Celebrating 60 years since opening, Scottsdale Fashion Square continues to stand out from the crowd with its innovative lineup of offerings.
Over the years, Scottsdale Fashion Square has become one of the nation’s premier luxury shopping and dining destinations. PHOTO COURTESY OF SCOTTSDALE FASHION SQUARE
Can a mall be more than just a mall? In the case of Scottsdale Fashion Square (fashionsquare.com), the answer is a resounding yes. Founded in 1961, the shopping center is marking an important milestone—60 years of being the premier destination for luxury shopping, top-notch dining, exciting art exhibitions and much more.
“Plume” by Ian Brill at Wonderspaces, the center’s art gallery. PHOTO BY CHARLES DARR
From the beginning, the center has been a pillar of the community, growing and evolving along with the city itself. (After all, the city of Scottsdale was founded only 10 years before the shopping center debuted.) It officially opened as a three-level, open-air retail destination on what was previously the rodeo grounds for the Scottsdale Jaycees, and consisted of Goldwater’s Department Store, AJ Bayless supermarket and 15 smaller stores.
Wellness Wednesday is a popular initiative, especially the rooftop yoga classes. RAINBOW ROOMS PHOTO BY AIRI KATSUTA
After initial expansions in the 1970s and 1980s, the center went through a major transformation in the 1990s, welcoming the Valley’s first and only Neiman Marcus and the first Nordstrom, expanding to a whopping 1.3 million square feet. Not only did the property have a new look, it gained a new name as well, finally becoming what it’s known as today: Scottsdale Fashion Square.
Toca Madera “SHADOWPLAY” PHOTO BY YADIRA VILLARREAL
The early 2000s brought further expansion, and in 2018, even more: a stunning luxury wing, residences, a gorgeous office space and a new hotel that’s currently in progress. Now, after welcoming new boutiques including Dior, Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello, Versace and more, Scottsdale Fashion Square is firmly positioned to continue as the Valley’s leader in luxury shopping, dining, cultural events and more.
“Where we’re located is kind of the heart of Scottsdale, and it’s amazing how much the area north of us has developed over the years,” says Melanie Sutton, senior marketing manager for Scottsdale Fashion Square. “But Scottsdale Fashion Square is kind of the heart of it all.”
Wonderspaces rotates its art offerings every few months. This piece by artist Pierre le Riche is titled “Rainbow Rooms.” PHOTO COURTESY OF SCOTTSDALE FASHION SQUARE
Beyond luxury stores like the recently renovated Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, Cartier, Gucci and more, the luxury wing’s restaurants—including Nobu, Toca Madera, Francine and Zinqué—have been a major draw for both Scottsdale residents and visitors. As well, cultural cornerstones including Wonderspaces, Harkins Theatres and Desert Stages Theatre, and recent health and wellness initiatives like Wellness Wednesday, where events like rooftop yoga take place, make Scottsdale Fashion Square a true community center. “A lot of people are enjoying Wellness Wednesdays,” says Sutton. “It’s a nice way to start your evening and then head over to one of the restaurants. Of course you deserve wine after working out!”
“ShadowPlay” by John Edmark, also seen at Wonderspaces. PHOTO COURTESY OF SCOTTSDALE FASHION SQUARE
“ONE THING THAT’S VERY IMPORTANT ABOUT SCOTTSDALE FASHION SQUARE IS THAT WE REALLY GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY.”–MELANIE SUTTON, SCOTTSDALE FASHION SQUARE
From the beginning, the center has made sure to make philanthropy part of its ethos. “One thing that’s very important about Fashion Square is that we really give back to the community,” Sutton explains. “We’ve had a number of charity organizations that have been our partners over the years, some for 20, 30 years,” says Sutton. “We’re doing a Shop It Forward program during the holidays to kick off our 60th anniversary where we have a prize pool of $25,000. Guests can shop and dine and turn those dollars spent into points they can dedicate to their favorite charities.”
The new Dior store at Scottsdale Fashion Square. PHOTO COURTESY OF SCOTTSDALE FASHION SQUARE
To celebrate the anniversary, Scottsdale Fashion Square is kicking off a slew of initiatives, including a special Decades of Influence installation, a student designer fashion showcase, a Denim & Diamonds Live & Dine Edition charity event and more. And, more renovations and updates are in the works. “With this progress and growth, we’re only going to see the center improving and continuing to be an exclusive destination,” says Sutton. “That’s our goal.”
Flexible coworking office space Industrious recently opened. PHOTO COURTESY OF SCOTTSDALE FASHION SQUARE