Shop Talk: FREE SHOP
Maura Coffey has done what every girl who works a summertime beach job dreams of: turned her warm-weather gig into a career. For the past four years, from May through September, Coffey presided over racks of beach-perfect Juicy Couture terry, Boardwalk-appropriate Free People separates, and go-everywhere James Perse t-shirts at the Free Shops in Stone Harbor and Cape May. Last fall, she and three partners took those collections, along with Rebecca Taylor tunics, Project E silk-screened tanks, Irregular Choice ballet flats, funky costume jewelry, and a who’s who of denim—Blue Cult, Seven, Big Star, True Religion—to Ambler’s bustling Butler Avenue. Although the juniors-oriented boutique is most popular with after-school shoppers from nearby high schools, it’s also attracted a post-adolescent customer base. “My mom shops here, too,” says Coffey. After all, youth, like summer, should last forever.
Free Shop, 5 East Butler Avenue, Ambler; 215-643-3771.
What do you call it when a ubiquitous, enviably emaciated It Girl comes out of eating disorder rehab looking like a ubiquitous, enviably emaciated homeless person? Oh yes, grunge. My only quibble is all the fashion intelligentsia referring to the look as “Olsen boho-chic.” Our honey-haired style heroine, Mary-Kate Olsen, has been spotted in granny dresses, beat-up cutoffs, stockings riddled with runs, and every shade of Converse All Stars—which is fine, I guess; I dressed that way at 18, too. In fact, I dress that way now. But MK is not some edgy style vanguard; she’s a sick kid with a near-autistic devotion to the early ’90s, right down to those grande Starbucks lattes. The cool thing about grunge, or “boho-chic,” is that it makes even 90-pound gazillionaires look dumpy. The bad thing is that if it really is back, the “Rachel” haircut can’t be far behind.
What’s in Store
The South Street retail scene has a new resident: the eighth U.S. Adidas store. The 2,000-square-foot storefront offers men’s, women’s and baby apparel, accessories, and, of course, footwear. Don’t miss the Superstar 35th Anniversary Collection Expression and Music series of shoes designed and inspired by hot artists and musicians, including Missy Elliott, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Andy Warhol.
Adidas, 436 South Street; 267-514-1952.
Former Penn Ph.D. candidate Tracey Simon just unveiled Three Sirens, a chic women’s boutique filled with everything from cocktail dresses and tanks to skirts and cotton tees. The feminine space is chock-full of summer must-haves, from ribbon belts by Wink to tiered skirts by Joie to screen-printed shirts and embroidered sweaters by emerging L.A. designers Bellekat and Nili Lotan.
Three Sirens, 134 North 3rd Street; 215-925-3548.
Cole Haan has joined the luxe shopping corridor of Walnut Street. The sleek, modern space, decorated in warm shades of ivory, features the designer’s collection of handbags, footwear, accessories and women’s apparel. Check out the super-popular Pleated line of clutches, totes and hobos in pebble-grain Italian leather.
Cole Haan, 1600 Walnut Street; 215-985-5801.