Ultimate heritage brand Woolrich, which has been producing outerwear and other woolen goods in the US since 1830, will showcase their iconic blankets tomorrow night at Lizard Lounge from 7-10, at an event celebrating domestic manufacturing. Among the offerings on display will be pieces from the company's new 100% wool collection, their US Heritage tribute collection, and their American Wool Blends. And apparently Woolrich considers Portland a pretty big deal, 'cause there will be several company representatives in attendance, including President Nick Brayton and Vice President Josh Rich. Also there will be live music, and of course, free drinks, courtesy of House of Spirits, Eastside Distilling and Hopworks Urban Brewery. Get more details and RSVP here.
The first wave of invites to people who'd signed up first on Wildfang's site—a new Portland-based e-commerce site dedicated to the "tomboy" look—came out on Friday. As someone who is probably somewhere in the middle of the pack, and anxious for the unveiling of a shop that has been the recipient of a remarkable amount of hype, I have been going back to check daily for the launched site. And while my invite must have gotten lost in the mail (ahem), lo and behold this morning my email address unlocked the site.
Wildfang warrants a little extra attention because they've stormed the retail scene with guns blazing and eyes on the prize. Founded by a coterie of former Nike employees and enough resourcing to enlist over 20 people in various forms of employment, this is a smart, careful, and formidably savvy crew out to become a major player—in my interview with them they made comparisons between themselves and Urban Outfitters more than once. If and when they get there, assumed they remain in Portland, as they've stated they want to, this could well be where your future teenager jocks her first reg.
Yeah yeah, but what about the goods. For their first time out, the selection is relatively small: Fewer than 25 options for tops, less than 10 pairs of pants, and 11 pairs of shoes. I expect that will certainly change as they grow, along with a lower proportion of vintage items compared to new. One of the things that piques my curiosity about Wildfang's approach is that they are more or less doing away with the convention of keeping a relatively steady price point. Instead they are betting that customers will seek them out primarily for their aesthetic, shopping within its range of pricing.
I personally think that's a more interesting way to shop casually, and more reflective of the ubiquitous high/low combinations that people actually wear, though maybe a disadvantage at those times when you are shopping for something specific and have an idea of what you want to spend. Is the internet big enough for both styles? Especially considering the growing number of search aggregates, I think that's a resounding yes.
Nothing says "Spring" like "denim." To celebrate Mink's 6th anniversary, they're having a major denim-splosion this Saturday, the 23rd; 15% off all denim, a denim raffle, and a free gift with purchase.
These ain't no nasty denims, neither: Joe's, Paige, and Citizens of Humanity are just some of their current brands. Just so you get really sucked in, they also have new arrivals:
Shop the Block is an evening of shopping fun presented by six boutiques in Beaumont Village between NE 41st and 42nd on Fremont. Participating boutiques include Amenity Shoes, Shop Adorn, Gazelle, Full Circle, Silhouette, and The Arrangement.
In addition to evening-only discounts and events, guests who visit all participating boutiques will receive a rewards "Shop Card". The Shop Card is valid for $10 off a purchase of $50 or more at each of the participating boutiques. This is happening tomorrow evening from 4-8PM and the next dates for the Shop the Block are May 15th, July 17th, and September 25th. For more information on each of the store's offerings for the night visit the Facebook event page here.
The Spring/Summer collections keep on coming, and not just from apparel lines. This week Pigeon Toe released their new collection of super-cute, minimalist ceramics, with pieces that range from highly functional, like the porcelain salt & pepper shakers and the ribbed sake set; to more decorative, like the ribbed bell ornament with a cherry red leather loop. All of the ribbed pieces in the collection were left with exposed throwing lines, reflecting the hand crafting that goes into everything the company makes in their NoPo studio. This marks the beginning of Pigeon Toe's fifth year in business, so yay for locally made artisanal goods!
Check out the collection below:
Every time a small local business reaches its five-year anniversary, and angel gets its wings. Somewhat more verifiably, there is also usually a party, like the one that very excited, soon-to-be-five Folly owner Sarah Bibb is planning for—so excited that they've announced the May 2 event well ahead! It's going to be a blowout that includes tours of the newly expanded Factory, joining the small-but-noble number of places dedicated to local apparel manufacturing, plus a photobooth and New Deal cocktails. Calendar: updated.
MACHUS, which has established itself over the years as a local staple for stylish men, just announced their expansion into womenswear. The selection, which is now available in the store and online, includes an exclusive collection by Black Crane, as well as some dark, edgy pieces by OAK NYC. After browsing the goods online, it's clear that they're applying the fashion-forward yet unfussy aesthetic that has always defined the store to their womenswear choices. Also, this weekend men can take advantage of their flash denim sale on jeans by Nudie, Raleigh Denim, Naked and Famous and THVM Atelier. The sale has already started and will continue through Sunday.
There's been a hole in Portland's boutique world while Emily Baker's Sword + Fern—beloved by natives and tourists for its intelligent jumble of unique jewelry, small home goods, locally produced apothecary, and assorted treasures—has been closed for renovations. There's still about a month to go before the doors re-open, but today Baker is launching a new web site with expanded e-commerce capabilities, and has also announced a monthly art event, curiously titled "DISCOVERe'verer."
Perhaps taking a lead from 811 E Burnside neighbor Nationale, which routinely blurs the line between shop and art space, DISCOVERe'verer will launch "a blend of guest curating and art installation" by a selected artist every First Friday, to remain up through the month. Her list of committed participants is pretty baller; another reason to anticipate the re-opening later this month:
—Claudia Meza, Musician/Composer (Stay Calm, ex-Explode Into Colors)
—Anna Korte, AK VIntage
—Jason Rens, Supermaker
—Kati Von Lehman, PLANE/Air
—Jen Oleson, ex-booker for Valentine's, AIKA music curator
—Helmy Membreno, PICA
—Valentine Freeman, Ace Hotel Creative Director/Blogger
The year-old NE Alberta boutique Backtalk (full disclosure: it's half-owned by Mercury contributor Elissa Hall) has already moved up and out of its original location, finding new, bigger digs on N Mississippi. The
grand soft re-opening is scheduled for Saturday, featuring a photography show and a newly minted in-house designer.
MOD for the full agenda.
The new space features an expanded vintage collection and debut designs from Courtshop Denim, REIF, Foxtail Jewelry, and Wintercheck Factory alongside Backtalk staples like PDX Black Lipstick Co., Soaprocks, and Julia Barbee fragrance. Also, perhaps most exciting, Backtalk welcomes Alexa Stark as the store's new in-house designer.
Additionally, Lavenda Memory has produced a portrait series featuring Backtalk clothing which will also be making its debut, along with complimentary champagne and music—as always. Stop in from 4-7 pm this Saturday to see what there is to see.
Michelle DeCourcy's collections were always one of my favorites at (the old) Portland Fashion Week, and now you too can look as cool as those girls did on the runway at insanely low prices. On Saturday March 16th from 9 am-5 pm and Sunday March 17th from 10 am-4 pm current samples and past seasons' stock in a wide range of sizes will be 75-80% off. This sale only happens once every five years, so you would be wise to get there early to beat the crowd. The sale is located at 16358 SW Boones Ferry Road in Lake Oswego (I know, a far way to go, but 75-80% off!!!!) and a portion of each sale will go the Bully'd Film Project.
Frances May is clearing out the old and bringing in the new. Starting tomorrow selected merchandise for both men and women will be 65% off. While you're there scoping out the sale scene be sure to check out new spring arrivals from Mara Hoffman, Base Range, Patrik Ervell, Suno, Wood Wood, Samuji, Rachel Comey, Gitman, Hentsch Man, A.P.C., Robert Geller, and more.
Physical Element has moved just a few blocks from it's former location to a new roomier space at 416 NW 12th Avenue in the Pearl District. Check out their new digs, and while you're at it check out the new collections for Spring from Isabel de Pedro, Bobkova, Trippen shoes, Desigual, Elsewhere Amsterdam, and jewelry from Melle Finelli and Iris Guy.
