Finding a great boutique in which you can satisfy your personal style goes way beyond the brick, mortar, and racks of high-end merchandise. It requires developing a personal relationship with a proprietor and/or designer: someone who will understand your needs, challenges, the professional context in which you work, and the social perimeters in which you play.
The designers and boutique owners featured on these pages put a distinct focus on comfort, fit, fabric, and communicating style–classically and with an edge. Shopping for clothes doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, these fashionistas promise to make it a pleasure, if not an experience.
Proprietor: Tom Cooke
Designer: Anthony T. Kirby
Client: Gar Giles, attorney
Price range: Trousers, $150 — $495;Ties, $75 — $105
Anthony T., the exclusive line of haberdashery designer Anthony T. Kirby, is among the private label and Italian luxury apparel featured at Paris europa. Kirby’s collection has recently expanded to include classically styled trousers in Super-120 wools and wool cashmere blends. “They have an outstanding selection,” exclaims attorney Gar Giles. Paris europa also offers a full line of luxury sportswear and accessories for men. For more information call 215-893-1115.
Designer: Everett Hall
Client: Collins Spencer,anchor, CNN Headline News
Price Range: $1,295 — $3,500
Using the best Italian yarns and fabrics, Everett Hall provides athletic-cut suits for the modern day professional. “They are extremely comfortable for my build,” says anchor Collins Spencer, who owns 30. Thread count per square inch ranges from Super-110 to 180 and the boutique offers complimentary alterations. New models include the high three-button and asymmetric with fly front. For shopping information call 202-362-0191.
Designer: Gigi Hunter
Client: Judy Bridgeman,software department head, Ford Motor Company
Price Range: $200 — $600
“Her designs are professional, yet feminine, and still contemporary at the same time,” says engineer Judy Bridgeman of Gigi Hunter’s new line of unconventional knit suits made from ribbon and slinky yarns. Known for her sexy evening knits, Hunter admits, “this is really fun for the woman who wants something different.” Call 313-271-9044 for more information.
The Sole Kitchen
Harlem, New York
Designer: Etu Evans
Client: Denise E. Ross, visiting assistant professor in special education at Columbia University, Teacher’s College
Price Range: Shoes, $400 — $700; Boots, $900 — $1,300
“They’re stylish and comfortable.” That’s what Denise Ross says attracts her to Etu Evans’ ultra modern line of shoes. Evans calls it feminine fanfare. Fabric designs include tapestries as well as hand beading, stenciling, and embroidering. The designer also offers an eye-catching line of handbags that also serve as professional organizers. For shopping information call 212-281-6940.