Zara’s Holocaust Shirt, Urban’s Kent State Sweatshirt: Offensive Clothing Is the Retail Version of a Sex Tape

Offensive-Clothing

From left: Zara children’s shirt, Urban ‘Eat Less’ top, Urban Kent State sweatshirt, Urban ‘Depression’ top.

Well, they got what they wanted.

We’re talking about them, just as we talked, over and over and over again, about American Apparel, which filled store windows with mannequins sprouting giant clouds of pubic hair; about Zara, which sold a children’s shirt that eerily remsembled those worn by concentration camp prisoners; about MAC, which once tried to name a nail polish collection after a town in Mexico known for the countless number of women raped and murdered there, without police response.

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Opening Night at the New Joan Shepp

JOAN-SHEPP-OPENING-NIGHT-14-5589-Layfayette-Kanard-Joan-Shepp-Ellen-Shepp-Arthur-Kisrch-940x540

Wednesday night Joan Shepp officially opened her new store at 1811 Chestnut Street. The trailblazing Shepp’s flagship store was on Walnut Street for nearly two decades before it was chased from Philadelphia’s Rodeo Drive by rising rents. Joan Shepp then headed for the posh Shops at Liberty Place; although it was very lovely, she yearned for a storefront with the glorious window displays that we’d all grown to love. She’s found that in the beautiful new 9,000-square-foot showroom she now calls home.

Joan and daughter Ellen Shepp attract a fashionable crowd to their store, which carries both men’s and women’s clothing, and houses an array of designer labels including Moschino, Balenciaga, Jil Sander,  Rick Owens and Phillip Lim. The crowd at the opening night party was just as eclectic and fabulous.  There were live models in the window facing Chestnut Street, and earlier in the night Mike Jerrick, and new co-host Alex Holley from Fox 29 modeled.

Food was provided by all the Starr restaurants, and over a 1,000 macarons were made by Parc restaurant’s pastry chef. Denise Fike created a mural of guests who attended the soiree, as models roamed the store’s three rooms and outdoor space with the latest fall collections.

Photos from Joan Shepp’s Opening Night after the jump »

Breaking University City Retail News

The image used to market the space. Via LoopNet.

The image used to market the space. Via LoopNet.

The bad news: Rittenhouse’s Hello World and Wash West’s Hello Home are closing. The good news: They’re combining to open a “lifestyle” store (also called Hello World) at 3610 Sansom Street—which is right near another so-called “lifestyle” store, Urban Outfitters. Only Urban isn’t accessible via the Penn Bookstore. Do we hear the sound of tooth-gnashing at the Navy Yard?

Shoppist’s Emily Goulet spoke with the owner of both stores, who worked with Michael Salove Company on the UCity real estate deal. He gave her more great news, like the opening of another store dedicated to midcentury furniture. But I won’t say any more! Go here for all the details:

BREAKING: Hello World and Hello Home are Combining Into One Huge University City Lifestyle Store [Shoppist]

Conversations of Style: UNIQLO CEO Larry Meyer Talks Fashion and Philly Expansion

Uniqlo3This morning, UNIQLO officially opened its KOP doors in fabulous global fashion. Traditional Japanese taiko drummers took the stage at 5pm—lining up in front of the store and playing every hour until closing time (they’ll be there all weekend, too, starting at noon!). The brand’s U.S. CEO, Larry Meyer, came to town for the opening—and to check on the progress of the Chestnut Street store (more on that next week).

Shoppist spoke with him about the state of malls in general (“There is something to be said about community and socializing, even if you can buy things online. People still go to the movies even though you can watch everyone on TV. I’m not worried about it at this point”), where he gets his shoes (“I like the Italians”), and what sets UNIQLO apart from other inexpensive “fast-fashion” retailers (“constant innovation”).

But then we got down to the basics: What makes this major fashion executive tick? What inspires him and—most importantly—is his closet also organized like a UNIQLO store? It’s our first installment of Conversations of Style, in which we pose six questions to the most stylish people we know.

Keep reading here.

Video: Mega Malls and High-End Malls Are Doing Just Fine, Thank You

Solar powered Shake Shack opens in King of Prussia.

An outpost of the New York-based trendy burger chain Shake Shack opened at the King of Prussia Mall last year — with a solar panel-covered roof.

Since 2007, 400 malls in the U.S. have closed. Now comes the filing of bankruptcy protection from both Quiznos and Sbarro, and that’s after the partial demise of mall anchor tenants like JC Penney and Sears. From Yahoo Finance:

A decade ago there were more than 1,100 enclosed shopping malls in the U.S. Since then more than 400 have either been “re-purposed” or closed outright. No new malls have been completed since at least 2009.

Onetime mall devotees like Shoppist editor Emily Goulet are now mall escapees. Of the Oxford Valley Mall, she writes:

It’s dirty. It’s depressing. …The quality of stores has gone down, way down… The stores that remain need a facelift, too. Dressing rooms are in desperate need of a paint job, racks are horrifically disorganized, and everyone just looks like they want to go home. Even the clothes, which sag limply from hangers and hang off the arms of chipped mannequins that look like they’re from about 1987.

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Morning Headlines: Two Local Kmart Locations Will Close

Bye Bye, Big-K! Photo courtesy of Google Street View

Bye Bye, Big K!
Photo courtesy of Google Street View

Yesterday morning, based on a tip from an employee, we broke the news that the Kmart at the Gallery was going to close. Today the Business Journal sounds another Kmart death knell: the location in the Northeast will close as well.

The Gallery location’s closure comes at the cost of 120 employees, who will still have their jobs when liquidation sales begin Sunday, February 9th. Even more to look forward to are PREIT’s choices for new retailers: Will they be high-end, or Forever 21?
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Morning Headlines: PREIT Sees Possibility in JCPenney Closure

Screen shot of JCPenney at Exton Square Mall via Google Street View

Screen shot of JCPenney at Exton Square Mall via Google Street View

JCPenney will be shutting down 33 of its department stores, one of which is located at the Exton Square Mall. However, it looks like the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), the mall’s current owner since 2003, is seeing this as a “when one door closes, another opens” moment.

PREIT has a strong track record in redevelopment of its malls (Cherry Hill, Moorestown, and perhaps, the Gallery?) so the soon-to-be-free 118,00-square-foot space will actually allow the company to re-envision Exton as a retail draw.

PREIT CEO Joseph Cordiano told the Philadelphia Business Journal:

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Will Anthropologie Leave Rittenhouse Square? [UPDATED]

UPDATE: A reliable source tells us that Anthropologie just re-signed, and will, in fact, be staying on.

The circa-1897 Fell-Van Rensselaer building — or as most refer to it, “the Anthropologie building” at 18th and Walnut — was put on the market this summer. At the time, the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni said the estimated price could go as high as $40 million. She also noted that Anthropologie, the upscale Urban Outfitters brand, had a “sweet deal” — $14 per square foot.

Indeed, that’s practically cavity-inducing. Jacob Cooper, vice president of MSC, estimates that the market rent for the 25,000-square-foot space on a blended basis — first, second, and third floors combined –would be between $70 and $90 a foot, particularly considering the nontraditional layout of the property.

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