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Ali Shops Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Republic of Couture’

Republic of the Shore

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Roc Does Minnesota have enough The Situation-wannabes to support new arrival Republic of Couture? The small but growing Florida-based chain recently opened a sleek store at the Shops at West End in St. Louis Park. It's big (albeit, wanting for more merchandise) and shiny and looks classy, but all I could think as I browsed the Ed Hardy tees, embellished night-clubby shirts and tricked out premium denim was Jersey Shore, mixed with 2009 Creep of the Year, Jon Gosselin. And I'm not sure guilty viewing translates into aspirational dressing. At least I hope it doesn't. I'm not saying don't go, just, if you do, limit yourself to a pair of William Rast jeans or one of the more understated (wishful thinking?) shirts. And balance it out with something J. Crew.

West End update

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Caught up today with the developer of The Shops at West End who has been working against odds to lease the new outdoor center at Highway 100 and 394 in St. Louis Park that broke ground just before the economy crashed. It's taken considerably longer than expected, but that's partly because they are sticking to their original upscale concept, targeting fashionable, urban women 20-55 who want the latest – as long as parking is convenient and free. The payoff will finally start to be realized in April and May with the opening of Lululemon Athletica yoga wear and Republic of Couture, a boutique-y chain offering trendy labels like William Rast and Hugo Boss for women and men. Both are new to the Twin Cities – an admirable goal of the developer's. (Anthropologie and Love Culture are currently holding down the retail front along with local fave Creative Kidstuff.) The other priority: a mix of local boutiques, and to that end: Uptown retailer Ini Iyamba has signed on to do an Ivy women and men's store and Amy Briesemeister will resurrect her Long Lake boutique Pink Champagne. Also opening this spring: Uber Baby and Hot Mama. Raze, a men's hair salon from Regis, is scheduled to open March 1, followed by Toby Keith's bar and grill the third week of March with more food concepts to come including Mexican, pizza, crepes, a wine bar and – fingers crossed – a local coffee/dessert joint that would be open late. As the action picks up this spring, don't be surprised if a few national chains flee their current Minneapolis or west metro (watch out, Ridgedale) homes to join West End. | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved