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Archive for July, 2011

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Roaming for Bargains

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Nothing like a moving sale to bring in shoppers (oh, the irony). Roam, 813 Glenwood Ave., Minneapolis, has cleared out a ton of merchandise in the last couple of weeks, but great deals on contemporary furnishings and accessories remain – and they’re about to get better. Another round of markdowns will be taken Wednesday, bringing everything to 50 to 70 percent off. It’s a great chance to get discounts on current Alessi accessories, which rarely go on sale (like this watch, which I could not resist). Some larger pieces remain – sofas, dining tables, lamps – including a few from Ligne Roset. Roam will close at its current location by mid-August and will reopen in Uptown in September.

Superdry USA Opening at MOA

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Hot British retailer Superdry USA will open Friday, July 29 at Mall of America offering fashion for women and men that fuses British tailoring, vintage Americana style and hand-drawn Japanese-inspired graphics. Think graphic tees, plaid lumberjack shirts, rugged outerwear and a vintage thrift collection for women. Superdry hit the U.S. just two years ago; MOA is the eighth U.S. location – first in the Midwest. The first 50 customers on Friday will receive a $25 in-store voucher valid opening weekend.

Now Open: Paper Hat

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

South Minneapolis loves its local shops, so here’s hoping Paper Hat can pick up where Inizio left off at 50th & Penn. Greta Norlander’s sunny boutique is filled with artisan made gifts: jewelry, scarves, retro aprons, bath and body. I liked finding things I haven’t seen everywhere, like belts made of men’s ties sewn together.

Sprinkled among the useful items are decorative pieces – paintings, prints and pottery – that make for budget-conscious opportunities to dip a toe into art collecting.

Even if you have a favorite gift store, this one is worth a look. Don’t let the busy intersection stop you – it’s fine to park in the Broder’s lot.

2309 W. 50th St., Minneapolis

Len Opening at MOA

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Fast-moving Twin Cities retailer Len Druskin will open one of its more affordably priced Len stores at Mall of America later this summer in a spot near Nordstrom.

“We are very excited to join the great roster of retailers at MOA,” says CEO Michael Druskin.

This will be the fourth Len store (the others are at Southdale, Rosedale and City Center) and the company’s ninth store overall in the Twin Cities. Druskin hinted at the possibility of yet another Len opening in October. While Len Druskin’s Galleria flagship continues to push higher end fashion for men and women, it’s the Len “style and savings” concept that seems to have legs.

Another Minnesotan on Project Runway

Friday, July 15th, 2011

When we gathered a group of up and coming Twin Cities designers for an April 2011 spring fashion feature in MplsSt.Paul Magazine, Danielle Everine was not the one I would have pegged as Minnesota’s next Project Runway contestant. Not that she isn’t talented – in fact, we chose Everine’s own design over a similar, sheer dress by Robert Rodriguez for her magazine shot (above). Everine, a Target intimates designer, struck me as quiet and cerebral. Throughout the shoot, she talked about approaching fashion through the eyes of a fine arts major. Her experience at Target exposed her to the commercial side of the business, of course, but even as she pursued apparel design as a profession, rather than strictly an art form, Everine maintained a certain purity and clarity about her work. Every piece has a story; every element a purpose. That depth could make her a compelling dark horse on TV…or she could be overshadowed by the wise guys in the workroom. We’ll be watching! Project Runway Season 9 premieres July 28 on Lifetime.

Parmida Home Signs at West End

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Parmida Home, a rapidly expanding home decor chain new to the Twin Cities, has signed at lease at the Shops at West End.

It brings in a new category to West End, and will take up a considerable chunk of real estate:  The 11,000-square-foot store is expected to open across from RAZE in Spring 2012.

“It’s great to bring in another unique, first to the Twin Cities, retailer to the Shops at West End,” senior property manager Michael Landstad said in a statement.

According to Parmida’s website, the store offers wine and cheese accessories, imported coffees and teas, bath and body, kitchen accessories, candles, gourmet and gifts with furniture and decor for a variety of tastes, from formal to beach house.

Parmida has seven stores in Texas, Colorado, Missouri, Ohio and suburban Chicago.

These Boots Are Made for Buyin’

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

This never happens. The desert boots everyone was coveting at our Mpls.St.Paul Magazine fall fashion shoot were the most affordable pair of shoes on set…by hundreds. Mossimo, $24.99! Coming soon, to a Target near you. Stylist Liz Doyle was so excited, she splurged on $6 lavender Benjo’s laces.

Baby! New stores at Woodbury Lakes

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Forget women’s fashion. Woodbury Lakes is finally targeting the eastern suburb’s more influential demographic: BABIES! A local baby boutique and a national baby retailer new to Minnesota will open at the lifestyle center in the coming weeks.

buybuyBaby, a competitor to Babies ‘r Us with perhaps a more stylish edge, is building a 28,000 store at Woodbury Lakes that will offer the full range of baby needs from car seats and strollers to cribs, toys and clothing. Check it out online. buybuyBaby was acquired by Bed, Bath & Beyond in 2007. The store will open this fall.

But first, butters & beans (pictured). the eco-friendly baby apparel brand designed by local mom Ann Evans, is opening its first boutique at Woodbury Lakes on July 21. Beyond its own line, the boutique will offer other local lines like Pop Frocks and national boutique brands including Tea Collection – plus accessories, bedding, toys, gifts and more. (Stop by 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 22 for the grand opening, including a performance by Tim Mahoney).

Of course, mom’s needs haven’t been entirely forgotten. Proven magnet Hot Mama is also opening next month at Woodbury Lakes.

There’s a reason for this sudden burst of focused momentum from the center that has struggled to draw tenants and shoppers: RED Development. The company that originally developed Woodbury Lakes – and the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove – is back at the helm and clearly making smart decisions about what will play well to east suburban residents. They already brought on Charming Charlie accessories super-store as well.

Drama at 50th & France

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Uptown boutique Drama is taking over BluePeg’s space at 50th & France. Drama owner Courtney Smallbeck, who has defied odds and a prior move from Gaviidae Common to Lagoon Avenue, says many of her regular customers live in Edina and South Minneapolis, and appreciate both the energy of 50th, and the free parking. Drama offers trend-right fashions for both the office and a night on the town, from local and national designers – mostly priced between $60 and $110.

The move will happen in early August, after BluePeg’s planned Aug. 4 closing. I happened to walk in to BluePeg yesterday, just as owner Adam Tischler was getting set to go public with the news. He seemed genuinely broken up about it. The store had a cool, masculine look and hip merchandise for the casual guy who cares…trouble is, not enough do – especially at $100-plus for jeans or a shirt. I know my husband would sooner go naked than pay for premium brands, and while I complain that his Gap jeans are too baggy, I haven’t upgraded him. His savings are mine to spend. Especially at 50th & France, with so many great women’s boutiques. Sorry, Adam.

BluePeg’s going out of business sale starts this weekend at 4946 France Ave.

New: Gracious Home

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Gracious Home, a new home furnishings/interior design studio is now open in downtown Wayzata. “Fresh” is the word owner Kristi Patterson uses to describe her look, which mixes traditional elements with modern touches and the occasional animal print. Patterson, who had been working in home staging and always dreamed of opening a store, wants to nudge Minnesotans ever-so-slightly beyond big and beige. Everything on the inviting sales floor, including small gifts, is grab and go, but she also offers a range of furniture and fabrics for custom order, plus design services from full projects to color consultations to accessorizing. 775 E. Lake St., Wayzata, 952-476-2406

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