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Archive for the ‘Women's Fashion’ Category

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Joynoelle, In Progress

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Had the privilege of looking in on fashion designer Joy Teiken at work on her next Joynoelle ready-to-wear collection, which she plans to preview in Minneapolis in October before taking it to New York. Custom wedding dresses pay the bills, so RTW is her place to play, create and explore her current mood. At the moment, that’s strong, resilient and independent. Her working theme is “Caged Bird,” but from what I’ve seen, this collection has the potential to fly. It’s ladylike, with an edge: transparent white dresses crisscrossed by black ribbon (underlay to be determined) and dresses with tight bodices and delightfully fluffy, feathered skirts. She intersperses white and black with shots of a deep, wine red. I can’t wait to see the finished pieces next month.

Out of the Allee

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Charm only gets you so far. And apparently, it doesn’t get you down the European-inspired alley at Selby & Snelling in St. Paul to shop Allee Metro Chic. The boutique is planning to move to the former L’atelier Couture space at 493 Selby Ave. That’s closer to co-owner June Berkowitz’s coffee house, Nina’s Cafe. But mostly, it’s out of the alley and visible from the street. Allee hopes to reopen in its new space by Oct. 1.

Oh yes, you caught that part about L’atelier Couture? Here’s a peek at the bridal salon’s fantastic new North Loop space:

Photo by Liz Banfield

Doesn’t it just make you want to be a bride?

L’atelier Couture, 219 N. Second St., Suite 404, Mpls

Christopher & Banks Makeover

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Elastic waist bands: out. Modern and City fits: in. Christopher & Banks has updated its image for fall. It seems even teachers and grandmas were tired of the frog print sweater sets. Silhouettes have been made slimmer; styles, while not trendy, are more in line with current fashions, and the accessories department has been enhanced. Plus-size sister store CJ Banks got a makeover as well. Stop by any location Saturday, Sept. 17 for a fall fashion show featuring the new line. And before you go, print out this week’s Swag Deal: $10 off a $50 purchase at Christopher & Banks, good in store or online through Sunday, Sept. 18.

Christopher & Banks is based in Minneapolis, with 773 stores in 46 states.

After Missoni–Lessons for Target

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Off, into the sunset. Even the $399.99 Missoni bicycle for Target reportedly sold out all units nationwide today.

It’s 9:26 p.m.–a full 16 hours after the limited edition Missioni collection launched on Target.com, and the website is still down. Meanwhile, more than 15,000 items from the Missoni for Target collection are already on eBay, many selling for double the original price. Target is attempting to respond to every angry Tweet sent to @TargetStyle. The retailer says some stores will receive more Missioni in the next few days; online will not. Target spokesman Joshua Thomas spent the day apologizing for the empty racks and online woes, saying traffic was heavier than a typical Black Friday and demand far exceeded expectations. You’d think the fact that a pop-up in New York sold out of its entire stock within six hours last week might have better prepared the company for what happened today.

Now, Target must scramble to fill the space that was earmarked for Missioni for the next six weeks (Xhiliration, anyone? Anyone?). While the stores may experience increased traffic for the next few days from people hoping for more, word spread fast that it’s all gone. Target counts on its designer lines to drive traffic to other departments within the store. If you’re not making an extra trip for Missoni, you’re also not grabbing the inevitable $100 of incidentals. Time will tell if this frenzy actually hurt, more than it helped Target.

So what’s the takeaway?

1. More bandwidth online. Or a beefed up help desk? Basically, don’t test your redesigned website with your most heavily hyped designer collaboration.

2. Make sure marketing matches production. The ads always look amazing. The collections don’t always live up, or in this case, live on. When you’re investing in ads in Vogue and throwing parties at New York Fashion Week, you better be prepared for demand.

3. Thinkfast. It would likely take too long to re-issue, and by that time, the fashion-mob moment will have passed and word will be out on how things actually fit. But perhaps Target could capitalize on the attention by letting desperate shoppers order ahead for certain items to be re-issued, or even vote on select items to bring back. That would stick it to those who immediately tried to sell on eBay, extend the Missoni buzz, and serve as a mea culpa to frustrated customers.

