Independent retailer Psyche is due to unveil its pioneering Middlesbrough department store this weekend as Retail Week went to press.
The opening had been pushed back several times as work to transform the former Uptons store into a black limestone and steel Mecca of designer cool ran over schedule.
Managing director and majority shareholder Steve Cochrane believes label-conscious shoppers from all over the UK will come to the 3,250 sq m art deco-inspired store with its 'complete lifestyle offer'.
The upmarket store carries 150 designer clothing brands, including Armani, Vivienne Westwood and Jimmy Choo. There are also 'pamper treatments', a champagne and oyster bar, and plans for a rooftop restaurant.
'We wanted to come up with something new and have created a massive boutique rather than a department store,' said Cochrane. 'It has a funkier, more contemporary feel.'