“White Flint (Mall) is in fact a breed apart,” Chip Brown wrote in a 1981 article for the Washington Post. The mall’s mid-’70s opening was “something of a cultural event in the Washington area,” Brown said. That moment would seem to have passed: Today, White Flint Mall is empty and half demolished--all but for one determined anchor store, Lord & Taylor.
With ten of the homegrown beauty shops in the DC area, one might have thought that Washington had hit its maximum Bluemercury capacity, but the brand is proving there’s room for more, with plans to open three additional stores in the area this fall.
Though exact opening dates are still up in the air, shoppers can expect to see new Bluemercury shops taking up residence in Gaithersburg at RIO Washingtonian and at 1427 P Street NW in September, with a third slotted for Reston Town Center.
Hermès was among some of the latest of luxury retailers to take up residence at CityCenterDC with an opening on April 30. But not everyone is excited about the arrival of the boutique. On Wednesday, PETA announced in an email that PETA protestors plan to lie a “reptile” in a pool of “blood” by the closest entrance to the Hermès boutique at CityCenterDC on Thursday. They also plan to bring a banner that reads “Hermès: Accessories to Murder.”
After 12 years in business, Urban Chic is closing. The upper Wisconsin Avenue boutique that’s garnered Washingtonian Best of Washington recognition will shutter by the end of July.
With its million-dollar condos and high-end retail opening after high-end retail opening, CityCenterDC is actively shaping itself as the new epicenter of luxury living in Washington. The newest retail resident? Carolina Herrera, who opened her glossy CH Carolina Herrera boutique with an equally glossy cocktail party hosted with Vogue in benefit of the National Portrait Gallery this past Tuesday. Guests crowded the lacquered space in tasteful cocktail attire (below-the-knee was the favored hemline), and all eyes were on the front door when Ms. Herrera herself walked in, donning a sophisticated cobalt number undoubtedly of her own design.
The Austin, Texas-based fashion jewelry line started with just $500 and a dream. Thirteen years later, Kendra Scott designs are sold in Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and over 1,000 specialty boutiques around the globe.
Over the past century, Filson has made a name for itself with its “unfailing goods”—products that are built to last and backed by a lifetime guarantee. Based in Seattle, the brand has just five stores around the globe—four in the United States and one in London—but this August, a sixth is scheduled to open in Washington, DC.
While Christmas shopping last year, Page Castrodale ran from store to store, trying to find unique, interesting gifts for all the ladies in her life. But she’s putting an end to her gift-buying dilemma by filling her new boutique in Old Town Alexandria, Curated, with accessories and home goods for every woman.
Last July, the first of a new line of mini Target stores, called TargetExpress, opened in the retailer’s hometown, Minneapolis, right off of the University of Minnesota’s campus. In early July 2015, University of Maryland students in College Park will get a TargetExpress of their own, filled with products selected specifically with the college consumer in mind. Though we’ve criticized College Park for not being a very good college town, the addition of this store on Baltimore Avenue seems to be a step in the right direction.
Women can be pretty picky about shoes—wishing the heels were just a bit shorter, they came in more colors, or they were patent leather instead of suede. Jodie Fox, the founder of Australia-based Shoes of Prey, appreciates this need to find the perfect shoe, which is why she launched an online custom shoe shop in 2009 with the help of two Google alums.
On Thursday, Shoes of Prey will open in the Washington area for the first time with an in-store shop within the Pentagon City Nordstrom. Originally an online-only retailer, the brand opened its first physical store in Sydney, Australia in 2013.
“The one question we heard the most from our customers before opening a store was ‘What will my shoes look like in real life?’” says Fox. “We saw that what our customers really meant was: What does the shoe feel like on my foot? What does the leather feel like? What do these colors look like side by side?”
After great success with their first store—they won “Store Design of the Year” in 2013 from the World Retail Awards—the brand began expanding in the US market, choosing Nordstrom as their host. The Pentagon City Nordstrom’s Shoes of Prey shop includes "sculptures of flowers from shoes to shift your thinking from pulling something off the shelf to creating something you'll love,” says Fox
It works like this: after locating the women’s shoe section of Nordstrom where Shoes of Prey resides, pick up an iPad, loaded with the software that renders an image of the shoes as you design them. To get a feel of what you’re working with, there’s material swatches, sample shoes, and sizing shoes to make sure the fit will be right. After you’ve selected the shape, height, toe style, materials, and colors, and placed your order, your custom shoes will arrive on your doorstep three weeks later.
After a soft opening last Friday, Fox is confident the shop will be a hit with Washington ladies. “We already know that Washington women love to design their own shoes, because it's where we have the majority of our happy customers,” says Fox. “We cannot wait to shoe the women of Washington.”
Visit the Shoes of Prey boutique at Nordstrom, The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, 1400 South Hayes St., Arlington; 703-415-1121.