You've seen the news that Feinstein's, a Heights fixture for decades, is closing up shop, but that's not the end of the story. Our publisher Mandy Richardson caught up with owner Jill Ricciardone to get the scoop on the boutique and what's next in her fashion career.
You announced the store is closing. When is that happening and what's going on in the store until then?
"We are discounting our existing merchandise and planning to close around the middle of October or early November. There are some great deals happening in-store right now. Everyone should get in to check it out."
Feinstein’s is a legacy in Little Rock, both to the community and to your family. How has the decision to close been received?
"The decision to close Feinstein’s was obviously a difficult one for our entire family, but we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from this community. We are so grateful to our friends, customers and competitors alike who have reached out to encourage us and share their stories and memories."
I know you have a plan after the store officially closes. Tell me more about that.
"Brick-and-mortar retail stores have been under siege for some time. Having a strong online presence really has helped some small retailers during this time period and our new world requires creativity and flexibility. I am planning to continue to provide luxurious, quality clothing for clients with the focus remaining on service. As the rest of the world becomes more digitized and less personal, I plan to do the opposite as a personal stylist and shopper. I see personal shopping and private appointments with safety as the No. 1 priority as the new luxury in today’s world."
So when does this new approach for you begin?
"I am planning to open a quarterly pop-up shop with trunk shows featuring Lafayette 148 and others. I am also hopeful I can partner with some existing vendors in innovative ways to create a new business model."
You’re hosting a Lafayette 148 trunk show next week?
"Yes! I am hosting my inaugural Lafayette 148 fall trunk show as an AtelierDirect stylist working for Lafayette 148. In addition to apparel, I will have access to the entire collection including shoes, handbags and accessories. It’s amazing access for customers to experience the entire line. The trunk will be at the store from Aug. 13-19. You can call or email for a private appointment or drop by at your convenience."
Any other shows planned between now and the holidays?
"Sept. 15-30 I will have a trunk show for Pearl by Lela Rose. Additionally, an Emmelle trunk show is in the works."
What does fall fashion even look like in 2020?
"In particular to the Lafayette 148, line you see a lot of architectural construction in their fall line with a beautiful mix of masculinity and femininity. L148 says fall 2020 is built upon the philosophy that every woman should be the architect of her own life, offering her the elements she needs to build her wardrobe and her world."
Any idea what fashion will look like going forward?
"I think luxury will prevail but in a more relaxed, cozy way."
I adore how approachable you have always been, but before I spill your cell to the city, how do you want current and new customers to reach you?
(Laughing) "Most people just text or email me, either way is fine. My cell is 501.680.2975 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org."