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July 31 2014

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Waiting For The Other Balmain Sandal To Drop on Boutique Closings

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If you missed the news just before the holidays, Tracey Ross announced that she was closing her trailblazing Los Angeles boutique on New Year’s Eve, after 18 years of selling high-end fashion with her particular SoCal slant to a dedicated, celeb- studded clientele. There’s been a lot of bad news on the fashion front between Thanksgiving and now, so we’ll remind you that in November, retail doyenne Linda Dresner also announced that she would close her famed Park Avenue boutique. It opened in 1983. Though Dresner is keeping her original shop in Birmingham, Michigan, both she and Ross cited department-store desperation in the form of early sales and deep discounts as a major factor in their demise. How can the little guy (or gal, as the case may be) compete with 70 percent off at Neiman Marcus? Apparently, not very well. But these specialty stores don’t merely offer just another cash register to buy a dress. What fans of Dresner, ranging from Jackie O to Carine Roitfeld, loved was her eye—one that enabled her to support designers like Tom Binns and Rick Owens early on. In a recent interview with WWD, Dresner decried the lack of creativity in retailing. There are, of course, great specialty stores still standing in both New York (Opening Ceremony, Jeffrey) and Los Angeles (Opening Ceremony, Satine, Mameg), as well as San Francisco’s Susan and Chicago’s Ikram. And Milan Vukmirovic’s soon-to-open Miami boutique The Webster is the source of much buzz. But it wouldn’t be surprising to hear of yet another closing in the near future. Is the ever-worsening economy spelling the end of the boutique with a finely honed point of view? Tell us what you think.

USER COMMENTS Comments

Comments

  1. Valerio says:

    Yes a lot of small but also welknown boutiques will go broke. It’s recession time and only the bigger companies like The Gap, Zara and that kind of stores will survive. I’m not talking about the real fashion houses like Valentino, Lauren and Versace, they always will survive but the boutique right on the corner of your street will be gone.Thats a pity because very often they showed you beautiful pieces and a renewal of a certain style. Very often they made a style of their own and that was very refreshing, in the coming months I’m afraid that a lot of the innovating boutiques will be gone and thats a lost for the fashion industry. Meenal have a Happy New Year.

  2. Thegoodfind says:

    Fellow fashion mavens and designers–Don’t give up hope. The world of economics is much like the world of fashion and love; we all have our ups and downs. As an owner of a fashion line, my hopes are that other fashion industry professionals keep smart and strategic business plans with good budgets so that we stay on top and keep forging on! Don’t lose sight during these harsh times and don’t give up to big box stores. Remember, customers do genuinely appreciate the intimate appeal of the boutique!

  3. Valerio says:

    Very true Thegoodfind, but if you can’t find the money or get credits from your bank, then you have a problem. Lets face the true, the smaller boutiques and companies are going broke. If you like it or not. Just like I said it’s a pity, but as you mentioned it this is also economy. These hard working people, will have to shut the doors of their fabulous boutique. Especially in the States, were the banks have big problems. I myself as an Italian can cry about this fact, because also I lost a lot of money, while supporting the fashion industry, but no matter what happen, I will further invest in the industry and a lot of people with me. Have a Happy New Year.

  4. HighEndDesigner says:

    Hello!

    Really enjoyed your post. And it is devistating to see what happens with retail industry. I think if you don’t have back up funds you need to set small privet operated stores with miminum expenses as possible.

    Natasha Leratti
    Fashion Designer,
    http://www.leratti.com

  5. Valerio says:

    Natasha I appreciate your comment and looked on your website, but the’re also boutiques who can’t do what you’re describing, minimum expenses etc. if you have a little boutique and being the owner it’s very often that you have only parttime employees. For this kind of shop owners, it will be a difficult time, that was what I was meaning. But very often the little boutiques have a lack of money, but are very innovating. It would be a disaster if they would disappear, for the industry, I personally think so but in this time of whatever crisis, you can’t be sure.

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