This past week saw the launch of three new stores, each with their particular eye to the past. The first is SWOON (2734 NE Alberta), a joint effort between Refind Vintage Home and Garden owner Kimberly Shults and U.S.E.D. Vintage Emporium owner Robert Lawrence. The store, which features jewelry, clothing, and houseware from bygone eras, just celebrated its grand opening, and makes a welcome addition to NE Alberta's row of shops made for lost afternoons of browsing.
The second is Winn Perry (2505 SE 11th, Ste. 102), a men's emporium with an anti-fast fashion, gentlemanly air of quality that is set to broaden the horizons of Portland menswear to elegant dimensions.
And the third is Lovebirds for KitKit (lovebirdsforkitkit.com), an online store selling very well-selected vintage accessories like boots, heels, and handbags, plus designs from Project Runway alum KitKitDodge—one for the bookmarks.
Out of the shops and onto the runways, this year's Portland Fashion Week has found itself a new home, after last year's Swan Island location had critics complaining that the "green" event was taking place too far off the grid and was not easily accessible by either bike or public transportation. For its 2008 edition, the series of shows will take place at 14 Square, the yet-to-be-completed city block of retail and office spaces (part of which is already slated for Icebreaker, the sustainably minded outdoor wear company) located between NW 13th and 14th and Pettygrove and Overton. In addition, organizers of the event have reported that former Nike designer Christopher Bevans has signed on to show his collection during the fashion week, which aims to showcase designers both local and abroad who are designing with an environmental conscience (full disclosure: I am a member of the advisory board). With mega-stars like Jay-Z and Kanye West having worn Bevans' designs, it is hopeful that Bevans' participation will help attract press and buyers to the shows, which last year most notably earned a spread in Italy's Book Moda.
On the DIY front, Nancy Minsky, a Portland native who has spent a lifetime in the fashion world, including being a designer for Calvin Klein, is appearing at the Hawthorne Buffalo Exchange to perform a demonstration promoting her first book, Denim Revolution, a compendium of easy projects and ideas to recycle your old jeans—as good a way as any to fill the odd rainy days in between blasts of summer heat. (Hawthorne Buffalo Exchange, 1420 SE 37th, Sat Aug 23, 1-3 pm)