Sneak Peek: Your First Look at The New Century 21 Store Before It Opens

Plus: How to shop there before the general public.

The entrance from Market Street.

It’s here!

I got the chance to pop over to the Gallery’s new—and long-awaited—anchor store, Century 21, before the store celebrates its opening party tonight. (Its soft opening is tomorrow, but the store will only be open for registered C21 status members through Sunday, October 26th. More on how you can get on that list later!) There was a buzzy, electric energy there this morning as visual designers—who’ve camped out at Philly hotels this entire week, and pulled insanely long nights at the store—shopkeeps, managers, PR reps and construction guys whipped about, bringing in displays, sweeping up dust, polishing and cleaning and arranging merchandise. It was the calm before the storm, like the hours before a wedding.

The store itself is palatial: 100,000 square feet spread out over two floors. This makes for a meandering shopping experience—upstairs, we started in the children’s section (tiny Oscar de la Renta dresses and Vince tops), which leads into homewares (Jonathan Adler and Le Creuset!), then luggage (Tumi, Victorinox), then menswear (Kenneth Cole, Bill Blass, Armani, English Laundry) and mens accessories. Then we snaked through hosiery (Wolford tights!), past activewear (including a full yoga display), and ended up in women’s, where I pounced on an embellished neoprene MSGM coat (around $200; it will be mine). Other enviable names on major sale here: Pucci, Missoni, Y-3, Giambattista Valli, Milly and DVF.

On the first floor, you’ll find accessories: sunglasses (Tom Ford, Burberry), bags (Stella McCartney, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Kate Spade), jewelry (costume and high-end), scarves (Lacroix, Dior, Ferragamo), wraps, gloves, hats, fur vests and stoles. An entire room is devoted to women’s shoes; the collection spans Nine West and MICHAEL Michael Kors to more high-end pairs by Chloé (spring for the navy suede studded booties for around $400), Givenchy and Sergio Rossi. Shoes are organized by designer, not size.

So, the main question: When can you get shopping? The store officially opens to the public on Monday, but you can sneak in early to shop by signing up for Century 21’s loyalty program, called C21 Status. Go here to sign up, and you’ll get access to the merch before anyone else. As someone who’s seen what they have to offer, I can tell you this: It’s totally worth getting in there early. Like, camp-out-overnight worth it. (Note: I do not recommend you doing this. But if you did, well, I wouldn’t judge. If only for those Chloé boots…)

Check out the pics here (best viewed in full-size).