, outside Bloomingdale’s, on Oct. 1.

Superdry USA Opening at MOA

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Hot British retailer Superdry USA will open Friday, July 29 at Mall of America offering fashion for women and men that fuses British tailoring, vintage Americana style and hand-drawn Japanese-inspired graphics. Think graphic tees, plaid lumberjack shirts, rugged outerwear and a vintage thrift collection for women. Superdry hit the U.S. just two years ago; MOA is the eighth U.S. location – first in the Midwest. The first 50 customers on Friday will receive a $25 in-store voucher valid opening weekend.

Uncovering Bettie Page

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Bettie Page, now open at Mall of America, confused me at first, I must admit. I figured most women who gravitate to the retro fashions it sells probably shop for the originals, for less, at thrift stores. Then again, thrift can be hit and miss – more miss when it comes to larger sizes. Bettie Page offers ‘50s style apparel and accessories in complete size runs. Prices, while not thrift-like, are in the realm of reality – $120 or so for a dress. And Bettie Page is there whenever you want to shop. There’s something to be said for convenience.

Bettie Page now has six stores nationwide – MOA is the first outside of California. This Saturday, July 9, is a great time to check out the new MOA store: spokes-model and 2011 Playboy Playmate of the Year Claire Sinclair – You’ll recognize her from E!’s “Holly’s World” and “The Girls Next Door” - will host two ’50s-inspired fashion shows in the Rotunda at 1 and 3 p.m.

MOA Opening: Armani Exchange

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Armani Exchange will open Tuesday at Mall of America. It’s the first in a crop of upscale stores new to the market scheduled to open this spring at MOA. With the cache of a top designer’s name and contemporary apparel for men and women generally priced under $100, it’s a perfect fit for the mall. You’ll find Armani Exchange on the first level of the newly remodeled south side.

What Do MOBs Want?

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Top question on Shop Girls – now five years running: Where to buy a mother of the bride dress. It’s amazing how this one purchase can be so daunting. And it’s a drag how few places there are to suggest. I find myself listing the same handful of Twin Cities boutiques so often (dugo, Arafina, Monique Lhuillier…), it seems impossible the listeners don’t know them by heart. Late last year, when Mall of America prom dress retailer Glitz! opened Get Social, with mid-range to upscale special occasion apparel especially for MOBs, it seemed a slam dunk.

Get Social has closed. “It did pretty well, but not enough for a 3,000-square-foot store,” owner MaryAnne London says. A selection of bridesmaid and mother’s lines can now be found at Glitz! (makes sense, although I wonder how many MOBS will want to try on gowns next to packs of squealing high school seniors).

Prom comes around once a year, but weddings happen all the time. So why is Glitz! a success and Get Social didn’t measure up? Moms are probably pickier, tougher to fit, and less likely to browse beyond the department stores. But clearly, they get dressed up for their kids’ weddings, and they care very much about the end result. So mothers, what do you want? Speak up!

A Month at the Mall

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Scott, the Human Do.Ing, wraps up his month of living on display at Mall of America this Saturday. His stay in a glass apartment on the first level near Tucci Benucch and Urban Outfitters was sponsored by Blue Cross/Blue Shield to promote healthy living. Though he’s been sleeping between an ice cream stand and a cookie store, Scott has concentrated on eating salads and getting into shape. But here’s what you really want to know about surviving a sold month inside the nation’s largest mall:

Where did you do most of your shopping? Nike and Nordstrom Rack

Best purchase? Livestrong Nike running/walking shoes. So comfortable.
Most surprising discovery about the MOA? How absolutely massive it is. I never get bored, and I have been walking here a month. Also, how beautiful the sunrise is coming through the glass roof over looking Nickelodeon Universe.

What is the mall like after hours? Actually very quiet. You hear a few motorized carts buzzing around and an occasional “beep” of a lift going up or backing up. Its the craziest thing, I actually sleep pretty sound.

Any healthy food discoveries at the mall? I found that most places can do something healthy if you know how to ask. Chipotle is great; Napa Valley Grille and Tucci Benucch were ready to please me. Just by asking to have something steamed or grilled, all were happy to accommodate my special request.

Favorite way to exercise at the MOA? Hands down, WALKING!  Yoga at Lululemon is a pretty close second.

Best time for people watching at the mall? Lunch time. And the weekends!

Most memorable mall encounter? Hearing the stories of some of the Mall Stars, a group of seniors who walk in the mall each morning. We exchange hellos every morning, they all know my name.  I was  invited to an 8 a.m. birthday party for Winnie, 93 years old. We shared a piece of her chocolate birthday cake.  She was so sweet, and still up and walking around. That is what I want to be doing at 93.

Purchase spotted most often? I know that American Girl is very popular, and I am next to the Nestle Toll House cookie display and Kemps ice cream store on the other side, so, tons of cookies and big ice cream cones, which, about 1 in 10 hit the floor if the child is 4 or younger. And yes, the 10 second rule applies on a $4 ice cream cone!

