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Ali Shops Blog

Archive for July, 2009

What makes us believe clothes should fit off the rack? We all curve in different places and clothes that fit – by design, not accident - are so much more flattering, no matter what your size or shape. Heimie's Haberdasheryowner AnthonyAndler gets that. So he's developing a line of classic women's apparel, casual and suiting, intended to be tailored to fit in the store. The Heimie's women's brand will launch in October. Until then, custom apparel for men and women is always available – and not necessarily as expensive as you may think.

Oilily mystery solved

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

I've been getting questions about the abrupt closing a few weeks ago of Galleria child/mommy clothing store Oilily, known for its funky style and considerable prices. The Galleria store was one of eight nationwide to close unexpectedly when the company filed for bankruptcy. (Twenty-five remain open as the retailer attempts to restructure its operation.) The closing caught Galleria execs off guard, too. They wouldn't comment. It's now in the hands of lawyers.

Designer Marketplace coming to Woodbury

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Designer Marketplace, a popular high-end closeout furniture store in downtown Minneapolis, is setting its sights on under-furnished McMansions to the east. The retailer will open a 26,000 showroom (that's big) at Tamarack Village in Woodbury on Aug. 15. (They're starting with a four-month lease to make sure the market is "responsive" in this economy, but hope to make this a permanent fixture.) Like in Minneapolis, the Woodbury Designer Marketplace will be filled with brand name closeout, discontinued and custom returned furniture from showrooms at International Market Square and around the country.

Hard work doesn’t always pay off

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Il Vostro Boutique at 50th & France is closing Aug. 14. What's most troubling about this particular boutique closing is that owner Stacey Finnegan, a former Best Buy exec and savvy entrepreneur, worked tirelessly to make her store a success. She participated in local fashion shows (often at her own expense), she hosted trunk shows and in-store parties and ran sales and offered extra discounts to her best customers. When it was clear that she needed to spend more time in the store herself, she did that, and always was available to help.
I think Il Vostro suffered from a fashion point of view that was a bit
to narrow in its appeal. But perhaps, given the times, the bigger issue was pricepoint. Even among those who liked the look, not
many are willing to pay boutique prices today. Even in Edina.
"I have no regrets about the risks I took and the jobs I created," Finnegan said in a statement today. "This is not a failure of the brand or the concept, but a sign of greater economic forces that are out of our control.”

And this guy is…

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Roberthoffman Really tall. And cute. He's Robert Hoffman and he graciously played second fiddle to Ashley Tisdale at Mall of America on Thursday. They star together in the not-yet-released-but-probably-quick-to-be-forgotten "Aliens in the Attic." Hoffman's big screen claim to fame is "Step Up 2: The Streets." But that could soon change: He told me cryptically (his agent was nearby) that music is in his near future. "In the comedy realm. It's a big thing I'm producing with MTV." If it's major, you heard it here first. If not, forget this ever happened.
Either way, Hoffman seems like a gentleman and I hope his handlers let him shop a little at MOA – he really wanted some new skater shoes.

Ashley Tisdale works it

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

IMG_3656 Never would Sharpay be seen in public sans makeup, but "High School Musical" actress Ashley Tisdale didn't seem to mind that fans were already lined up when she sauntered in to Mall of America at 8:30 a.m. Thursday for a sound check with nothing on her face but shades. Getting her glammed up (Janelle from Juut at Southdale helped) for her 11 a.m. concert, followed by a screening of her new movie "Aliens in the Attic" apparently took long enough that la Tisdale had NOTIME to hit even one store with me. (Too bad, I might have suggested a top that would have revealed a bit less of her black bra. You can try to go rock – but the 5-year-old fans bring you back to pop. The mismatched bracelets and biker boots were cool.) If she had walked the corridors rather than the secret hallways of MOA, she likes Urban Outfitters.

Siji Kids closing

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Siji Kids, recently abandoned by Picky Girl and Flirt at the not-quite-great intersection of Grand and Hamline
in St. Paul, is closing Aug. 3. It's too bad – Macy and Kyle Johnson
have a great aesthetic and a passion for improving St. Paul. But
running a boutique is tough business – yes, the economy, but
especially, I think, with kids apparel. The grandparent demo just isn't
enough of a market for the pricier clothes that parents know will end
up muddied and ripped. I like my boys to look cute and try to avoid the
Old Navy uniform, but I had to leaveSiji empty handed many a time
because I just couldn't bring myself to buy a $40 shirt or $50 pants
for a 4-year-old. Still, I loved them being there. I know it's not
enough – thus, the end result. See Sales/Specials for closing sale details.

It’s raining men

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Here are some of the finalists from tonight's One Man Minneapolis competition – one more charming than the next. The guy front and center, Minneapolis police officer Mark Klukow, took the title of "The Man" and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak was there to present him with $5,000 and another $1,000 for Klukow's favorite charity, the PEACE Foundation.
Organizers tried to keep the focus on community involvement, but clearly there wasn't a dog in the bunch. While they skipped a swimsuit competition (no fair), the final five did don fitted workout wear. Plus, popular KARE 11 weatherman Sven Sundgaard made a cameo in a fitted black polo to show off his buff and bronze biceps (got to give what the crowd demands).
See more of the men in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Tuesday, July 21. Photographer Chris Polydoroff (who took this shot) and I had to document this red carpet – it could very well be the first ever gathering of Minnesota men that did not include even one plaid flannel or pair of pleated Dockers. Hallelujah!

Bootylicious redefined

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Oh my.
St. Paul Pioneer Press photographer Chris Polydoroff took a lot of fantastic photos at the Beyonce concert last night, but none quiet as, shall we say, spellbinding as this one, captured outside the Target Center.
Where, oh where to begin?
How about with applause for confidence. These ladies tried. They wanted to show their sexy. They showed that…and a few too many other things.
Hold the giggles. There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for this situation. Stylists tell us again and again, on every cable channel, that hiding our curves only makes us look bigger.
This is a fashion lesson taken too literally. Clothes should fit. Yes, not too big. But not too small either. Leave a little something to the imagination. Times two.

FREE Estee Lauder Night Repair

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Esteenightrepair Plan to swing by an Estee Lauder counter – anywhere, nationwide – from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 23 for a free seven-day sample of the New Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex (you'll be required to recite that name three times, fast. kidding, but really – do they think a longer name makes it sound more important?). Estee Lauder will hand out 250,000 samples of this longtime favorite, which has been reworked with something called Chronolux Technology to protect the skin and repair visible damage. A 1-ounce jar of the new cream will sell for $47.50. | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved