It’s my first week living in Philly and my big first impression is this is a fashionable city. I live in Rittenhouse Square which is a major shopping destination. Barneys NY, one of my new neighbors, is in the midst of some major revovations, converting from a Barneys Co-Op to a full fledged Barneys store. This Barneys location carries contemporary clothing brands like Etoile Isabel Marant and Acne and bags from Proenza Schouler, Balenciaga, and Jerome Dreyfus. Soon, they will carry designer clothing labels like Chloe and possibly Alaia. They also have a small floor dedicated to menswear. Speaking of menswear, Boyds on Chestnut Street has some gorgeous custom Italian suits. And Goorin Bros on Walnut sells great hats for men and women. Walnut Street also boasts a Calypso St. Barths, Anthroplogie, and Intermix.
Joan Shepp on Chestnut is by far my favorite. Joan has been a staple of Rittenhouse for several decades and she is a local fashion icon. She’s known for always wearing black, so of course I met her the one day she was forced to wear head to toe white for an evening affair. Joan and her team of stylists have already made me feel very welcome and I especially adore Elaine, who has worked at Joan Shepp over twenty years. So far my purchases include a hooded coat by Ivan Grundahl and a black cap with a crystal skull from Thomas Wylde LA. And I’ve been drooling over the amazing pieces by Commes des Garcons, Rick Owens, and Lanvin.
One thing I’ve noticed is the women in Rittenhouse have eclectic taste and dress less casual than what I’m used to in Baltimore- I think they might actually wear their LuluLemon to the gym! I was also surprised by how few Chanel and Louis Vuitton bags I’ve seen. A sales associate at Barneys told me very few woman carry Chanel in this area, with the exception of some Asian women who wear Boy bags. Apparently the women here also prefer Goyard to Louis Vuitton. According to one of the stylists at Joan Shepp, Balenciaga moto bags and Hermes Evelyne bags are extremely popular in this area. There is also a big demand for advanced European designer clothing, which I’m certain is Joan Shepp’s influence.
Overall, the women of Rittenhouse are well put together and have individual and eclectic styles. I’m definitely not missing the preppy girls in Baltimore and all those Louis Vuitton Neverful tote bags. But I may have to start a Chanel revolution.