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Archive for October, 2011

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Natori at Target…Eventually

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Lingerie was not on my shopping list yesterday, but before I picked up my toothpaste and milk at Target, I swung by intimates to check out Josie Natori for Target.

It wasn’t there.

Target’s first limited-edition collection of lingerie and loungewear was scheduled to debut in stores yesterday–a national ad campaign said so. But it wasn’t at some prime Super Target locations yesterday, or today. “Some product was delayed,” Target spokesman Joshua Thomas said Monday. It should be in later this week at around 1,200 Target stores nationwide. The line is available online at

I can’t recall another Target designer collection that was late to arrive–in fact, typically, pieces show up on the floor early. Not a huge controversy, but it does seem an unfortunate glitch on the heels of Missoni for Target, which blew out of stores in hours–an epic success that came at a price: online failures and disappointed shoppers.

ECCO Opening

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Danish shoe brand ECCO, known for stylish comfort, will open its 1,000th store Friday at Mall of America. The store will feature ECCO’s complete line of men’s, women’s, sport, golf and outdoor/performance footwear. The retail space–second level, north side–is inspired by ECCO’s Scandinavian heritage with sleek, modern design. ”We are excited to be entering Mall of America as a true shopping destination for consumers from all over the US and the world,” ECCO USA President Dave Quel said in a statement. The first 50 customers will receive a gift bag with purchase.

St. Paul Salons Head West

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Two popular St. Paul salons announced plans today to open second locations on the west side of town. phresh Salon Spa is opening a full service salon and spa at Shops at West End. That’s the St. Louis Park center’s second Grand Ave.-area get in two weeks, with Primp opening as well). phresh will offer hair, skin, makeup, nail and massage services.

Meanwhile, Root salon is opening a second shop in Linden Hills at the corner of 43rd and Upton–just upstairs from Extrados. Owner Jim Koktavy believes the two will complement each other, with Root’s hair expertise and Extrados’ waxing and spa services. Root plans to open in November.

Black Friday Midnight Madness

Friday, October 28th, 2011

In the constant quest to get shoppers excited and make the evening news, both Target and Mall of America announced today their plans to open at midnight on Black Friday. It actually seems more civilized than 3 or 4 a.m. I’d rather stay up late than crawl out of bed in the middle of the night to shop.

Black Friday hours have been creeping earlier for years. Last year, several chains, including Sears and Gap, were open on Thanksgiving Day. Premium Outlets, including Albertville, has opened at midnight the past few years–creating traffic jams in the process.

Target says the decision to open four hours earlier than last year was based on customer demand. Mall of America has 70 of its 500-plus retailers signed on for the midnight opening. It will be interesting to see what the deals are like: longer hours could actually help retailers create more of a party atmosphere–putting the emphasis on the event of shopping, rather than the blockbuster deals that have become synonymous with Black Friday. But it would have to be a really excellent party. Discounts are the reward for staying up late or rising extra early, and it won’t be easy to change that.

P.S.: Macy’s announced on Monday that its stores will open at midnight on Black Friday as well.

Will you shop at midnight?

A Pierrepont Hicks Collab

Friday, October 28th, 2011

The man who cares enough to wear a Pierrepont Hicks tie needs an equally stylish travel case to keep them fresh. This week marks the debut of the McMillan tie case, a collaboration between leather specialists Moore and Giles and Minneapolis-based neckwear brand Pierrepont Hicks. The zip-around case has two elasticized leather straps to hold up to four ties. The silk fabric interior is a complement to Pierrepont’s first collection of classic silk ties. It features their royal blue and red signature pattern and highland cow logo. The case retails for $185 and is now available for order at or at martinpatrick3. (I totally picture George Clooney’s character in Up in the Air using this case. Okay, fine, I just picture George Clooney in general.)

P.S.: Mark the calendar: Pierrepont is planning a Holiday Pop Up Sale with fellow Minnesota heritage brands Faribault Woolen Mills and J.W. Hulme Co., 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 1, 323 W. 48th St., Mpls.

New Boutiques at 50th & France

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

After 15 years at Gaviidae Common, JV & Company is closing (50 percent off storewide now!). Part-owner and operator Nancy Karason will open the Twin Cities’ first Oska Clothing boutique at 50th & France in the space currently occupied by Gather. Don’t despair—Gather is actually moving to a larger spot up the street under the Arthur Murray Dance Studio after the first of the year. Meanwhile, Oska, a high-end German brand known for quality and comfort, is scheduled to open in March, and will offer a selection of Karason’s other favorite lines as well. Wait, there’s more: Another locally owned women’s apparel and accessories boutique, Suzetra, has leased the spot next to Athleta. No opening date set yet, but Athleta will open in time for Black Friday.

Halloween Inspiration

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Pan Am stewardess costume: retro chic, yet of the moment

Please. You can do better than Sexy Nurse. Or Sexy Witch. Or Sexy Police Officer. Sure, some guys go wild for the paradox, and perhaps the pleather, but those packaged costumes are so obvious. Megan McGuire, owner of Up Six Vintage at Selby and Snelling in St. Paul, spends all year dreaming up clever costumes, and stockpiling the bell bottoms, rompers, Zubaz, go go dresses, tube tops and Hawaiian prints to bring them to life. She can get you dressed as Jackie O, Willy Wonka, Lady GaGa or the cast of Saved By the Bell. Got a better idea? Challenge McGuire–she’s ready for it, with extended hours all week: Noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday; Noon to 8 p.m. Wed.-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Halloween. 157 Snelling Ave., St. Paul, 651-917-0470

Picky Girl Closing

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Picky Girl is closing after five and a half years on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. It’s happening fast: closing sale begins tomorrow, Oct. 25, with 30 percent off storewide. Doors will close for good at 2 p.m. Saturday–if not sooner, depending on remaining inventory. (949 Grand Ave.)

It’s always a shame to see a good local boutique close its doors, and it sounds like this was not an easy decision for owner Elizabeth Varghese, who has truly given it her all, from fashion shows and charitable events to supporting local designers and St. Paul retail. She’s moving on to other ventures, but keeping a toe (fashionable boot, more likely) in retail: Varghese is now the buyer for Details Style Lab, the store within her husband Brian Horst’s downtown St. Paul salon/spa. Horst recently decided to replace men’s fashion with women’s, and Details now offers well-priced sweaters, jackets and more from some Picky Girl lines as well as some of Varghese’s new favorites. Can’t bear to shop without Varghese’s expert advice? She will be available for private appointments and “Picky Parties.”

New arrivals at Details, 346 St. Peter St., St. Paul:

Giambattista Valli for Macy’s

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Sarah Jessica Parker was wearing Giambattista Valli when I interviewed her before her fragrance launch at Macy’s a few years ago. Now the fashionista fave is making his own Macy’s debut on Wednesday, Oct. 26 with a limited edition collection for the Impulse department. It’s dresses, dresses and more party-ready dresses, priced from around $99 to $139. Preview the collection online.

Kiehl’s at MOA

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Kiehl’s is coming! The beloved 160-year-old apothecary brand will open its first Minnesota store next month at Mall of America. The signs are up–first floor, north side.

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