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Ali Shops Blog

Posts Tagged ‘edina’

No longer on the fringe

Monday, April 20th, 2009

The former Melly space at 50th & France won't sit vacant for long. Hopkins accessories store Fringe plans to open a second location there on May 21. The focus will be the same: trendy accessories at affordable prices, but whereas the high end in Hopkins is $65, at 50th, a broader assortment will range from $15 to $150. This is Edina, after all. (I'm hoping they step up the ambiance a bit as well.)

Lhuillier_470-1 Make me a bridesmaid! Monique Lhuillier is introducing bridesmaid dresses that could make any girl forget the hassles of planning a shower. Eight styles, available in a variety of colors, range in price from $275 to $340. Get the first look on Friday, April 15. The Lhuillier salon at 50th & France will be the only store in the country to carry the bridesmaid collection (also available online).

Why don’t we shop downtown?

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

From the moment StyledLife opened at the Galleria in Edina, the days seemed numbered for the boutique's original location at Gaviidae Center. Indeed, AliShops.com broke the news today that StyledLife will close its downtown Minneapolis store at the end of the month (see Sales/Specials for closing sale details). SL owner Kevin Quinn has been a big proponent of downtown shopping and I know he really wanted to hang on, but it just wasn't financially feasible – and I don't think the current state of the economy is the only factor. I know I've visited SL at the Galleria more times in the few months since its opening than I did at Gaviidae in the last year. I feel bad about that – I want to live in a city with a thriving downtown district, but the reality is, the 'burbs are easy and Galleria is really inviting. I also feel bad for Gaviidae because they've really been trying to champion the small boutique and do their best to create an interesting, unique shopping mix. They've also done what they can to make downtown shopping more appealing, by waiving parking fees and hosting events. Of course there are still plenty of reasons to go to Gaviidae – FinnStyle, Drama, Off Fifth, to name a few. But StyledLife was clearly a point of pride for the center, and the kind of stand-out, luxury boutique that should be able to thrive in downtown Minneapolis. It's a shame, all around.

Things that make you go hmmm…

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Just months after opening at the Galleria in Edina, StyledLife is planning a bigger and better Galleria flagship. Locations are still being considered, owner Kevin Quinn tells me, but he plans to open the store by fall. Meanwhile, the semi-annual sale which was supposed to end Feb. 23 continues at the Gaviidae Common StyledLife in downtown Minneapolis, no spring arrivals are on display and the Laffy Taffy is down to an ashtray-sized bowl of apple only. Quinn isn't commenting. Draw your own conclusions – and take advantage of the jewelry, scarves, belts and handbags at 50 to 70 percent off!   

Amid a flurry of local boutique openings (in case you’ve fallen behind on your AliShops.com reading: Belle Reve, OPM, Pursecution, Eco-tique), there are some new chains to shop as well. Canadian-based Garage is now open at Mall of America (first floor, North side) featuring trendy fashions for teen girls (stop by from 1 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 18 for a fashion show, celeb makeovers, music and prizes). And on France Avenue in Edina where the Centennial Lakes theaters used to stand, West Elm is scheduled to open Thursday, Oct. 9 and the Container Store will follow on Saturday, Oct. 11. Check Sales/Specials for details on the Container Store’s opening festivities.

Coach coup

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

If you’re getting bored with the same ol’ Coach assortment, try the Galleria location, which was just upgraded to a “fashion store.” That means they’ll be carrying higher priced and more exclusive bags, jewelry and watches. You won’t find that merchandise at other Coach stores in the Twin Cities.

