Still in Style: Marin Boutiques

Three local boutiques share the dos and dont's to fashion trends and business success

With the new year upon us, we tip our hats to boutiques with staying power. All the businesses have thrived for the past 20-plus years by keeping their focus on the clients’ needs and possessing an uncanny ability to sort through the sometimes-questionable clothing trends of the ’80s and ’90s.

GENE HILLER

Owner

Tom Gangitano and Wayne Kaleck

Years in business

64

Bestselling item

The Travel Sport Coat is an unlined, tropical wool sport coat that can be taken around the world.

Most awkward trend

The ill-fitting suit of today. The jacket is too short and too tight. The pants are too short and too tight. Unless a man weighs 100 pounds it looks like he is wearing his little brother’s clothes. This look is very awkward for the majority of today’s men.

Key to success

Our ability to interpret a client’s needs and style in a way that no other men’s specialty store can. True professional service. From master tailoring to our unique, abundant selection of menswear from around the world. In other words, “You can’t get this on Amazon.”

BELLA

Owner

Stacey Kaplan

Years in business

21

Bestselling item

Silk or cozy-fabric shirts and sweaters are always popular.

Most awkward trend

All trends, from designer jeans to hot colors and cold shoulder tops, are never awkward; it just takes a while for the masses to warm up to them sometimes. However, if I had to pick something, I would probably say bell-bottoms.

Key to success

Change something about the store often; never let things get stale with merchandise or decor. And we are all about personal shopping: with all the competition little boutiques have these days it is our way of staying strong. We also do an in-store video once a week that goes out to all our customers and is also on YouTube.

VIVA DIVA BOUTIQUE

Owner

Amy Anderson

Years in business

20

Bestselling item

Sergio Gutierrez Liquid Metal bracelets, which we have sold since we first opened 20 years ago. They are just as cool today as they were back in 1997.

Most awkward trend

This season’s off-the-shoulder look can be quite awkward. When you’re wearing this style, it can be hard to hug a friend or give a high five without the top popping back up on the shoulders.

Key to success

We scour the market searching for lines that offer the best-quality contemporary styles with the biggest bang for the buck. But more important, we have stayed consistent in our mission to create a fashion-friendly environment in a setting reminiscent of visits with a close friend, namely one that is fun, encouraging, honest and “girlfriendly.”

 

This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine’s print edition with the headline: “Still In Style”. 

 

Categories: Currents, Fashion, Style, Beauty, Local Business