In this week's Sold Out, I wrote about an ambitious new (for now) online retailer, Wildfang. Never mind that the store has yet to actually go live—the founders, who cut their teeth working successful jobs at Nike—have already roped in celebrity ambassadors and a relatively huge social network following. They're a start-up, but one with more teeth than your average one-or-two-man fledgling operation. They already have employees, they're determined, and they just all around have their shit together. That's got a lot to do with their savvy and experience, as well as the fact that they've keyed in on a hole in the market for a retailer dedicated to the tomboy look. They're shooting high and appear to have the support to back up their goals. Remember that name: Wildfang (it's German for "tomboy"). I'd be very surprised if it's the last time you'll hear it. I mean just look at this video—if you're not among the 45,000+ people who've already viewed it on YouTube—which earned them spots on BuzzFeed, Vice, Cool Hunting, and about a billion style blogs. Did I mention they haven't even sold anything yet?
West End District shop Alder & Co. is moving, but don’t worry they will only be a ½ block down the street! Currently situated in a small space next to Gruner, Alder & Co. has outgrown their location and opted for brand new space just around the corner at 616 SW 12th Ave. With the resurgence of interest and new businesses on that block (Tasty N’ Alder, Bridge & Burn, etc.) It’s super exciting to see the West End become a true destination for tourists and locals alike. Alder & Co. will be throwing a fabulous grand re-opening party with details to be announced.
One of the great things about the Portland fashion scene is that, much like the city itself, it almost always incorporates some way to give back to our community, because that actually gets more people to attend. "Power of the Purse" is no exception, and actually sounds like it could be fun, twixt the hobnobbing and auctioning.
Mabel & Zora is partnering up with Girls Inc. for the 3rd year in a row to hold a dinner and auction that benefits Girls Inc. Girls Inc. provides after school programs to girls ages 8-18 that empower and educate young women, about anything from media literacy to money managing skills.
The schedule for the evening, this Friday, March 8th at the Portland Art Museum, is as follows:
4:30 p.m. Boutique, Silent Auction, Wine Wall and Photo Booth Open
5:30 p.m. Live Auction & Dinner Guests Arrive
7 p.m. Silent Auction Closes
7:15 p.m. Live Auction & Dinner
On a quest for hanging plants to make my house more “home-y” a good friend suggested I look at an adorable little shop on East Burnside called Appetite. Stocking incredible (still mad for) succulent planters, hanging plants, little bits and bobs, housewares and more this shop has everything you need to make your space cozy and alive. Hanging plants range from $10+, I purchased three and have really enjoyed having them in my windowsill. Located next to Luce, this is a must-stop shop for the perfect housewarming gift or something fun for you!
You know I'm always crowing about how good Portland is for shopping; similar to the quality of our restaurant scene, Portland's indie retail is ridiculously diverse and cultured for a city of this size (and tax free, bitches). And just as we can't all eat out every night, it can be difficult to afford to patronize these sophisticated, brilliantly curated places as often as we might like.
What they call the "mid-price point" in boutique shopping—cheaper than designer, not as cheap as the Kirkland brand sweater set from Costco—has been something of a weak spot in Portland of late. SE Hawthorne's Communion identified this when it opened last year, stocking brands like Cheap Monday and Bridge & Burn, which are cool, thoughtful, on-point brands, but they won't kill your budget. Happily Portland just acquired another store targeting the same comfort level: Victory just reopened on the booming strip of inner E Burnside with a stock of womenswear (sorry guys, but menswear is still down the road for this one) designed around many of the same qualities that people prize at spendier shops: small, independent lines, domestic production, and a good eye. In this week's Sold Out column I interviewed owner Nicole Funke. Check it out if you're in the market for a new shopping destination; she and I are both pretty sure you're gonna like it.
EEE get ready MOD babes! Reminder that the ever lust-worthy Pendleton Portland Collection will be on sale for up to 70% off this Saturday. Do not miss your chance for a coveted piece of the amazing 2012 collection. 10am-4pm, the goods won’t last long, so pop by early for best selection. Eating top ramen for the rest of the month would be worth it just to get my mitts on the poncho I’ve been eyeing all season long. All sales final, 224 N.W. Broadway at The Pendleton Building. See ya there!
