Posts Tagged ‘styledlife’
I like to think that it’s because I hold myself to a high standard of gift giving that I struggle. Will she love it? Does he already have one similar? Would she want gray or orange? And then, to ease the stress, I step back and think: Well, I know I love it. And I know I don’t have one, and I’d take the orange. And so I do.
Of course this just perpetuates the problem. No one knows what else to buy me because they believe I’ve been so consumed with shopping for myself, and, it can’t be denied, I still don’t have gifts for them.
There is a way to end this shopping drama: Wish Lists. That’s right. There’s nothing distasteful about telling someone what you want. Think of it as a gift, really, to help them gift you well. You’re happy, they’re happy, retailers are happy that we aren’t all returning things. Some boutiques are having a lot of fun with wish lists this season: martinpatrick3 in the North Loop will actually send a card on your behalf to Santa (or Mommy, or anyone with a zip code, really) telling them what you want. StyledLife at Galleria is making wish lists a two day party this week. It’s called Show the Love. From 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, the ladies are invited to shop and fill out a wish list, which StyledLife will present to the men the next evening, 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, when they are invited to shop, drink, and watch a little Sports Center while their perfect gifts are being wrapped. Music, refreshments and more frivolity will ensue both nights.
Whatever boutique you’re shopping, just ask–they are glad to help your wishes get fulfilled. Because telepathy just isn’t all that reliable.
Candy in my pockets; girlfriends at my side. What more could you ask for on Fashion’s Night Out? More retailers could take a cue from Kevin Quinn at StyledLife. He knows how to make a shopping party an actual party. All it takes is great music, bubbly, beauty makeovers, and a couple of drag queens greeting guests with York Peppermint Patties.
So often, stores judge the success of an event by the cash register. You can’t blame them – they are, after all, in business to make money. But Quinn has a knack for seeing the bigger picture. Make your store a fun place to be tonight, and shoppers will want to come back tomorrow. When they do, Quinn and his enthusiastic staff will be there with the must-have bag, a fabulous earring, and a scarf that completes any outfit.
StyledLife’s neighbors at the Galleria in Edina may not be quite as loud, but many partied in their own refined way tonight, with designer trunk shows and refreshments. As a result, Galleria was buzzing well past its usual bedtime.
Quick! Name the top three fashion accessories for summer! We fired that question at StyledLife owner Kevin Quinn without warning on live radio Saturday, and he was ready with fantastic advice. Of course you can listen to the Shop Girls interview, but here are the highlights – top down:
1. Hats. They’re not just for bad hair days anymore. The wide brimmed hat is a major statement, but think beyond thebeach. It’s okay to wear a hat indoors. It’s okay to wear a hat – period. Fedoras are fun, even if you’re not Justin Timberlake.
2. Long earrings. Don’t save them for evening. They’re sexy, flattering and instantly finish a look. Think about it – ifyou’re not wearing a necklace or earrings, it looks like you didn’t try. Pop on the earrings and voila – you’re dressed, and suddenly the bare decolletage seems intentional. Earrings need not “match” the rest of your jewelry – in fact, it’s better if they don’t.
3. Cuffs. Wrists remain the focal point for accessorizing and become the place to really show some personality. So keep stacking those bracelets. Mix colors, textures, finishes.
Still unsure? March into the store and ask for Kevin (or Tim or Allison – the expertise runs deep). Take advantage of theexperts running our local boutiques!
I love a store that feeds my kid. Regular nosh stops include Len Druskin, StyledLife and Hot Mama. No pressure to those already so generous, but Melly at the Galleria has truly upped the ante with a treat perfectly fitting its Palm Beach aesthetic. Behold: Lilly Pulitzer animal crackers. Currently a gift with purchase.
Got to roam around the Galleria in Edina last week with fashion designer Zang Toi – you might know him from "Real Housewives of New York City," if not from the $8,000 dress department at Nordstrom. Celebs worship his work so much, they actually pay for it: Sharon Stone has the $6,000 cashmere and wool hand stitched wrap in 10 colors. Zang was in town for three days to do a trunk show and a party with his good friend Kevin Quinn of StyledLife. (He went home to NYC for the weekend and returned again on Monday for an appearance at Nordstrom Mall of America – talk about sharing some love with the little apple!) Now, I've shopped with picky, privileged characters, but Zang was a whole new level of elite: he really buys nothing off the rack. Except at Hermes. His life is entirely customized, from his gym shorts (velvet) to his phone, lip balm and house key (all silver). He was totally game to walk the mall and browse…just entirely uninterested. The line of the day: "It's fine for other people – not for Zang Toi." But he says it with such an infectious laugh, you can't help but be charmed. After I picked my chin up off the floor when he told me he'd never been to Target (should have marched him across the street on the spot), I asked Zang how and where he gets his basic, household stuff – toilet paper, tin foil. He had no idea. That's what assistants are for. But there's no assistant manning his Facebook page. Zang has recently discovered social networking and despite his caviar taste in life, online, he's willing to slum it with the masses. Read all about our visit to Len Druskin and beyond in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Sunday, Nov. 1.
