Despite the 42-degree weather, there was a warm feeling outside of Saks Fifth Avenue’s Manhattan flagship on Monday night. Along 49th and 50th streets, crowds gathered to watch as the luxury retailer resumed its annual ten-story light spectacular complete with fireworks soaring from its historic roof. This year, the dancing lights were made all the more sparkly by the appearance of a very special guest: Michelle Obama. Saks CEO Marc Metrick kicked off the festivities announcing that the brand has partnered with the Obama Foundation’s Girls Opportunity Alliance, which was founded by the former First Lady, for a wide-ranging holiday campaign. It includes dedicated displays in its iconic holiday windows as well as a limited-edition shopping collection, a Saks mentorship program, and a $1 million donation to the organization.
Following a performance by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, Mrs. Obama made her way across the barricaded Fifth Avenue in a glittering black overcoat. While thanking Saks for its generous donation to the Girls Opportunity Alliance she shared that although she’d met kings and queens during her time in the White House, it was her connections with young women and girls around the world that left the most profound impact. “This contribution to the Girls Opportunity Alliance will help these girls to reach their full potential,” Obama said, “And that’s especially important as the pandemic continues to threaten their education, which would set us all back in the years and decades ahead.”
Obama also highlighted the special Saks capsule collection, featuring ready-to-wear designs by Christopher John Rogers, Brandon Blackwood, Oscar de la Renta, and more, with 100% of net proceeds benefitting the G.O.A. “If you’re buying something from this collection over the next few weeks, you’ll not just be scratching something off your to-do list,” Obama said, “But you’re also going to have the opportunity to help secure a brighter future for girls all around the world. And what a powerful way to embrace the holiday spirit. Isn’t it?” To watch the full light show along with Michelle Obama’s appearance, tune into Saks Fifth Avenue’s channels at 7 pm EST on November 23 for a special streaming event presented by Mastercard. In the meantime, you can shop the G.O.A. collection at saksfifthavenue.com and below.