Confession: Sometimes when I’m having a bad day, I watch videos of Sophia Grace and Rosie on Ellen. They’re two of my favorite people ever, which is sort of weird because I’ve never met them and I don’t even particularly like kids all that much. Maybe it’s their British accents. Or their massive flouncy tutus! Or maybe because, like me, Sophia Grace is extremely excitable and has a penchant for ear-piercing squeals.
In any case, I squealed as soon as I saw this subject line in my inbox this morning:
ANNOUNCEMENT: Claire’s Inc. Lauches Sophia Grace & Rosie Collection
Oh. My. God.
THERE ARE TUTUS.
Our friends over at Racked Philly have just broken news that once Burberry closes its doors this Saturday, Michael Kors will be taking its place at 1705 Walnut Street. They got word from Larry Steinberg, president of the Rittenhouse Row Merchant’s Association (so, we trust him). The brand will take up both floors and a spring 2014 opening is expected. Racked also speculated that the Juicy Couture on 17th and Walnut will make the switch to a J.Crew Men’s standalone (this is no doubt thanks to the success of sister store Madewell). Rumor is rumor, but we can’t help but cross our fingers.
- Rule number 1: If you’re going to wear a down coat, never ever buy one in pastels or white. “You’re looking for sophistication, not a comforter.” [Glamour]
- Anna Wintour went to the Girls premiere the other night, and she took her fashion veeeeery literally. [MTV Style]
- Oh my God, these limited-edition fashion football helmets by designers like Marchesa and DVF are AMAZING. Seriously, wouldn’t football be more fun if everyone wore helmets like these? [Fashionista]
More Hump Day help ahead!
Let’s just call today the day of Major Retail Announcements: Word on the street is that Japanese fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo is opening up a location in the King of Prussia mall in spring/summer of this year. (This comes on the heels of our breathless-with-excitement announcement that it’s also coming to the Art Institute Building this spring.) Let’s celebrate with a list! Here, the top five reasons we’re excited about Uniqlo’s double-opening in the Philly area.
1. These down puffer coats. Be Well Philly editor Emily Leaman bought one and raves about it every single day. “It is shockingly thin and shockingly warm,” she says. I’ve felt it: It’s the softest thing ever.
2. These cashmere hooded sweaters. The most perfect weekend loungewear ever.
3. Adorable button-downs like this one. And I don’t even like button-downs.
4. This! Squee.
5. Novak Djokovic. Since he is the brand’s ambassador, perhaps they’ll get him to come in for the grand opening! (And then maybe he’ll bring Roger Federer along, and the whole city will be imbued with tennis hotness.)
Proof that when one door closes, another one opens: Just after Three Sirens announced they’d be closing after eight years on North 3rd Street, Marlton’s Erdon boutique announced the opening of a second location in Old City. The high-fashion boutique (which you may recognize from Philly Mag Shops) is opening in the Ligne Roset space at 162 North 3rd Street in spring of this year. The boutique has a Joan Shepp feel in terms of the designers it carries (think: modern, voluminous silhouettes by the likes of Ivan Grundahl and fashion-forward shoes by Robert Clergerie), but the avant-garde aesthetic is a welcome one on North 3rd. Co-owner Eric tells me it’s been a work in progress for months (how he didn’t let it slip during our prep for Philly Mag Shops, I’ll never know), but with lines like Acne and MM6 Maison Martin Margiela finally available in Old City, I suppose it’s worth the wait.
(Image via Erdo.co)
I adore Era Atomica, the mid-century store that’s as endlessly shoppable as it is wildly cramped. In news that will delight all who ever felt as though they were bulls in Era’s china shop, Passyunk Post reports that the store is moving into bigger, better digs very soon. It’s not a far move—the shop is moving only one block away, to the former Tanquest space at 1835 East Passyunk Avenue—but in terms of gaining valuable retail space, it’s huge. The move will give Era Atomica a whopping three floors and 3,000 square feet of space, which the owners plan to fill with more vintage clothing (a collab with Astro Vintage, who closed their e-store just a few weeks ago), a greater inventory of smalls and larger items like bedroom sets and sectionals, and an on-site workshop where they hope to offer repair and reupholstery services for mid-century furniture.
Look for the move in the next six weeks, after a nuts-to-bolts remodel of the space. Until then, get your mid-century fix with the shop’s huge sales going on right now, like this 1950s telephone table, now 50 percent off.
Photo via Passyunk Post.
I heard whisperings of this many weeks ago, but was hesitant to believe it. After all, Sarah Van Aken seemed fearless, determined to bring some of the industrial luster back to the city, once a major manufacturing hub. Her flagship boutique, SA VA, sold well-constructed garments (all designed and manufactured in her on-site design and garment center, crammed with tables and sewing machines and swatches and rolling racks). Her clothing line, while not necessarily envelope-pushing in its design, was wearable, comfortable, made of easy-wearing fabrics that draped and folded and flattered. I once wore a $3,000 hand-painted, kimono-like silk dress, one of Sarah’s one-off, couture-like pieces, to an event. I adored it, just as I still adore a white cotton sharp-sleeved blazer from her store, with camel-colored faux leather at the turned-up cuffs.
Even if her cute wrap dresses weren’t blazing avant-garde trails, her business foundation was: It was community-funded and socially driven, with ethical business practices, and materials that were responsibly sourced. It was supporting the local economy, and Van Aken served as a beacon of hope for fledgling designers hoping to stay in Philly, and stay true to their made-in-America—made-in-Philly—roots. This magazine pronounced Van Aken a “manufacturing evangelist.” But her tiny, two-level Sansom Street boutique wasn’t the problem. In fact, Van Aken reported to us that this year’s November sales were up 87 percent over last November’s sales. So why shutter a seemingly thriving business?
It seemed to happen in an instant: One day, there was a nail salon at 25 South 19th Street. The next, an impossibly cool men’s shoe store. The owner, Tung To—you might recognize him from Boyd’s; he was in charge of the men’s shoe department for four years—admits it was a quick turnaround. He rallied friends to help build out the store. You’ll see their handiwork in the reclaimed wood shelving, the industrial light fixture overhead, and that salvaged sliding barn door. Everywhere else, you’ll see Tung’s impeccable eye for top-notch, best-you’ll-find-anywhere pieces (honed during his 15 years in Nordstrom’s shoe department): nine top brands of men’s shoes, all—with the exception of Frye—exclusive to Philadelphia; along with luggage and belts and, because no men’s store now is complete without a local artisanal bent, pocket squares and matching fabric lapel pins handcrafted by Tung’s wife.
Keep reading for all the details, a freebie this week only, and more photos.
Finally, I’ve got confirmation that those Uniqlo rumors are true: The Japanese fast-fashion retailer is moving into the Art Institute building (formerly Filene’s Basement) at 1608 Chestnut Street. It’s slated to open in late-spring, early-summer; my source tells me it’s most likely going to open around Memorial Day. I’ve got word that retail kings Michael Salove Company brokered the deal, and that Uniqlo is taking over the entire 40,000-square-foot, four-floor building. How much the company actually ends up retailing out of remains to be seen, but it will be a single-tenant, freestanding Uniqlo building. (Cheer!)
So is this good news?