Gaga for Gulbis

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Nataliegulbis
Now I understand why guys are so excited about the U.S. Women’s Open, taking place this weekend at Interlachen Country Club in Edina. Natalie Gulbis. She’s the hottie on the course: long, blond hair, killer long legs that she loves to flaunt in skirts up to there, and, unlike Anna Kournikova, she has a win to her credit.
Am I impressing you with my vast golfing knowledge? Well, it ends there. But I can tell you Natalie’s favorite jeans: True Religion. I got a crash course in all things Gulbis this week when the sports department at the Pioneer Press asked if I’d write something "fun and fashiony" about the Open. Paula Kraemer wouldn’t talk to me about her penchant for pink. Jennifer Rosales didn’t return my calls. But girly golfer Natalie Gulbis was happy to trade her Adidas for Dior stilettos to go shopping with me at the Galleria. We met at BCBG which happens to be one of her favorite stores because everything fits her so well (um, does anything not fit a body like that? "I have an athletic build," she complains). She likes dresses (Shorter the better. If I had legs like hers, I’d feel the same) because you put one on and you’re good to go. Outfits are too much trouble (and too cumbersome, perhaps?). When she’s on the road, she picks a color scheme – this trip, it’s black and gold. She won’t even buy something that doesn’t coordinate. She liked the bags at Pumpz & Company, although not as much as the Chanel she was carrying, which was a gift from a friend. (I’m really hanging with the wrong crowd.) She tried on an Anna Sui dress at Arafina, but didn’t buy. As much as she loves fashion, she loves having a stylist. She asked me if belts are still in style. As for feeling in her element when she attended Fashion Week earlier this year, she said "heck no!," which was rather charming coming from someone who looks like she could step onto a runway. In other Gulbis gossip: she and ex Ben Roethlisberger are on good terms and Natalie is single. Try not to drool. Read more about my shopping excursion with Natalie and see a video clip at www.twincities.com.

50th and France is having a moment

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Recently I asked one of the owners of Bluebird Boutique how she felt about the arrival of Bumbershute, which could be perceived as competition for the designer dollar. "Great," she said, and I’m inclined to believe her logic – "now her Wayzata customers have reason to shop at 50th and France. The more the merrier." Indeed, power in numbers was on the mind of Bumbershute owner Kathryn Paulsrud when she made the big move. She figured 50th is more of a regional draw. And becoming more so every day. Nani Nalu made the move from Ridgedale Center to 50th. Priscilla of Boston, like Monique Lhuillier, picked it for its first Twin Cities store. And the latest announcement: St. Paul destination boutique Stephanie’s will open a second store at 50th in August – the same month the Bluebird girls will debut their accessories store, Ladyslipper Boutique. 50th has always been a distinguished address, but lately, there’s an undeniable energy as the shopping district proves itself to be the destination for boutique shopping in the Twin Cities with a well rounded mix of styles and price points (plus great places to eat and drink). If you want to impress your out-of-town fashionista friends, there’s no question where to take them.

Galleria news

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

The former Fitigues space at Galleria won’t remain dark much longer. Uber Baby has signed a lease to take over the spot, just down the hall from its new Expecting Uber Baby maternity store. For those who haven’t been to the original Uber Baby store on Lyndale in Minneapolis, it’s a hipster baby boutique that shuns traditional pink and blue fare in favor of clothes, accessories and gear with some attitude. Not cheap, but definitely more in the realm of reality than, say, Oh Baby!, which no longer has the corner on upscale baby clothes at Galleria.

Stylish women like office supplies

Friday, July 20th, 2007

I stopped by the Summer Salsa Party last night at Russell + Hazel’s flagship store at 44th and France in Edina. The place was packed with extremely well-dressed women. This was not the jeans-and-lingerie top crowd. Most of the women, who looked to be professionals in their 30s to 50s, were wearing chic pantsuits or playful dresses with killer heels. And free margaritas weren’t the only draw – these girls were buying! The 20 percent off store-wide discount was enough for me to finally pick up the clear acrylic address holder I’ve been eying for some time. So much more attractive than a bulky black Rolodex. The sleek desks and colorful paper sets inspire more than an organized office — it’s the organized lifestyle we’re all seeking, where everything seems so tidy and modern. Locally based Russell + Hazel, sold nationally, treats office supplies like a fashion statement (introducing a new color palate every season), and clearly, people respond. I couldn’t help thinking that if Alfred’s – the former "boutique department store" that occupied this great space – had been able to draw such a crowd, it would still be in business.


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