Bittersweet retail news: Wilbur Vintage is closing down its South 4th Street location at end of the March. For eight years, owner Daniel Wilbur has been loyally providing Philly’s vintage lovers with hard-to-find throwback women’s apparel and accessories, but due to the increasing success of his Etsy and Instagram pages, he’s looking to transition the shop completely online. Read more »
Well, here’s some sad news to kick off the week: Armour, the nearly two-year-old menswear boutique, has closed. The shop was one of a handful of great men’s stores to flood the scene back in 2013; ToBox, Totem and Suitsupply all opened brick-and-mortars, filling a sorely needed gap in our retail landscape. Read more »
Some three weeks ago we mentioned forthcoming refurbishments to Fabric Row and how, apart from infrastructure upgrades and landscaping renovations, a lot of the area’s revival would be generated by its retail occupants.
It’s good to hear of long-established shops modernizing their approach but new retailers are great too — preferably those with merch we don’t often get around these parts.
News of the latest fashionable addition to South Fourth Street comes to us via our sister site Shoppist: New York-influenced Armour.
None of the changes seen by Philadelphia’s historic Fabric Row were more heartbreaking than two fires that occurred earlier this year. However, like the mythological phoenix rising from the ashes, this mainstay neighborhood could soon be seeing wonderful improvements. Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron certainly seems to think so.
Fabric Row’s gradual transformation can be seen with new retailers moving in (some having nothing to do with the fabric business) and old ones revamping their products, while still maintaining the neighborhood’s original image.
Saffron explains how, along with updating street lighting and well-placed green spaces, sidewalk “corner extensions would be paved in a ‘fabric pattern’ [and] merchants are being encouraged to take down their security gates and install bright fabric awnings.”
Before the fire that tore through Jack B. Fabrics at Fourth and Fitzwater on Saturday afternoon–leaving one firefighter dead and another injured–the 35-year-old shop was a stalwart of Philadelphia’s Fabric Row. Three generations of the Blumenthal family operated the store, which was often busy with eagle-eyed customers peering at bolt after bolt of every kind of fabric imaginable.