THE FASHION SHOW
South Las Vegas Boulevard and Spring Mountain Road
Clark County, Nevada


The third major shopping mall in -or around- Nevada's "Sin City" was built by a joint venture of El Segundo, California's Ernest W. Hahn, Incorporated and Las Vegas' Summa Corporation (an entity comprising the business interests of the late Howard Hughes).

THE FASHION SHOW was built on a 34 acre plot, located 2.8 miles southwest of downtown Las Vegas, in an unincorporated section of Clark County known as Paradise.

Comprised of 2 retail levels, the 822,700 square foot complex was built atop a subterranean parking deck. Its interior was done in a desert motif, using flora and fauna indigenous to the American Southwest. The Main Entrance featured a broad, 2-level ramp which doubled as a catwalk for fashion shows.

Anchoring THE FASHION SHOW were a 2-level (130,400 square foot), Los Angeles-based Bullock's, 2-level (102,000 square foot) Dallas-based Neiman Marcus, 2-level (107,400 square foot) Phoenix-based Goldwaters, 2-level (120,000 square foot) Phoenix-based Diamond's and 2-level (64,000 square foot), New York City-based Saks Fifth Avenue.

Among the one hundred and thirty charter stores and services were Zales Jewelers, Florsheim Shoes, Units apparel, See's Candies, Waldenbooks, Toys International, Orange Julius and Haagen-Daz.

The mall's grand opening took place on February 14, 1981. As one might expect, the inauguration of the 74 million dollar retail hub included a high profile fashion show. This was attended by such luminaries as Adolpho and Michael Vollbracht, Bill Blass, Mary McFadden, Pauline Trigere and Bob Mackie.

The major shopping facilities in Greater Las Vegas had been THE BOULEVARD (1968) {1.7 miles east, in Clark County} and MEADOWS MALL (1978) {3.2 miles northwest, in Las Vegas}. Eventually there would also be FORUM SHOPS AT CAESARS (1994), a shopping arcade added to the Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino {.5 mile south, in Clark County} and GALLERIA AT SUNSET (1996) {8 miles southeast, in Henderson}.

The original anchor store line up at THE FASHION SHOW was first altered in the fall of 1986. At this time, eighteen Diamond's stores were rebranded under a newly-created, Phoenix-based division of Dillard's. Goldwaters became a Los Angeles-based May Company California in February 1989. 

This store was rebranded, as a Los Angeles-based Robinsons-May, in January 1993. The FASHION SHOW Bullock's was refitted with a Macy's nameplate in April 1996.

The May-Federated merger of August 2005 resulted in further conversions of FASHION SHOW anchor stores. The Goldwaters / Robinsons-May morphed into Macy's Fashion Show, while the Bullock's / Macy's became Macy's Las Vegas. This transition was completed on September 9, 2006.

Over the years, ownership of FASHION SHOW had changed several times. The real estate holdings of Ernest W. Hahn, Incorporated had been acquired by Toronto-based Trizec in May 1980. By the late 1980s, the company was known as the TrizecHahn Corporation. 

The Summa Corporation became the Howard Hughes Corporation in 1994. Maryland's Rouse Company acquired the Howard Hughes Corporation in May 1996 and now controlled a 75 percent share of FASHION SHOW. TrizecHahn sold their 25 percent interest in the mall to Rouse in April 1999. 

In November 2004, Chicago-based General Growth Properties acquired the real estate holdings of the Rouse Company. FASHION SHOW was now a GGP holding.

Meanwhile, in 1999, The Rouse Company had bought a 14.2 acre tract directly west of the mallGround was broken for a "Bigger Than Life" expansion project. Designed by the Los Angeles-based Altoon & Porter firm, it was to add over 1 million leasable square feet to FASHION SHOW and more than double its size.

The first structure to be completed, a multilevel parking garage, was located at the southwest corner of the newly-enlarged 48.2 acre site. During the redevelopment, four new anchor stores were built; a 2-level (200,000 square foot) Dillard's, 2-level (100,000 square foot) Bloomingdale's Home (the first in the nation), 2-level (166,000 square foot) Saks Fifth Avenue and 3-level (200,000 square foot) Nordstrom (the first in Nevada).

These would connect into a 2-level West Wing, built several feet higher than the circa-1981 mall. Like the original structure to the east, it would cover an underground parking deck. 

The original complex, and an eastward expansion, would become Lower Level East and Upper Level East. The new western section would be known as Lower Level West and Upper Level West. The 2 sections of the expanded mall would be linked by a set of escalators located south of the Robinsons-May store.

During the remodeling, three existing anchors were expanded; Neiman Marcus to 160,000 square feet, Macy's to 207,000 square feet and Robinsons-May to 201,000 square feet. A second multilevel parking garage would also be built at the northwest corner of the site.

The primary feature of the remodeled retail hub was The Cloud, a 128-foot-high structure along the mall's east facade (facing The Las Vegas Strip). The underside of the 480-foot-long fixture would become a giant projection surface during evening operating hours.

At the center of the westward expansion would be The Great Hall, a large court area and venue for daily fashion shows. Moreover, a third level in the eastward enlargement would house a 17-bay Food Court.

Phase One of the 1 billion dollar renovation was officially dedicated November 1, 2002. Four anchor stores commenced operation. Dillard's and Saks Fifth Avenue moved from smaller quarters in the original mall. Bloomingdale's Home and Nordstrom joined the retail roster.

Lord & Taylor, originally signed to assume the old Diamond's / Dillard's spot, cancelled their FASHION SHOW plans in 2003. The store would sit vacant for over 6 years. The original Saks, now also vacant, was demolished between December 2002 and January 2003. This made way for the new East Wing expansion and The Cloud.

The Phase Two segment was dedicated on October 1, 2003. FASHION SHOW now encompassed 1,878,100 leasable square feet and housed two hundred & forty-nine stores and services.

Mall stores continued to evolve. Macy's Fashion Show closed in January 2008 and re-opened, as a Macy's Men's, on February 28, 2013. Los Angeles-based Forever 21 opened in the long-vacant, original Dillard's store on July 24, 2010. The Bloomingdale's Home store went dark in April 2013 and was revived, as a Dick's Sporting Goods, on October 30, 2015.

At the same time, a reconfiguration of the mall's Strip-facing facade was nearing completion. It rebuilt 22,000 square feet of store space on the Lower Level Plaza (beneath The Cloud) into several new establishments. The first of these, Kona Grill, Strip Burger and Luke's Lobster, were in operation by November 2015. 

General Growth Properties sold a 50 percent share of FASHION SHOW to New York City-based TIAA Asset Management in August 2016. General Growth changed its name to GGP Inc. in January 2017. 

The assets of the company were acquired, by a subsidiary of Toronto's Brookfield Asset Management, in a series of transactions. These concluded in August 2018, with FASHION SHOW joining the Brookfield retail center portfolio.

Sources:

"Fashion Show Mall" article on Wikipedia
Comment posts by Randy
The Los Angeles Times
Florence-Sheffield-Tuscumbia-Muscle Shoals Times Daily
The Las Vegas Sun

web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.thefashionshow.com (Fashion Show Mall website on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine)
web.archive.org/web/20020322170857/oxygen.citadon.com/fashionshow (Rouse Company website on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine)
www.thefashionshow.com
www.ggp.com (General Growth Properties)
https://www.brookfieldpropertiesretail.com (Brookfield Properties)