Opening on February 15, 1967, it was billed as a miniature Fifth Avenue. Hoping to capitalize on the affluent population of Bergen County, stores included anchor stores Lord & Taylor on the north end and a B. Altman and Company store away on the south end. There was also a free-standing Best & Company store in the parking lot (now Toys "R" Us). In the shopping arcade that connected the two stores, many high-end retailers such as Rogers Peet (later Brooks Brothers), Georg Jensen, and Ann Taylor were situated. The mall was decorated in contemporary decor. It is considered small by modern mall standards, with less than and 15 storefronts.
As the years progressed, other malls in Paramus including Garden State Plaza, Paramus Park, and Bergen Mall began to grow and take Fashion Center's local market share. However, the mall was prosperous through the 1970s.
By the 1980s, however, growing competition and the demise of B. Altman saw the mall's decline. Retailers began moving out, leaving Lord & Taylor as the only anchor store.
By 1996, the vacant B. Altman space was divided up into a Bed, Bath and Beyond (first level) and a T.J. Maxx (second level). The top level remains vacant. A massive "de-malling" scheme for The Fashion Center continued when it closed off the middle of the mall for a Best Buy store that can only be entered through the outside entrances. In 2004 the Lord & Taylor closed its entrance to the arcade. The plan is to eventually have a collection of separate stores, with no common space inside the mall.
Stores currently in the arcade include: