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It's hard to remember a time in Vancouver when a red carpet was more star-studded.
Though often accused of preferring comfort (read: yoga pants) over style, Vancouverites showcased their flare for fashion to properly welcome Nordstrom to the city. The store’s opening gala September 16 drew a crowd of thousands, all dressed to kill. The evening kicked off with a cocktail reception at the Vancouver Art Gallery, buzzing with beautiful people in bold gowns, statement shoes and smart suits. The red carpet then led the party-goers from the VAG down into Robson Square, where Arthur Erickson’s iconic architecture was repurposed into a catwalk for models of some of Nordstrom’s big lines—think Valentino, Mark Jacobs and Stella McCartney. Then, it was off to the gorgeous new store across the street for cocktails, canapes and (of course) a little bit of shopping.The fashion retailer had its highly anticipated grand opening to the public this morning.
One of 10 gala chairs, stylist Jason Sarai escorted his wife Natasha to the Nordstrom Vancouver benefit.Media personality and gala chairwoman Tamara Taggart were among the 2,250 guests that made the red carpet parade.Bruce and Jeannie Nordstrom were all smiles after $420,000 was raised from their store opener for four local charities: Vancouver Art Gallery, Covenant House, BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, and BC Children’s Hospital.Co-presidents Pete and Erik Nordstrom officially opened Canada’s third Nordstrom store.Models Madison R., left, and Margarita Kapustina flanked fashion agent Liz Bell.Ambassadors of BC Children’s Hospital, Djavad Mowfaghian Foundation’s Hamid Eshghi escorted his wife, Arya, to the fashion extravaganza. The hospital was one of four beneficiaries of the runway romp.Vancouver Art Gallery chair Bruce Wright and director Kathleen Bartels hosted the opening champagne reception and red carpet parade. The venerable arts organization was among local charities which benefitted from the Nordstrom Gala.Western Living Editor-in-Chief kibitzed with Nordstrom Canada president Karen McKibbin. In addition to Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver, three more stores are scheduled to open in Metro Toronto.CEO Laurie Clark and board chair Geoff Lyster’s BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre benefitted from the fashion fete.Blake Nordstrom and his wife Holly welcomed attendees to the tented fashion show and in-store gala.Keg Restaurants kingpin David Aisenstat, chair of the Vancouver Art Gallery, made the scene with model Yasmin Warsame, fresh from New York Fashion Week.Supermodel and former Richmond resident Coco Rocha (middle) and her husband James Conran (left) and Victoria Secret model Karolina Kurkova posed for cameras before the main event.Hollywood actor Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) and supermodel Amber Valetta added star power to the evening.Photographer Dennis Gocer and Beaucoup Bakery‘s Jackie Kai Ellis were among the capacity crowd that took in the designer-do christening the arrival of Vancouver’s newest retailer.Gala chair Jill Krop, Global BC news director, partied down with 2,250 guests who made Nordstrom’s red carpet affair.Nordstrom Pacific Centre Store Manager Chris Wanlass helms the 230,000-square-foot retail space.
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