All hail retail
Photos by Jeff Corrigan
This month’s featured boutiques are Crow Thief, a handmade men’s clothing store in South Park, and Tease Boutique, the new fashion darling of the Gaslamp.
Since graduating from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco, Melissa Hendrix has been a fashion buyer for Forever 21 and for the stores and boutiques at Hotel Del Coronado. Today, she’s getting ready to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the opening Crow Thief, her men’s custom-clothing store in South Park.
“We really tailor the experience and the process to the client’s lifestyle,” says Hendrix. “It goes more in-depth as far as your lifestyle, what do you do professionally, what you do with your extracurricular activities, so we can best match a garment that is going to best fit into your lifestyle, as well as fit into your wardrobe.”
Who Shops Here?
“My youngest client is 21; my oldest is 74. So we really reach a wide variety because of the ‘custom’ aspect. But I’d say out core demographic is anywhere from 30-45.”
“On our labels, it says: ‘Quality of commodity is invested when you purchase a Crow Thief original.’’”
Clothes make the man, Hendrix makes the clothes, so we asked her to put together the perfect outfit for guys this fall.
1. “Leather bowties start at $60. Shirts range anywhere from $78 to $98. This particular one will be about $98.”
2. “Our long sleeve knit we’re introducing this fall. It’s got some textures and lines that create a fun silhouette. The shirt goes for $45.”
3. “Crow Thief soap is $7.50. It smells incredible and it actually has orange peel in it for a light exfoliant.”
4. “With the buttons and threads, we do custom fit and custom design, so you can choose your own button details.” (on flannel shirt)
5. “This is the Edison wallet, which is $60. The keychain is $30.”
6. “Our Crow Thief denim is custom fit. Prices start at $175.”
7. Cowboy Code, which is a great for replacement for deodorant, or anywhere there’s chafing. Those go for $14.”
8. “The moonshine cologne retails for $78.”
3009-3011 Grape St., South Park
Carmen Strather opened her Tease Boutique in the Gaslamp in December 2011. Since then, through partnerships with local nightclubs and other businesses, she and her marketing team (led by Stephanie Bercovitch) have propelled the boutique to near-celebrity status, showcasing the city’s hottest go-go girls in high-visibility fashion photo shoots and luring women from across the county to head Downtown for the latest styles.
“We didn’t want to be too much of a department store, but we didn’t want to be too much off the grid, either,” says Bercovitch. “We wanted to attract that girly girl or that sorority girl, that everyday working woman or that young mom. We really wanted to cater a bit to everybody. We also wanted to make sure a lot of the lines we had were more exclusive in San Diego. So we have a vintage sunglass line, for example, and we’re the only store that carries it.”
Who shops here?
“We really just have a fashion-forward client. We have girls who are 18 and we have a woman who’s 40 wearing the same thing.”
“The Gaslamp’s trendiest closet.”
With a passion for fashion and an insider’s look into what the cool crowd will be wearing this season, Strather and Bercovitch put together this hot look for fall (Bercovitch describes the elements.).
1. “As for the tank top, fringe is really in for the season.” [Fringe tank, $37]
2. “We really love that Mink Pink kimono. It’s a bit edgy but still conservative at the same time. Floral is a huge print for fall.” [Miss Saigon Kimono Cape, $105]
3. “The underwire bra is sexy and simple. It just works.” [Bra underwire crop, $37]
4. “This legging is a bit different than others, because it has a lot of Lycra in it, meaning, for any girl, it will hold them in.” [Smooth Operator panel leggings, $74]
5. “We paired the outfit with Jeffrey Campbell, but you can wear that type of outfit with any shoe.” [Lita Mac, $159]
6. “We love the bag; it’s Rebecca Minkoff. It’s brand new this season an. It also has gold studding on it, which is really big for this season as well.” [Mini 5-zip clutch, $195]
7. “We used House of Harlow glasses that are really big. It’s the Chelsea, which is Nicole Richie’s; it’s her No. 1 style.” [Chelsea Black, $138]
8. “Metallic and fun for any season.” [Santa Monica Shore Thing, Hollywood Hills Hot Number, $17 each]
9. “Arm candy, that’s what it’s called now, is really big for fall. We definitely want to give pops of color.” [Mini 5-zip clutch, $195]
[14k sunburst cocktail ring with khaki leather, $44]
[Engraved band with gunmetal skull ring, $39]
[Bone wrap ring with black diamond pave, $48]
[Vintage ribbon bracelet with black skull charm, $55]
[Matte black rosary set, $68]
[Elastic peace sign bracelet, $26]
435 Island Ave., Gaslamp