Esprit President of the Americas John Gunn believes that the new version of his brand belongs with the big boys of retail on this busy street, which is already home to giant Gap, Express, and American Eagle Outfitters stores and, of course, the Macy's Herald Square flagship.
"We wanted to introduce the new, grown-up Esprit to an important crowd," Gunn told StyleList at the store's opening party in NYC.
The store itself is a three-level modern emporium, packed with everything from evening wear to activewear for women and men, targeting a 30-something demographic.
Actress Emmy Rossum, wearing head-to-toe Esprit, was impressed with the brand's new direction. "When I walked into the store to choose this outfit," she told us, "I was surprised at how sophisticated the clothes were."
"I have a memory of wearing a pink sweater set from Esprit when I was probably younger than 10. It was a staple of my youth," Rossum reminisced.
Also driving-by the party was Jennifer Love Hewitt, who posed for pictures, but didn't even make it in the door. The "Ghost Whisperer" star, wearing a sparkly Phillip Lim dress, was in a hurry to get to a party for her new book, "The Day I Shot Cupid."
"It's all about relationships and men and women," she shared. "It was totally a cathartic process, and I learned that my opinion is valid and that I do have a voice that I wanted to share with people."
Equally cathartic: The meal she planned to treat herself to after the party. "A piece of pizza and the frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity," she divulged.
Find out the surprises that Forever 21 has in store.