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Nordstrom Grand Opening Gala Benefits St. Louis Organizations

The Wednesday event raised more than $110,000 for the Center of Creative Arts, the Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis, the Missouri Botanical Garden and the St. Louis Art Museum.

On Wednesday evening, hundreds of people flocked to Nordstrom department store, the latest addition to the , for its . The store opens Friday morning in .

The event raised more than $110,000 for four St. Louis-area organizations: the , the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM), the Missouri Botanical Garden and the St. Louis Art Museum.

When asked what brought them to the night's festivities, most attendees responded with a simple, one-word answer: Nordstrom.

"We've been Nordstrom card holders since 1998," said Bruce Hartung of Richmond Heights, who attended the gala with his wife. "It astounded me that it's been that long."

In addition to Nordstrom fans, the event also drew fashion insiders.

"We came because I'm in the fashion industry," said Mark Austin of Bespoke Couture. He attended with his wife.

Some of the fashion insiders also indicated they are fans of Nordstrom.

"Nordstrom is one of our most favorite places to shop," said Elaine Wolff of , who attended the gala with her daughter, Sherry.

Attendees paid $75 per ticket and treated to music, cocktails, food and, of course, fashion. Instead of mannequins, 25 live models lined the area next to the escalators and struck poses to show off the latest fashion trends for men and women.

Guests also had the opportunity to make the first purchases at the store ahead of its official opening Friday. While browsers and shoppers filled the entire store, the women's shoe department on the first floor was the place to be. It featured trendy fall riding boots and studded stillettos.

The store has two levels and is located on the east side of the Galleria near . The first level contains women's shoes, women's accessories, jewelry, handbag, cosmetics, fragrance, men's shoes and men's apparel departments. The second floor is home to women's apparel, kids' apparel and kids' shoes.

The Galleria location is the third Nordstrom store in the St. Louis area. There is a at the West County Center in Des Peres and a in Brentwood.

On Friday, the store's team of beauty experts will share tips and demonstrations at an 8 a.m. pre-opening beauty bash. Nordstrom will officially open for business at 10 a.m.

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