Not to make you feel old or anything, but Charlotte’s crown shopping jewel, SouthPark Mall, turns the big 5-0 this year.

My how time flies.

SouthPark opened on February 12, 1970, with anchor stores Belk, Ivey’s, and Sears in an area that was essentially pasture land, on what was considered at the time the outskirts of Charlotte. The mall started out with about 1,000,000 square feet, its three anchors, and its underground parking deck. It was developed and owned by the Belk & Ivey families, and after a series of sale transactions was sold to current owner Simon Property Group in the early 2000’s.

Now with close to 1,700,000 square feet, SouthPark is the largest mall in Charlotte and the Carolinas, is the 10th largest on the East Coast, and is the 28th largest all of in the USA. It is also one of the most profitable and busiest malls in the country.

A few SouthPark Fun Facts

  • Dillards occupies the original Ivey’s space
  • Symphony Park is where the movie theater was
  • There used to be a grocery near the Sears
  • Sears closed in 2003, Nordstrom opened in 2004, Neiman Marcus in 2006 and Crate & Barrel in 2007

We decided to celebrate SouthPark’s Golden Year with a photo feature styled by the mall’s personal shopper & stylist, Suzanne Libfraind, and 4 local women who are also turning 50 this year.

Kudos to the lovely ladies for showing us just how good 50 can look AND for putting their age right out there.

Since the mall opened in the 70’s, our stylist Suzanne went with styling each model in a different 70’s vibe, all the while embracing the birthday to come! 

Colleen Odegaard

Suzanne Says:
In styling Colleen Odegaard I wanted to focus on items that enhanced her petite frame, so I started with a sweetheart neckline top with an elasticized waistline. Maxi dresses and skirts were all the rave in the seventies with soft hues of pink and berries tones. To accessorize Colleen, I selected a narrow hair ribbon with a pattern of polka dots to be worn as a chocker, along with a Y-necklace that fit her neck beautifully. By incorporating  a vibrant pink sparkle clutch,  I was able to give the appearance of a variety of textures, along with her cork wedge in soft pink crocodile leather. If you are petite, it’s important to keep in mind that a maxi length garment looks great when pair with a wedge! 
Clothing from Nordstrom

DeAlva Wilson

Suzanne Says:
This teal green sequin v-neck jumpsuit, reminiscent of all the glitz & glam of the 70’s, was beautifully worn by DeAlva Wilson with a paisley print jacket in greens, teals and blues. I selected the jumpsuit for DeAlva as I wanted to highlight her long legs, and find a garment that truly could be worn for many years to come. Sequins never go out of style and are always appropriate, but the trick is to be able to dress them up or down for a variety of occasions. With a wrap, DeAlva could transition the jumpsuit to a more formal look with a metallic dress shoe. I selected the black stiletto and black classic bag to keep the attention to the outfit and jewelry.  Hard to miss was the beautiful  raspberry and citron colored crystal necklace and pendant that  added  a pop of color in her neckline. Dressing DeAlva in tonal colors lengthened her overall  silhouette but allowed me the opportunity to bring in a pop of color! 
Clothing from Neiman Marcus

Kim Heilman

Suzanne Says:
Kim’s bright orange, stretch double breasted jacket was reminiscent of business wear for women in the 70’s with fitted jackets and bell bottom pants.  The triangle pattern black and white blouse with a narrow tie for the neckline was the perfect silhouette to highlight Kim’s features. What you see differently from one decade to another is that today’s fabrics are better quality in versatility and wearability. With the jacket’s vibrancy, I wanted to keep her jewelry toned down and went with an oversized matte gold earring to pick up the reflection of the buttons on her jacket. Her stiletto boot in black and white stripes was an added touch to the simple elegance and clean lines. This spring  season, neons will make a resurgence with oranges, pinks and limes in accessories and clothing. Adding a touch of neon, as I did in  the small handbag, is perfect way to finish off Kim’s fresh sophisticated look.
Clothing from Neiman Marcus

Melissa Latin

Suzanne Says:
With Melissa’s playful personality I wanted to dress her casual and rock the 70’s theme in a stretch fabric jean with a flared bottom and tie dye t-shirt. True to each decade, a sweatshirt with a bands tour name and year is always an easy way to make a statement. When dressing Melissa in multiple layers it was important to keep the garments fitted to the body to appear current in style.  No different than this past decade in the comeback of the sneaker craze, the 70’s sneaker was a flattering and less flashy vibe. I opted for a blush sneaker that can be worn with most any color pant and especially perfect for the cropped straight jean shown on Melissa. Just an FYI bellbottoms are back with a vengeance, just like the 70’s so keep that vibe going with a wedge sneaker or shoe! How cute was her vibrant orange backpack in canvas, reminencent of the seventies big dump bag! 
Clothing from Nordstrom

Celebrate at the Mall

There’s plenty of fun coming our way at SouthPark Mall to celebrate turning 50 ~ it all kicks off on the big birthday, Wednesday, February 12. You’ll find history timelines highlighting the mall’s growth and progress over the years and decades. There will be a candy bar, a step & repeat photo backdrop, and lots of other fun bday news & to do’s. Stay tuned, and get ready to party.

Remember, we’re not getting older, we’re getting better.

Visit southpark.com or connect with SouthPark on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.