Buckhead shopping standbys Phipps and Lenox are stepping up their game

The malls, along with Shopps Around Lenox, are amping up their offerings
Photograph by Christina Wedge

Buckhead’s shopping revival isn’t all centered on Buckhead Atlanta. In addition to (or perhaps in reaction to) the new development, Simon, the Indianapolis-based owner of Phipps and Lenox, is investing millions to attract more luxury retailers and better dining options. With a combined 350 shops, eighty brands exclusive to the Atlanta market, and 30 million shoppers each year, the two malls have launched sixty-six new or remodeled stores since 2012. Next door, the separately owned Shops Around Lenox has been elevated to destination status—and buzzily sold for a jaw-dropping $71.8 million late last year. So apparently the competition is proving good for everyone—not least of all shoppers.

Lenox Square
In June the fifty-five-year-old Lenox held a “grand reopening.” Among the latest offerings: the first-to-market J.Crew men’s store (which includes a personal shopper and Ludlow suit shop), the women’s workout-wear stop Athleta, and the return of denim powerhouse 7 for All Mankind.

Out front, the dated porte cochere was replaced with a new curved-glass facade dominated by a two-story, 24,000-square-foot Nike store, which is worth a look just for its full-sized basketball court—replete with gold-rimmed hoop and Swarovski crystal net.

But most exciting may be what’s to come: local chicken joint Bantam + Biddy, opening this fall, plus a 15,500-square-foot Topshop and Topman (the affordable-trendy British brand) and Georgia’s first Diane von Furstenberg shop, both scheduled to open in spring. Rumor has it CH by Carolina Herrera and a Tesla showroom will split space in the luxury wing.

Phipps Plaza
By the holidays, a coat of paint, modern lighting, and updated interiors will bring Phipps out of its early-nineties vibe. Leading lady Saks Fifth Avenue is in the midst of a face-lift that has seen the addition of designer boutiques Céline, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Giambattista Valli. An expanded shoe salon opens this fall with brands like Christian Dior and Malone Souliers.

If you’re missing the poppy color of Kate Spade at Lenox, that’s because it moved to Phipps. And upscale kids store Peek joined newcomers like Giuseppe Zanotti, pricey boho shop Johnny Was, lingerie store Agent Provocateur, sandal boutique Jack Rogers, and resorty Trina Turk. Bargain shopper? No problem. A Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio will open at the Lenox Marketplace right across the street in late fall.

Shops Around Lenox
The onetime afterthought to Lenox Square next door, Shops Around Lenox has grown into a go-to of its own thanks to a $20 million image overhaul. Now it’s known for draws like Lululemon, Kendra Scott jewelry, the restaurant Seven Lamps, and one of our favorite additions to the shopping landscape, Suitsupply—a Dutch retailer for men that offers chic but affordable suits and impeccable tailoring.

In December, Healey Weatherholtz sold the redeveloped property, which won an Urban Land Institute award for creative reuse.

This article originally appeared in our September 2014 issue under the headline “Bring It On.”