As a native of Shreveport, I have frequented Mall St. Vincent for most my life. The memories that have taken place in that one location abound.
I remember throwing pennies in the "wishing pond," asking for a quarter for the big gumball machine, getting my ears pierced at Claire's and making it a tradition by going back there with my little sisters when they were old enough to get theirs pierced.
In middle school I was dropped off at Mall St. Vincent to meet up with friends and go to the movies (back when it had a theater inside.) We would eat at Garfield's restaurant and have our parents pick us up. We thought we were so grown up.
I would use my allowance money to do my Christmas shopping at The Disney Store, Kirkland’s, and Hallmark and buy calendars in the center kiosks. Even Lewis Gifts moved there for a little bit! What about Bombay and Co.? Remember?
I recall shopping with my mom at The Limited and Express when our private school allowed a "free dress day." It was a huge deal when Abercrombie and Fitch moved in! (Are they still putting topless men on all their shopping bags?)
No high school dance photo was taken without first having a makeover from Dillard’s.
As the years have passed, stores moved out and reopened in outdoor shopping centers. The only place I would pop into on a semi-regular basis was Banana Republic for their jewelry or sales rack. It became a different place. Not the exciting mall experience of yesteryear.
Mall St. Vincent is taking a stand. They are undergoing multi-million dollar renovations that are nearly complete. They are bringing back the phrase "Let's go to the mall!" because really -- who says that anymore?
Today, the global brand H & M is holding their grand opening in MStV. My coworkers, Tara and Elizabeth, and I charged the doors when they opened at noon. With a DJ at the ready, fashion bloggers roaming with iPhones in hand, moms with strollers, cool college kids with an arm full of finds, we made our way through the racks. It felt like Christmas. The energy was electric, the staff was friendly, and obviously the clothes were not only fashion forward, but affordable. Tara, who recently moved here from Tuscaloosa, Ala., remarked that she is so excited to live in a city that has H & M. I am proud of our little Shreveport carrying such a big name.
Welcome to town H &M. Thanks for making us look good.