High-end retailers took another look at the Mall of America last year after white marble floors and cascading chandeliers were added to South Avenue. Now, the first of their shops are opening, including Armani Exchange (A|X), a diffusion concept from Giorgio Armani.
The store is undeniably sexy, urban, and young, focusing on the set that’s outgrown fast-fashion Forever 21 but still wants clothes for capering at rooftop bars or cavorting at Lake Calhoun.
Inside the shop, you’ll find great layering pieces to put a twist on the basic tee-and-shorts combination, plus accessories that straddle the line between trendy and classic. On my visit, I coveted chunky bracelets and handbags with just the right ratio of hardware—cool, not gaudy—that would appeal to a wide audience.
And for men who are always on the lookout for slimmer-cut clothes, this will be a solid stop: A|X fills the quasi-Euro-fit void left last year when United Colors of Benetton closed.