Amidst New York Fashion Week and the Toronto International Film Festival, somehow it still felt as though Vancouver was the place to be on Wednesday night. The buzz in the air was palpable as celebrities and fashion lovers gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery for the Nordstrom Vancouver Opening Gala, strolling along the expansive red carpet, past flashing cameras, sipping bubbly, nibbling canapes.
It is quite something to have a Nordstrom here, considering that many Lower Mainlanders have fawned over the store for years, making frequent pilgrimages to its Seattle outpost (where the whole dream was born, in fact). Of course, the Nordstrom family legacy is a storied one, and joining in the Vancouver festivities were fourth-generation family members, including co-presidents Blake, Pete, and Erik Nordstrom, and president of full-line stores Jamie Nordstrom, along with supermodels Coco Rocha, Karolina Kurkova, and Amber Valletta; actor Zachary Quinto; actress Camilla Belle; and Vogue’s Hamish Bowles and Lisa Love. Before a fashion show began in Robson Square (barely recognizable thanks to moody blue lights and a large video screen broadcasting crashing waves and the store logo), Vancouver store manager Chris Wanlass greeted guests and expressed his excitement for this new venture. He then turned the attention to the local charity partners who benefited from the $420,000 raised that evening: BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, Covenant House Vancouver, BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre Foundation, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. The fashion show itself was a stunning array of world-class brands including Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Burberry Prosum, and Oscar de la Renta. Also featured were lines from Space, Nordstrom’s shop-in-shop that showcases emerging designers.
Post-show it was over to the store itself—a large, crisp, elegant, multi-level location where it will surely be all too easy for one to spend hours and money. Mingling, shopping, live music, even a bit of dancing took place, and all in all it was a triumphant evening, a dignified marker in Vancouver’s coming-of-age.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images for Nordstrom.
Nordstrom Pacific Centre, 799 Robson Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V7Y 0A2, 604-669-2100.