Saks Fifth Avenue, Harper’s Bazaar and American Express Celebrate N.Y. Fashion Week With a Photo-Ready Townhouse

The Saks IT List Townhouse kicks off on Sept. 7

The experience takes a storied brownstone and transforms the rooms into the living embodiment of fall's hottest trends. Ilya Savenok
Headshot of Diana Pearl

New York Fashion Week kicked off on Thursday, and with it, Instagram opportunities galore descended on the city. And these photo-friendly moments don’t only come during the shows, but in pop-up experiences specifically designed to populate people’s feeds.

The Saks IT List Townhouse is one of these experiences.

Opening in Greenwich Village from Sept. 7 to Sept. 10, the experience takes a storied brownstone and transforms the rooms into the living embodiment of fall’s hottest trends, as dictated by Saks’s annual IT List: Silver, Wild Wild West, Suit Yourself, Mad for Plaid, Statement Outerwear and Animal Instincts.

Each room is designed to be an Instagram-ready playground. The “Mad for Plaid” room contains a ball pit and a light-up ping pong table. The walls and furniture of the “Animal Instincts” room are covered floor-to-ceiling in leopard print—and there’s another ball pit in that room, too. The floor of the “Statement Outwear” room is dusted with faux snow.

Ilya Savenok

The objective of the pop-up is to bring Saks Fifth Avenue’s “It List” franchise to life. The IT List comes out twice a year, and lays out that season’s “curated set of trends and key items that customers need,” Emily Essner, senior vice president, marketing and digital for Saks, said. It felt like a natural fit for a more immersive experience, and that’s where the idea for the townhouse was born.

“We’re always looking for things that feel Instagram-friendly and we know our customers and visitors are going to want to share and talk about,” she said. “The idea of bringing life to these trends, something that didn’t really exist before and hadn’t really been done, felt right for an experiential activation.”

The name “townhouse” is literal: The space is housed in a Greenwich Village townhouse, less than a block off of Washington Square Park. According to Essner, the team felt the location was a more “intimate” take on the pop-up experience, rather than housing it in a warehouse or event space.

She said: “A townhouse would be a really different environment, a little bit more lived in and a bit more personal.”

And of course, included in each room are shoppable products that visitors can purchase right then and there. “It makes the experience a lot more fulfilling,” Essner said. “You’re going to go there and experience the trends, but then you actually get to buy them.”

Ilya Savenok

Saks partnered with American Express to create the experience, and American Express platinum cardholders are offered special perks at the townhouse: A separate VIP line for quicker entry (which is also open to SaksFirst card members, too), purchases that count towards a $100 rebate that the card offers, and access to a special, invite-only event with Harper’s Bazaar editor in chief Glenda Bailey and fashion designer Jeremy Scott, including a meet-and-greet opportunity with the two.

“This an exclusive moment for platinum card members to take advantage of during what tends to be a hectic fashion week,” Chris Cracchiolo, vp of global membership rewards & loyalty benefits at American Express, said. “We’re coming together with two of our premiere fashion partners to bring something to life for fashion week.”

The Saks IT List Townhouse opens its doors today, Sept. 7, and runs until Sept. 10. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

@dianapearl_ Diana is the deputy brands editor at Adweek and managing editor of Brandweek.