Home Back Issues December 2008 A tiny fashion cluster

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.    

CHRIS MILLER


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

 

More Articles

Are millennials reshaping politics in the Pacific Northwest?

News
Wednesday, April 02, 2014

MillennialsThumbA new report explores the impact of millennials on Oregon's business and political climate.


Read more...

Fuel's gold

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY SOPHIA BENNETT

The coastal town of Coos Bay appears poised to land every economic development director’s dream: a single employer that will bring hundreds of family-wage jobs and millions in tax revenue. 


Read more...

Why I became an educator

News
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
03.04.14 thumbnail teachBY DEBRA RINGOLD | GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

How can we strengthen the performance of institutions charged with teaching what Francis Fukuyama calls the social virtues (reciprocity, moral obligation, duty toward community, and trust) necessary for successful markets and democracy itself?


Read more...

From the Editor: The human factor

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In this issue, we celebrate our 21st annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project.


Read more...

Video: Kickstarting Oregon business

News
Thursday, March 27, 2014
02.04.14 Thumbnail VideoBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Watch this OB Original Video about three Oregon companies and how crowd-funding "kickstarted" their business ideas.


Read more...

The 2014 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon

News
Friday, February 28, 2014

100best14logo ThumbnailThe 21st annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon list was announced Thursday night at an awards dinner at the Oregon Convention Center.


Read more...

Car ignition recalls and lean product design

Contributed Blogs
Friday, April 11, 2014
04.11.14 thumb gm-gettyTOM COX | OB BLOGGER

The auto industry is starting to share more costs across manufacturers for complex and challenging design work, like new transmission design, and certain new engine technologies. What we’re not yet seeing is wholesale outsourcing of “unavoidable waste” components to specialist companies.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS