Sponsored by Oregon Business

A tiny fashion cluster

| Print |  Email
Archives - December 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008

WestEndFashion1 WestEndFashion2.jpg WestEndFashion3.jpg The West End Fashion District in Portland is a cluster of high-end boutiques that are independently owned.

PORTLAND The West End Fashion District of Portland, a four-block stretch pinched between West Burnside and Southwest from Ninth to 13th, is hailed by fashion critics as a sort of high-end boutique-central for the modern female fashionista. What once was an area in dire need of a youthful facelift in the past three years has turned into its own trendy entity.

Some credit the blocks’ early increase of foot traffic to the new Ace Hotel and American Apparel store. But since then, there’s been a surge of small, independently owned shops moving in — seven at the latest count. And despite horrific fall retail sales, these shops are open despite the down economy.

“I didn’t know the retail market would get this bad,” says Pamela Baker-Miller of Frances May. The young shopkeeper co-owns the store with her grandmother, Connie Codding. “I chose to open here because I felt I could help shape the development of the neighborhood.”

Stores such as Frances May as well as newcomer Raddish Underground quench the desires of shoppers willing to pay a little more for individualized items — a niche market escaping Portland’s commercialized Pearl District and Northwest 23rd Avenue.

Gina Johnson, who co-owns Raddish Underground with partner Celestial Sipes, says the two were considering the West End for a while before moving in.

“As it turns out, it was a great decision. The people and the shops around are right up our alley.”

Baker-Miller says events such as a Dec. 6 holiday bash offering free gift-wrapping and 20% off will help to promote the neighborhood and encourage people to support local fashion. Johnson considers First Thursday art openings and the shops’ position close to the streetcar line to be added benefits.

As for the state of the retail market, Baker-Miller is optimistic. “I have faith that it will change.” For now, though, the girls of the West End are sitting pretty.    


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


More Articles

Big Geek

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

To attract technology companies, the U.S. Bancorp Tower repositions itself as open, light and playful.


Video: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon 2015

The Latest
Monday, October 05, 2015
100-best-NP-logo-2015-video-thumbVIDEO BY JESSE LARSON

Profiling some of the organizations featured in the 2015 list.


New green wood building product takes off in Oregon

Thursday, September 10, 2015
091115-cltjohnson-thumbBY KIM MOORE

Oregon is set to become a hub of a new type of wooden building design as a southern Oregon timber company becomes the first certified manufacturer of a high-tech wood product, known as cross-laminated timber, or CLT.


The 5 most/least expensive rental neighborhoods in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, September 24, 2015
092515neighborhoodthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Oregon's population is booming, and so are rental costs.


Reader Input: School Choice

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015

Which of the following would be most effective in reducing the cost of operating a public university in Oregon?


Child care challenge

September 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
0927OHSUhealthystarts-thumbBY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER

Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.


The Cover Story

Linda Baker
Thursday, August 27, 2015
01-cover-0915-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

How do you put a baby on the cover of a business magazine without it looking too cutesy?

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02