Waiting For The Other Balmain Sandal To Drop on Boutique Closings-------
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.