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Speaking of Saks, favorite haunt of today's Street Scenes subject, the department store's third floor just underwent a major overhaul. According to WWD, the process took two years: One for construction, and one for byzantine negotiations with designers about who should go where. The final effect, by the numbers: "22 hard shops, 49 designer labels in total and an expanded Fifth Avenue Club with 18 'suites,' a kitchen for serving lunch, a VIP room and Josie Natori-designed changing robes."
Saks views the expense of the redesign as an investment, hoping that it will spur more sales in the next year. Still, as WWD notes, it's an odd time to unveil a new space, especially one draped in Tibetan rugs and carved up by laser-cut panels and gold-leaf–encrusted screens. (It's also an odd time for the store's vice president to say things like "If you are buying designer, this is what you deserve," but never mind.) But the section's biggest coup might appeal to the sort of shoppers who are impervious to the recession anyway. It's a Louis Vuitton shop—the only one outside the brand's own boutiques to sell LV ready-to-wear.
· Street Scenes: Mark on Chambers and Hudson [Racked]
· Saks Unveils New Designer Floor [WWD, subscription req'd]