Local designers, better start getting your portfolios ready. Starting next month (which is in just three days WHERE DID SUMMER GO?), Joan Shepp is kicking off its very first designer residency program. Exciting, right? Let’s dig into the details.
If I leave our office building, turn right and then make an immediate left down an alleyway, I can cut through two parking lots and be at Joan Shepp‘s new location in exactly two minutes. I discovered this yesterday evening when I set out for the store’s private press preview, an exclusive sneak peek at the space before it officially opens to the public this Saturday. After a much-publicized decision to leave its prime Walnut Street spot, and then it’s short-lived tenure at Liberty Place, Joan Shepp announced it was moving into the rundown space at 1811 Chestnut Street—the former site of a mattress store—to plenty of raised eyebrows. They were supposed to open in April. Then, we heard, possibly May. But I can tell you after last night’s walk-through: It was worth the wait.
Today Joan Shepp finally rolled out its new website and it is, in a word, amazing. Gone are the hard-to-discern flat shots of clothes on a white background. Now, pieces by the likes of Jil Sander, Issey Miyake, Elizabeth & James and Comme des Garçons shine on models—the fluid lines of an Issey Miyake cloak caught in motion is a standout. The selection available online is still small—”curated,” in boutique speak—but endlessly shoppable, and inspiring. Perhaps the most hauntingly beautiful piece of the site, though, is the compilation of stark black and white shots of Shepp’s new space, still under construction (it’s slated to open this spring). There’s a picture of Joan herself, silhouetted as she stares out the back window of the building at 1811 Chestnut Street, one of the grand dames of Philadelphia fashion looking into the future—which, now, looks pretty bright.
How to shop a major sale? If you take this video (created by the fashion intelligentsia over at Joan Shepp for their BOP-winning annual basement sale) literally, you grab every single thing off the rack and go. It’s a take-no-prisoners approach to shopping, and while we’d hate to be shopping next to her, we can’t totally knock it. It’s selfish, inconsiderate and—if we’re being completely honest here—something we’ve all been tempted to do at least once in our lives (especially at the Shepp sale, which is always amazing). Before you go to one of the countless end-of-season sales going on right now, here are some non-bitchy ways to score big.
The old adage “out with the old, in with the new” makes sense in the fashion world, but our sister site Shoppist‘s glut of news about store closings and openings makes us realize it’s just as true in retail real estate.
New: Joan Shepp
Longstanding boutique Joan Shepp opted for a pop-up store after her departure from her original Walnut Street location – and it seems the change may have done some good. Her newfound home is just a few blocks away at 1811 Chestnut Street. Once a mattress store, the simple exterior conceals an inner space with some potential, including a supposedly great staircase.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (in which case, hi! Welcome to fall!), you know that Walnut Street stalwart Joan Shepp is moving. The details on the permanent location are still tightly under wraps. (Joan’s daughter, Ellen, was very careful to not give too much away, revealing only that the new space is ” very nearby.”) Read more »
With so many Center City office buildings turning residential, many small business owners–particularly those in 1616 Walnut Street–have had to make other plans. The future Joan Shepp, one of Walnut Street’s most stalwart fixtures, has been the subject of intense speculation, as it was hard to imagine the store being anywhere else. Shepp herself has been rather downcast about the need to move, but a source tells us that she’s been paying something like $30 per square foot basically since she opened, and it was simply impossible to keep her at a much lower rate than every other tenant now that the building was changing hands.
According to PhillyChitChat, Shepp has finally hit on a new space–featured, appropriately enough, on the Philly-set movie Trading Places–in the Witherspoon Building at Broad and Walnut, quite close to her old shop. Her windows will face onto Walnut Street, and be much more of a showcase than her previous digs. Congrats, Joan.