If you're at all like me, you've been carrying around some pseudo-garbage bag strung around your shoulder for months, with all the edges fraying and shit falling out of it. That's why this upcoming Ellington Handbags Spring 2013 Collection Launch Party will be right up your alley!
This Spring collection launch will be this Thursday, the 21st, from 5-7pm at their store on NW 23rd. The soiree will be providing food and drinks, a raffle, a free gift with purchase, and a chance to meet your purse's designer. Enjoying cocktails with your new purse and its creator sounds like a pretty hot Thursday night to me. Menage-a-purse, anyone?
The hunt for amazing and affordable vintage in this town can sometimes feel like the never-ending quest for the perfect Sunday brunch. Pop by Bristlecone Vintage located at 4932 NE 30th to see what I’m all abuzz about! This store stocks it all, featuring men’s, women’s, and vintage accessories. Vintage Pendleton, super rad band tees, and lush fur collars were some of my favorite finds. The space is warm and inviting, tucked away at the quiet corner of on NE 30th and Alberta, and worth a trip any day.
Do you love to ski? Do you love locally made, handcrafted goods? Of course you do, you’re reading the Mercury! That’s why you need to know about ON3P Skis, a locally run, independently owned ski company operating right here. ON3P is the only company in Portland that is physically hand making each set of skis—most ski/snowboards are made in China or Europe, but this small business is punching a pack with their 100% bamboo core skis. ONP3 uses a bamboo core to “give the ski strength where it needs it, resisting bending and breaking better, plus bamboo is a quick growing, environmentally friendly grass.” The team is comprised of five really rad guys who work up to 12 hours a day simply because they love the mountain, and they love what they do. Check out the snaps below to check out how they do it, and click here to swoop up a pair for yourself!
Gal-entine’s for your besties:
Bro’in out: For your dude:
For your four legged babe:
A new product line, "M. Steves," launched this weekend at Blush Beauty Bar on NW 23rd. I recently met with THE "M. Steves" for an interview, in her quest to be the next best-selling provider of "high-impact, natural, anti-aging skin care." She is quite high-impact herself; a graduate of Parsons school of design, an ex-corporate attorney and interior decorator, and an LA resident.
Steves' selling point is the anti-aging benefits of rose hip seed oil. "Rose hip seed oil is different than just rose oil," Steves' notes. Rose hip seed oil is derived from very few places in the world, and in the case of her product, high in the Chilean Andes mountains. What makes rose hip oil different, according to Steves, is that it has "the highest percentage of natural fatty acids, like Omega-3" out of any anti oxidizing agent. Steves' also makes her proprietary blends using a particular mixture of "anti-aging botanical actives." "Not all oils work well with rose hip seed oil," says Steves.
Her products range in pricing; from affordable to hardcore. The consumer can commit to her product in varying degrees; from a once-or-twice-a-day pat of her serum, to an elaborate, multi-step regimen. Her product has already sold tremendously well in its hometown of LA, as well as at its Blush launch this weekend. "I have customers that are on their 5th round of purchases, and we just launched last November," Steves dishes.
She was kind enough to donate free samples of her product to me, including the lovechild of her line, the "RHSO Power-Packed Ultra-Nourishing Boost." After using this product for a few days, I can safely say this product gets an A+ for anti-aging; this magical "boost" serum fought my age so well that my face broke out like an overweight 15 year old in gym class. This could have been due to a number of other factors; I'm in my twenties and have an oily complexion. I also have yet to grow the wrinkles that maybe are necessitated for such a product. But if you're looking to fight some of those years off your face, I'd recommend at least giving it a try. It's all-natural; can't hoit, right?
There's nothing quite like being out with your Valentine's date, wanting to kiss them, but realizing your lips have shriveled into a couple of yellow raisins. Event Cosmetics, a cosmetic studio on SW Broadway specializing in make-up for special events, is hosting a lip product sale, from February 12th-16th (perfect timing!).
Also, if you're in the mood for a little more beauty help than just lips, they'll be giving out a FREE lip and cheek palette, and tote bag with every purchase of a Clarisonic Cleansing System. With such a youthful, pampered face, your date won't even notice that you've ordered four martinis on his bill!
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