It’s widely believed that men are faster, more time- efficient shoppers than women and that unlike their female counterparts, they don’t like to linger in stores but instead prefer to find an item, buy it and get in and out as quickly as possible. But with the arrival of department store Saks Fifth Avenue’s new men’s standalone lifestyle concept The Fifth Man at its historic Beverly Hills location, that gender-based retail truism may soon be turned on its ear.
Opened in February 2014 and short for “The Saks Fifth Avenue Man,” the renovated and renamed Fifth Man space covers 6,000 sq. feet (557 sq. meters) and features three key highlights: a downstairs premium denim bar that is adjoined by an actual bar in an area called D-Bar, a shoe shop that is among the biggest for men on the West Coast and designer shop-in-shops and a prototype space dedicated to the store’s in-house Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Collection on the main floor.
The denim-and-drinks D-Bar concept was designed by the California-based architectural firm Marmot Radziner and feature a lounge area with a custom-made pool table, a street-art mural by artist Karl Clay and walls covered in boardwalk wood. An onsite John Allan’s Salon offers customers both grooming services and beverages.
The adjoining denim bar’s product assortment is a virtual who’s who of the top premium denim brands and includes AG, Diesel, DL 1961, Joe’s, Hudson, Nudie, PRPS, Rag & Bone, 7 for All Mankind, A.P.C. and True Religion. Also featured are a revolving selection of up-and coming jeans brands such as Diana Keinejad, Baldwin and BLK Denim. “Customers are very impressed with the product offered and people really seem to like the underground vibe,” says Amber Ayala, fashion and public relations coordinator for the Beverly Hills location, about the overall reaction to the new space.
Upstairs, the new Shoes On the Main Floor area features more than 600 styles divided across three sections. The first is for classic brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo and Rosetti, the second includes designer footwear from the likes of Gucci, Prada and Dior while the third, the contemporary area, has names such as Paul Smith, Viktor & Rolf and Marc Jacobs. Newly added brands to Shoes on the Main Floor include Del Toro, Martin Margiela and Pirelli, among others.
Elsewhere on the floor is the latest prototype shop for the store’s in-house men’s collection, an assortment Saks has been putting special emphasis on of late. New York-based design and architecture firm CBX created this area. It features exposed ceilings and white oak flooring. According Ayala, The Fifth Man concept, which reties heavily on art installations and residential-style furniture that welcomes guys to stay awhile, will be carried over to other Saks locations and has already been implemented at its Chicago store. “Through these innovative renovations, Saks is thrilled to offer our customers exciting new lifestyle shopping experiences,” adds Tom Ott, senior vice president and GMM for men’s, home and gifts at Saks Fifth Avenue. “0-Bar and the men’s shoe salon in particular are sure to become iconic West Coast shopping destinations.”