Missoni Mayhem

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

It will likely go down as Target’s most successful designer partnership ever: the limited edition Missoni for Target collection hit stores this morning….and sold out most places before 10 a.m. Meanwhile, Target.com was down for around three hours (intentional, or overcrowded?). As of 11 a.m., there are (or were) still pieces available online – women’s, girls and home – if you can get through. Don’t expect the racks to be restocked–historically, when Target’s designer collections are gone, they’re gone.

Who knew we loved Missoni this much? I think a couple of factors fueled this morning’s shopping frenzy. 1. Great timing, with the collection coming out during New York Fashion Week. Last week’s Missoni for Target preview in New York got a lot of media attention, with A-list editors like Nina Garcia gushing about it on Twitter. 2. It looks legit. Missoni has such a distinct style, and the Target items reflect that.

So. That’s that. You might need a Dramamine to get through the skyway the rest of the week, what with all those zigzag prints coming and going.

MK in MN

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Michael Kors opened Friday at Mall of America, first level, outside Bloomingdale’s. The store is shiny and sleek, but smaller than I imagined and more like Coach than I expected. The focus is on bags – and there are lots worth coveting. Clothes were relegated to the back corner, and all from the more affordable Michael Michael Kors collection. Don’t get me wrong – those are the pieces I can afford and they look great, but I’d probably shop for them first at Macy’s, where they’re likely to be on sale. I was expected a broader brand experience from MK’s first Minnesota store. The only items from the high-end Collection are a few bags. Perhaps MK is just being practical. Clearly, the company has some faith in this market – a second Michael Kors store will open at Southdale in November.

Athleta Picks MN Location

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Fitness over food! There’s been much speculation about what would take the place of Ann Taylor Loft at the coveted southwest corner of 50th & France. Several local boutiques looked at the space, but couldn’t afford it, and there was some talk about a restaurant. I’m happy to report that upscale fitness brand Athleta is taking the spot. Nothing against the food industry – I just think 50th already has a robust dining scene, and adding another store–especially one new to the Twin Cities–makes this shopping district even more desirable. It’s also nice to see a chain pick a neighborhood location over a mall.

Known primarily for its catalog/website, Athleta was purchased by Gap Inc. in 2008 and is now aggressively opening stores, with eight to 10 openings nationwide planned for this year. (Watch out, Lululemon–and at 50th, Title Nine.) Athleta offers chic active apparel for yoga, hiking, golf, triathlon, travel, and more. Coming soon to 5001 France Ave. S., Mpls.

Houndstooth in Eden Prairie

Monday, August 29th, 2011

If you can make it selling upscale fashion in Savage, then Eden Prairie should be a breeze. Popular women’s boutique Houndstooth has opened a second location near Eden Prairie Center. It’s a huge, raw space bordered by racks featuring Current/Elliott, Hudson and J Brand jeans, flowy tops by Joie and Alice + Olivia, and flats and wedges by Sam Edelman. Owner Amber Toste is planning to bring in some higher end lines specifically for the Eden Prairie location, including 3.1 Phillip Lim and Alice Temperley. I think the local ladies are going to love this boutique, once they find it (across the lot from the mall, past the McDonald’s, near Party City) in the maze that is Eden Prairie. 582 Prairie Center Drive #223, Eden Prairie, 952.261.2974


New Boutique: Juniper

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Yes, you can expect a finely tuned boutique experience without paying a premium. Introducing Juniper, now open at Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove. From whimsical dresses to gauzy crewnecks, you’ll find fresh looks—mostly priced less than $100. Perfect for the shopper ready to graduate from American Eagle, or the Anthropologie girl who wants to save a few bucks. Plus: check out the locally made art on the walls and accessories table.

Temporary Designer Outlet

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Stacey Finnegan is going offline to clear out excess inventory from her new online retail venture, Zinqstyle.com. She’s opened a temporary designer outlet in the old Shorty’s Loft space near Trader Joe’s in St. Louis Park. Get 60 to 80 percent off brands like Hale Bob, Rock and Republic Eva Franco and Fidelity Denim. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday; Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The outlet will be open through Sept. 11. 4590 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park

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