Every week I fill this space with news from Portland's small boutiques and designers, and many of the people who read it aspire to become part of this community. Publications like WWD are the trade papers for fashion commerce and design, but its stories concentrate on the major playing fields, where huge sums change hands and featured designers approach rock star status. There's little connection for smaller shops and fledgling designers (or those desiring to join their ranks) who are looking for advisement. Andi Koegler, the editor-in-chief and publisher of a new glossy called Changing Room, aims to fill this void. Premiering this week, Changing Room's first issue covers the entire Northwest region (with other parts of the country to follow). The subject matter should be interesting reading for even the casually curious—after all, this part of the country is populated with innovators of style, design, and business models. Liza Rietz, featured in the first issue, is one such example. Less than a year ago she joined up with John Blasioli to open a studio and store that serves as a workplace, showroom, and boutique for their unique designs. Their arrangement is a great example of breaking form and arranging their businesses according to their own needs.
The rest of the content, as described by Koegler, "will cover spring trends locally and nationally. It will have content on how to reinvent yourself as a business owner or designer so that you can stay relevant in the market. The premiere issue will also profile several great regional designers and boutiques, such as Rachel Mara, Impulse, and many others. You'll be able to pick up a copy at boutiques across the region, and in Portland you can find them at Souchi, Mabel and Zora, Physical Element, the Ace Hotel, and the Art Institute of Portland, just to name a few." (tcrmagazine.com)
Speaking of regional boutiques, a number of shops are getting together this weekend for Bargain Hunting 101—a giant clearance sale taking over the Kennedy School, where you can stop for drinks and food in between bargain scores. Participating businesses include: Collage, Gypsy Chic, Sofia, Olio United, Stylin' Echo, Sofada, Frock, Foundation Garments, Ella's, Garnish, The Monkey and the Rat, Knot Ugly Designs, Pin-Me Apparel, Mink Boutique, Mabel and Zora, Digs, Poppy and Ivy, and Origin. (Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd, Sun Feb 3, noon-4 pm)