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

Streetfight

News
Sunday, December 07, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

On Friday, Uber switched on an app — and with one push of the button torpedoed Portland’s famed public process.


Read more...

See How They Run

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Studying ground-running birds, a group that ranks among nature's speediest and most agile bipedal runners, to build a faster robot.


Read more...

Corner Office: Sheree Arntson

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Checking in with the managing director of Arnerich Massena.


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation.


Read more...

The short list: 4 companies engaged in a battle of the paddles

The Latest
Thursday, December 04, 2014
pingpongthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Nothing says startup culture like a ping pong table in the office, lounge or lobby.


Read more...

Ski traffic

News
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
0121-skiway-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

A place-based multimodal transportation plan for Mt. Hood is long overdue.


Read more...

Leading with the right brain

News
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
120914-manderson-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

On the eve of the Portland Ad Federation's Rosey Awards, Matt Anderson, CEO of Struck, talks about the transition from creative director to CEO, the Portland talent pool and whether data is the new black in the creative services sector.


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