Men are having a moment. I'm in the midst of pulling men's accessories for a Spaces magazine article and the biggest challenge is choosing which men's stores and which amazing pieces to include. A year ago, I might have been hard pressed to come up with a handful of cool, local boutiques even catering to men. Suddenly, it's an explosion: Kuhlman is back in business, martinpatrick3 gets better each season, StyledLife finally has the space to expand on accessories and gifts for men, Heimie's Haberdashery is thriving in St. Paul and the latest, exciting addition: BlackBlue (pictured, and see more of the shop's enviable aesthetic here). Time to step it up a notch, men. There's no excuse not to.
I got a sneak peek of the new StyledLife at the Galleria in Edina and was most impressed – not just by the dynamic space, but the thought that went into planning every last detail down to the juxtaposed glass panels to suggest both a masculine and feminine aesthetic. Owner Kevin Quinn has put everything into this gorgeous new store and it shows. Beyond the superhero-sized door and cool, clean ambiance are a lot of insightful decisions sure to make a big difference without the average customer having the faintest idea. Some SL secrets:
Two doors. If you miss – or are intimidated by – the enormous main entrance, there's another way in just a few feet away. The Galleria resisted, but Quinn convinced them it would make a difference. So many people look, hesitate, but keep walking, he observed in his old space. "I honestly believe I could have made hundreds more sales if I had a second point of entry." Now, he'll find out.
Commerce Free Zone. He could have filled this space with $50,000 worth of designer bags. Instead, Quinn made the conscious decision to devote prime floor space to an inspiration wall. There's a bulletin board of cool designs, a statement about the store, information about charitable giving and the element sure to garner the most attention: a desk where visitors are invited to write down their "fashion fears." Best one each month is worth a $50 store gift card. Brilliant.
Branding. Lots of stores sell accessories. Not a lot of independent accessories stores specialize in designer brands. To make the distinction clear, the big names – Valentino, Pucci, Missoni – will be tastefully identified along the wall. Not only to let you know the store has them, but to make shopping easy for the luxury customer who knows what she wants and doesn't want to be bothered.
The reality shelf. We love the look, but not all of us can afford it. SL offers some less expensive (still not cheap) options, but you won't find them side to side with the designer goods. When Quinn tried placing designer scarf next to less expensive scarf, the pricey one didn't sell. Even a customer willing and able to drop $350 is going to have second thoughts when confronted with the $100 option. So the "fashion" alternatives will have their own section further back in the store.
The $68 necklace. SL didn't have these when it opened three years ago. But times have changed and so has the customer's mindset. The $68 price point is one Quinn finds most shoppers see as accessible. It's an amount you might spend on a whim. Knowing those items are there puts customers at ease about the more expensive goods they are then more likely to buy.
The $38 and $48 sunglasses. You'd expect a store selling $1,200 handbags to offer equally luxurious shades. Nope. There are plenty of places to get those. And Quinn knows his customer is making choices. Splurge on the bag; go budget friendly on the glasses. His have the designer look without the price since they are manufactured in the same factory that makes Prada.
The three-way. Mirror, that is. It didn't dawn on Quinn he'd need one of these in a store that doesn't sell clothes, but a woman wants the full view, even when considering a bag, a scarf, a belt. Now she'll have it.
StyledGift. This is a new category that Quinn finally has space to introduce, but he's doing it in a very disciplined way. You'll only find gifts that tie back to fashion, like a purse hanger or pretty compact.
The front desk. It took a lot of convincing for this one to fly at the notoriously strict Galleria, but Quinn is a firm believer in having staff positioned where they can greet every customer – without getting in their face.
StyledLook. At the back of the store is a generous space for the other critical piece of Quinn's business: wardrobe consulting. It's quiet and can be closed off. Here, Quinn and his associates will work one on one with women who want help getting their life and look, well, styled. Take advantage of the free 30-minute session.
StyledLife has announced the opening date for its new store at the Galleria: Friday, Oct. 9. Finally – more space for the jewelry, bags, belts and scarves to really shine, and room for new categories, like leggings. Can't wait to see it!
You've seen them in magazines and probably figured the preposterous
heel-less heel would never make it off the pages. But StyledLife associate Allison Werthmann-Radnich rocked Fendi's floating heels for a
fashion seminar at the Galleria yesterday…and didn't stumble even
once. She paid just $80 for them at designer resale boutique June and rounded out the look with a $10 dress from The Clearance Rack at 35th and Nicollet in Minneapolis layered over long and short sleeve tops and French Connection Liquid Leather pants from Macy's. You've got to admire the effort – and the fact that she stood on her tiptoes in those shoes all day long.
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.