Listen up, expecting mamas: Destination Maternity has relocated from its Walnut Street shop into a new 2,300-square-foot storefront in Shops at Liberty Place. To celebrate the big move, the shop is having a grand opening event this Saturday, November 22nd. And it’s totally worth checking out.
Philly is already home to a pretty impressive import shopping scene (see: Morihata, Millésimé, Via Bellissima, Omoi Zakka Shop and Curio Philadelphia). But today, our cluster of global-centric shops gets a boost thanks to My Little Redemption, a brand-new boutique in Old City that specializes in high-end Israeli designers, and a major shopping event at South Street’s Morcoccan boutique Mushmina.
Following recent major store openings like Century 21, Nordstrom Rack, and Timberland, we thought the Center City retail hurricane would be calming down for a bit. Not so. Remember when we got word in August that Philly-based lifestyle brand Ellelauri was trading in their pop-up digs in Shops at Liberty Place for a brick-and-mortar boutique in Rittenhouse? Well, the shop is opening its doors tonight and they’re inviting everyone to a grand opening event. Live on, retail hurricane!
When I heard that Timberland was coming to Walnut Street, I was less than excited. I wasn’t even moved when the press reps referred to the store with words like ‘lifestyle,’ ‘concept,’ ‘revamped,’ ‘luxe.’ Luxe, I scoffed. Timberland is the tan work boots that J.Lo wore. Timberland is not luxe.
And then I went to the opening party and ate my words (along with very good hors d’eouvres butlered by handsome woodsy-looking guys).
The rugged, industrial store, sandwiched between Bluemercury and Stuart Weitzman, is packed with shoes (mostly in the back of the store), clothes (men and women, though there are more men’s things here), and accessories. (Who knew Timberland made cute little bags? They do!)
I shopped around, and here’s what I found that you should add to your shopping lists now. (Psst: It includes a $1,000 men’s leather jacket, from their “Premium Collection.” Timberland makes $1,000 leather jackets!)
First, there was the announcement, then the preview, then the members-only shopping, and now‚ finally, the opening. Well, first, there’s the ribbon-cutting at 11am this morning. But then, then, my friends, Century 21 will officially be open to the public.
After reporting on all the details of the brand-new Century 21 store in the Gallery (I was led around by a very friendly PR rep), I returned to the store as a shopper. A press tour or event doesn’t show you how long dressing room lines are, how efficient the check-out process is, and how helpful—and friendly—store clerks are. And this is need-to-know information.
So I popped back in last Friday afternoon around 4pm to do some, ahem, recon. And, okay, fine, to check on a pair of shoes that I’d put on hold during my original non-shopping press tour (I cannot help myself).
This week has been a whirlwind of store openings, parties and previews. The ones generating the most buzz are Century 21 and Nordstrom Rack (see my reviews and sneak peeks of each here and here). But, lest we forget, there are two other stores opening their doors today: Timberland in Rittenhouse, and Frey Boutique in Newtown Square.
Yesterday, the new Nordstrom Rack on Chestnut Street hosted an invitation-only event for guest to preview the store and shop before the doors officially open to the public at 9am this morning. (And the doors have opened, letting in a sea of people who stood in line while a DJ played outside. A colleague sent over the above pic; before 9am, the line already snaked down by Di Bruno Bros. Meanwhile, “workers in fluorescent green shirts were massed inside — looked like a last-minute pep talk,” he said.)
You need a plan of action, guys. Last night, the place was mobbed, and it’s going to stay that way for at least a few days. If you want to avoid a crowd, stay away until at least Monday. If you’re determined to brave the shopping frenzy (my hat is tipped to you), keep reading for the best pieces to nab now, and a quick guide to where to find everything.
A few weeks ago, we got a sneak peek at the new Goorin Bros. on Walnut Street. To recap: the shop was fantastically old-timey and I became a hat convert. (This was very exciting on a personal level.)
Now, to celebrate the shop’s grand opening, the coolest haberdashery in Philly is throwing a shindig tonight. And more importantly, it’s your opportunity to get “hatted” by one of the shop’s headwear whisperers.
I got the chance to pop over to the Gallery’s new—and long-awaited—anchor store, Century 21, before the store celebrates its opening party tonight. (Its soft opening is tomorrow, but the store will only be open for registered C21 status members through Sunday, October 26th. More on how you can get on that list later!) There was a buzzy, electric energy there this morning as visual designers—who’ve camped out at Philly hotels this entire week, and pulled insanely long nights at the store—shopkeeps, managers, PR reps and construction guys whipped about, bringing in displays, sweeping up dust, polishing and cleaning and arranging merchandise. It was the calm before the storm, like the hours before a wedding.
The store itself is palatial: 100,000 square feet spread out over two floors. This makes for a meandering shopping experience—upstairs, we started in the children’s section (tiny Oscar de la Renta dresses and Vince tops), which leads into homewares (Jonathan Adler and Le Creuset!), then luggage (Tumi, Victorinox), then menswear (Kenneth Cole, Bill Blass, Armani, English Laundry) and mens accessories. Then we snaked through hosiery (Wolford tights!), past activewear (including a full yoga display), and ended up in women’s, where I pounced on an embellished neoprene MSGM coat (around $200; it will be mine). Other enviable names on major sale here: Pucci, Missoni, Y-3, Giambattista Valli, Milly and DVF.