Palm Beach Dreamin’

Monday, April 4th, 2011
I was in Palm Beach last week, strolling from Hermes to Chanel, discovering hidden gems down each achingly charming Mediterranean via on the famed Worth Avenue when I got an email from Mall of America announcing a trio of new designer stores, including Michael Kors. I always get excited about retail arrivals for the Twin Cities – especially proven performers like A|X Armani Exchange that are finally realizing we’re not all farms and igloos in the Land of Lakes. I’ve been feeling good about MOA’s momentum – they’ve tried many times throughout the years to attract luxury – or at least, upscale – retail, and finally, they seem to be making headway.
Then I visited Town Center in Boca Raton, and not only do they have virtually every upscale store at or coming to MOA, they have dozens more. Henri Bendel. Cartier. Bvlgari. CH Carolina Herrera. Vince. That’s in addition to five department stores which carry those lines, and many, many more. Town Center is a Simon mall – just like, and absolutely nothing like, Southdale. (Imagine Simon giving Edina a Saks Fifth Avenue rather than a Herberger’s!) We might be home to the nation’s first mall, and the biggest, but we’re still in Minnesota, and we’re always going to have to fight for our designer dresses. At least we appreciate them when we have them – just ask Monique Lhuillier.
Our underdog fashion status makes the local boutiques that much more important in the Twin Cities. They give us what our department stores (beside Nordstrom) don’t think we’re worthy of. At Saks in Boca, you find racks of Cut25, the Yigal Azrouel diffusion line (pictured, left). Here, you’ll find it at Grethen House. Bumbershute has lines like MikeGonzalez that you sure won’t find at our sorry Bloomingdale’s or Macy’s. OPM, Arafina, Allee Metro Chic and BlackBlue are just a few of the other Twin Cities boutiques introducing Minnesota to new, buzzed-about lines, even when the malls and chains are not.
At least we have Target. I’m especially anxious for next month’s launch of Calypso St. Barth for Target after visiting the Calypso store in Palm Beach (pictured, right) – there, Calypso’s $150 tops and $350 dresses seem like the Gap compared to the brand’s ultra luxury neighbors. Calypso is the epitome of island chic – so breezy, so effortlessly sexy – the billowy blouses in orange, pink or ocean blue, the breezy dresses – I wanted one of everything.  Of course, an ocean and 90 sunny degrees do make for ideal accessories.
Calypso for Target will launch on May 1. I’ve previewed the look book, and it is extremely promising (sometimes I think Target would be better off with lesser quality photography – then so many of its designer collaborations might not be as disappointing in person): There are beachy tops, fashionable coverups, long sundresses in chic neutrals and summery brights and prints. If the dresses don’t fit, the jewelry, sandals, totes and even the tableware look desirable too. Worth Avenue, it’s not. But then, neither am I, the other 51 weeks of the year. So, I’ll wear the Target version, and save my pennies for another week on the beach (and maybe, if it rains, a couple of hours at the stores) with my family.

Designer Arrivals for MOA

Monday, March 28th, 2011
Put in white marble floors and the designer stores will follow. Mall of America is getting Armani A|X, Michael Kors and Stuart Weitzman. All three have signed leases to open sizable stores in the remodeled south wing, where Burberry has undoubtedly been a bit lonely.
“We are continuing to lure luxury retailers to Mall of America after the South Avenue renovation,” said Maureen Bausch, MOA’s executive vice president of business development, in a statement today. East Broadway will get a makeover this summer, with a Soho vibe.
Meanwhile, Armani Exchange plans to open this summer, with its street-chic mix for women and men. Michael Kors will follow in the fall, offering the full range of accessories and shoes from the Michael Kors, KORS Michael Kors and MICHAEL Michael Kors collections, as well as ready to wear, fragrance, watches and eyewear. The Stuart Weitzman store will feature shoes and handbags. All three are firsts for the Twin Cities.
Other newcomers announced today: two international retailers, Barcelona-based clothing chain Desigual and Superdry, a British chain; Bettie Page, a retro shop featuring timeless pieces (think pencil skirts and circle dresses), retro accessories and lingerie from sizes XS to 4X; See’s Candies first year-round store in Minnesota and finally something new (again) for the fourth floor, Sky Deck Sports Grille and Lanes, which promises “Minnesota’s most unique bowling experience,” video games, sports viewing, burgers and pizza.
Meanwhile, Merrell Shoes plans to open this month on the north side and Naartjie Kids is now scheduled to open on the south side in May.

Living at the Mall

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Sometimes I feel like I live at the mall. Scott is actually doing it. He’s living in a glass apartment at the Mall of America for one month as part of an unconventional Blue Cross campaign called Human Do.Ing to encourage healthy living. (Guess he’s not eating in the food court, or at the Nestle Toll House Cookie Cafe next door). I passed through Scott’s neighborhood Saturday on my way from Nordstrom to Macy’s. What’s funnier than watching Scott check Facebook is watching everyone else watching Scott. (The bed and bathroom are private). But if you can get past the stares, having that nice sleek space all to yourself: open kitchen, modern furnishings, exercise bike and time to focus on nothing but yourself – just steps from DSW and H&M, doesn’t sound so bad.

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