Express Union Square Grand Opening

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Brooklyn Decker hosts Express Union Square grand opening

From (Maggie WinterfeldtClark)


On a recent fall night, models could be seen strutting above Union Square. The towering figures were generated on an LED screen catwalk visible through the glass façade of the newly remodeled Express flagship store at 301 Geary Street. Inside the 16,000-square-foot store, San Francisco’s shopping elite, Express’ corporate team (flown in for the event from the company’s New York and Ohio headquarters), and a handful of LA A-listers celebrated the flagship’s grand opening.

It was a hard-earned night for Express, which began the project two years ago and battled controversy in the form of ousted tenant the Gold Dust Lounge. The venerable bar attempted to keep Express out by applying for historical landmark status. Its application was denied. Express went on to dramatically overhaul the interior, combining the former Weinstein Gallery and Gold Dust Lounge into a massive, modern retail store.

While there are about a dozen Express stores throughout San Francisco, the flagship marks the debut of the new Express retail design package. “San Francisco is a very cosmopolitan city with a very rich history, and a great young population…this is a natural place for us to be. It’s the center of San Francisco in Union Square,” said Express President David Kornberg of the decision to roll out the new store design prototype in the City by the Bay.

DJ Lindsay Luv spun top 40 tracks throughout the night as a crowd of twenty- and thirtysomething guests enthusiastically shopped their way through three floors of men’s and women’s contemporary fashions. Between sips of wine and bites of passed hors d’oeuvres, shoppers mingled with celebrity host and longtime Express fan Brooklyn Decker, who has vivid memories of going to Express in her hometown, North Carolina mall to get an outfit for her 8th grade dance and later turned to the retailer for wardrobe basics to wear on modeling go-sees.

“I remember [Express] feeling so relevant to me as a 14-year-old, and I’m coming in here now and I can still wear things. It’s really interesting. I don’t know if I haven’t grown up or the brand has grown up or if it’s really that versatile,” said Decker, swathed in an Express label cropped chunky knit sweater and high-waist, stretch knit pencil skirt, which fortunately for the model-turned-actress who had to jump on a plane back to LA immediately after the party, felt “like pajamas.”

A second large scale flagship store scheduled to open in Times Square, New York this winter.

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