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Ali Shops Blog

Posts Tagged ‘St. Paul shopping’

Chic on Selby

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Allee Metro Chic seems like it just got out of jail. Technically, it was a hidden alley, which in retail, is sort of the same thing. The new storefront is bright, welcoming and spacious–a new situation for the store that crammed its dresses and shoes into a matchbox space. Right now, there are a lot of smart sweaters and jackets from familiar brands like French Connection and Free People. But more from the small, European lines that make this boutique tres enchante is on the way, co-owner Kelissa Stempski promises.

One of the best surprises is Assez Bon, the new home furnishings and accessories store on the lower level of Allee’s space. Owner Rebecca Schissel, who used to have a store in Mankato, offers a mix of new and used pieces with a romantic, vintage feel sure to suit the Allee shopper. 493 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-414-0274

More to love at BlackBlue

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

I was thrilled to have to wait in line to get close to the Penguin shirts and Alternative Apparel hoodies yesterday at BlackBlue. This fantastically styled Selby & Dale men’s boutique – where American heritage was cool before J. Crew said so – deserves to thrive. From the flannels draped over wooden rods to owner Steven Kang’s cuffed skinny jeans and untied Red Wing work boots to the leather bags artfully displayed beside old photographs on the white walls – it’s the sort of place that makes you want to embody the whole look. Now, women will be able to do just that: Kang is carefully adding a small assortment of women’s apparel including A.P.C. and Hyden Yoo. And BlackBlue turned the lens on local fashion photographer and Minneapoline blogger Ellen Dahl Lawson to model the first arrivals. Love it all? See more here.

Post Pop Up

Friday, December 10th, 2010

The whole idea of the “pop up shop” is to keep us interested – it’s there just one weekend so you’ve got to shop now. It might pop up in one place this week, and another next month. But now, so many pop ups are popping up that Sairey Gernes wanted to avoid the term for her shopping event next week. She’s calling it the No-Storefront Storefront. Cumbersome, but gets your attention. Gernes is the founder of Irely Intimates with a design studio and manufacturing facility on the West Side of St. Paul. She’s opening her space to several other local, women-owned brands: Urban Junket and Post- bags, StormSister Spatique beauty products, Foat lifestyle apparel, Nontoxique nail products and Attagirl crocheted accessories. They’re promising shopping, mingling and great deals. Takes place 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 16; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 17 to 19 at 432 Wabasha St. S., St. Paul.

St. Paul Capital Collective

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

The dramatic central lobby of Landmark Center provided a perfect stage for a runway show tonight, featuring fall fashion from several St. Paul boutiques. Too bad more shoppers weren’t there to see it. (Especially fun to see vintage Lula ensembles look so modern, and every Minnesota man should take a style cue from BlackBlue.) Tickets for the St. Paul Capital Collective show were $40, which is a lot, even as a benefit for downtown improvement groups. So, there are kinks to work out. But producer and tireless supporter of local retail Richard Moody is determined to bring this show back, bigger and better, next year. St. Paul finally has enough fashionable boutiques to make it work so east side shoppers, prepare  to represent!

Primp yourself in September

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Fashion obsessed and broke, the local designers behind Rapport bags and accessories are opening a cheap chic boutique  called Primp at Selby and Dale in St. Paul. They’re promising fashion forward women’s apparel under $100 – most dresses under $50. I’m there! No, doubt they’ve got their work cut out for them, competing in the fast fashion category against the likes of H&M and Forever 21 where volume keeps prices down. But I think a lot of women crave a boutique experience that doesn’t break the bank. Extra incentive for students: get 10 percent off every purchase with a student ID. Primp at 618 Selby, is scheduled to open Sept. 16.

Game on at Selby & Snelling

Friday, March 19th, 2010

How many times have I written recently that Selby & Snelling is the corner to watch? Well don't look away: coming in May, Tennis on Selby, a tennis boutique that aims to pick up where Tennis 5.0 left off some 15 years ago – down to the very same racket stringing expert. But this store will feature hard-to-find tennis apparel plus shoes and accessories for men. Later this summer, expect to see a new high-end fashion boutique join the mix at Selby & Snelling, along with an appointment only store for local handbag line Heddy Freddy. will bring you all the opening details.

What makes us believe clothes should fit off the rack? We all curve in different places and clothes that fit – by design, not accident - are so much more flattering, no matter what your size or shape. Heimie's Haberdasheryowner AnthonyAndler gets that. So he's developing a line of classic women's apparel, casual and suiting, intended to be tailored to fit in the store. The Heimie's women's brand will launch in October. Until then, custom apparel for men and women is always available – and not necessarily as expensive as you may think.

Siji Kids closing

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Siji Kids, recently abandoned by Picky Girl and Flirt at the not-quite-great intersection of Grand and Hamline
in St. Paul, is closing Aug. 3. It's too bad – Macy and Kyle Johnson
have a great aesthetic and a passion for improving St. Paul. But
running a boutique is tough business – yes, the economy, but
especially, I think, with kids apparel. The grandparent demo just isn't
enough of a market for the pricier clothes that parents know will end
up muddied and ripped. I like my boys to look cute and try to avoid the
Old Navy uniform, but I had to leaveSiji empty handed many a time
because I just couldn't bring myself to buy a $40 shirt or $50 pants
for a 4-year-old. Still, I loved them being there. I know it's not
enough – thus, the end result. See Sales/Specials for closing sale details.

Hamline and Grand exodus

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

First, Flirt announced plans to move from 1330 Grand Ave. in St. Paul to Selby and Snelling. Now Picky Girl, 1326 Grand, is relocating to 949 Grand Ave., next door to Wonderment. Both moves will happen in June. Elizabeth Varghese of Picky Girl told me she'd been looking for a while, and she finally found a bigger, prettier space with better parking. I called Siji Kids, figuring they must be next to go, but so far, they're staying put – some moves are being planned, the owners teased, but nothing physical. Stay tuned!

North Face opens on Grand

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

What is it about the urban Grand Avenue in St. Paul that makes retailers think hiking, skiing, outdoorsy apparel? I'm still campaigning for Anthropologie in that sorry space between Pottery Barn and J. Crew. But this week, I'll settle for North Face, which opens Friday, April 24 at 799 Grand (where Smith & Hawken used to be) – effectively bookending the avenue with Patagonia at 1648 Grand. No buzz about it, but then, there's already a North Face in Uptown. The company stores feature more than outerwear – clothing for men and women, shoes and bags. | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved