Illustration by Randall Nelson
Baubles, Botox, boobies, and the burbs—that’s the best way to describe the grand gala celebrating the opening of Nordstrom at Ridgedale in September. While waiting to valet their luxury rides, the giddy platinum AMEX cardholders snapped selfies in gleeful anticipation of, yes—a department store! OK, to be fair, I am commenting as someone who frequents clearance racks, looking for the treasured final markdowns, and I’m more likely to be seen at Nordstrom Rack than Nordstrom proper. However, it’s time for me to pay due respect to this iconic treasure. The party was delightful and obviously not the first grand opening for this well-oiled event machine and shopping powerhouse. They do everything right and never miss a beat. My advance invitation was a floral arrangement hand-delivered by a man wearing white gloves addressing me as Mr. Walker. From the ribbon cutting to the final dim of the lights, the evening was flawless. Event greeters were delightful and the hors d’oeuvres were interesting and surprisingly easy to handle—even while perusing fine menswear. The room was primarily filled with the Bravo-watching crowd from the ‘burbs who certainly keep the cosmetic surgeons in business. Did I mention the Botox? Wow, for a room that was likely 70 percent female, they sure brought their game, and were set on showing off their recent—um—enhancements to the ladies of the 952. The guest list topped out at close to 2,000 shoppers eager to be the first to slide on a shoe from the Nordstrom shoe collection.
All jokes aside, the ticket price supported two very honorable organizations: the Children’s Cancer Research Fund and PACER, an organization that helps families and children with disabilities. Please, no throwing shade here—it was a grand evening welcoming the “crème de la crème” of shopping—but did I mention that this is a department store? Geez!
Entertainment reporter Todd Walker covers the gala and social circuit for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Look for him at events and weekly on FOX 9 News.