I’m not buying that!

P1000049 3Reported by Fashionista.com: After struggling with bankruptcy for years and finally closing its doors in February, Loehmann’s is coming back. What? Really? Apparently, Loehmann’s was given a second life when hedge fund Esopus Creek Value Series Fund LP acquired Loehmann’s name and intellectual properties in bankruptcy court. Now, Esopus has brought on brand development and advisory firm CAK Entertainment Inc to launch a new Loehmann’s in May; as on online-only retailer.

Here is where you have me. I am very pleased that they will be carrying the same brands. And I understand the importance of online shopping, especially when research shows that the younger market shops online. But then, I say, don’t call it Loehmann’s. Loehmann’s can’t be about online-only shopping!! Where are the dressing rooms? Where are the almost-naked women? Where is the camaraderie; the other women telling you to buy-that-outfit-because-it looks-so-great-on-you-and-you-will-regret-it-if-you-don’t-get-it?

Who are they kidding?! Loehmann’s is not an online-only shopping experience. And if they think we don’t remember what Loehmann’s was, I’m not buying that!

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Weighing in on the pros of consignment shopping

Marci Kessler

Marci Kessler

Marci Kessler is the CEO of DoubleTake Consignment Boutiques: four stores throughout New Jersey; Short Hills, Ridgewood, Englewood and Red Bank. She has over 21 years experience in the fashion industry and has been involved in managing and maintaining the unique world of quality, designer consignment since launching her first boutique in May, 1992. What a role model for her two teenage sons, who have watched each of their parents run their own businesses and work hard every day to maintain them. But, of course, she had no idea this would be her future when she got her first job in high school, working in the changing room at Loehmann’s

MKG: Marci, what did you learn from that early experience at Loehmann’s?

Marci: Ultimately, I learned much more than I thought at the time. I remember my manager would go through the racks at the end of the day and make sure that every piece of clothing looked perfect. I needed to check that before I could leave the store; I think that is why I am a stickler today. Working in Loehmann’s I developed skills in merchandising, display, and customer service. In those days, Loehmann’s had impeccable customer service; it was their top priority. And today, quality customer service is the key for me. I want customers to feel like they are being taken care of when they shop: doors opened for them, help with moving their clothing to consign from the cars to the store, going above and beyond with every detail. This is very important to me. Continue reading

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Fashion icon Loehmann’s liquidates and my heart breaks

Loehmann's, January 10, 2014 - liquidation has begun ...

Loehmann’s, January 10, 2014 – liquidation has begun …

After 93 years in business and over 30 years as a personal favorite fashion destination, retailer Loehmann’s is closing its doors in all 39 locations nationwide. Liquidation sales began yesterday, January 9th. My love affair with Loehmann’s started when I was in high school, shopping with my mom. It was a significant part of my life with my mom, who has always been my favorite shopping buddy. We would enter the store in Florham Park, NJ, together, and quickly separate as we shopped our separate ways. Ah – my first taste of fashion freedom! Continue reading

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Clothes tell the story of our lives: the good, the bad and the ugly

Me as a bride, the second time; the first time I was 5 years old

The second time I am a bride; the first time I was 5 years old

I believe that our clothes tell the story of our lives: that we can remember an event, a moment, a mood or a feeling, by the clothing we were wearing. I remember being five years old and wanting, more than anything, to be a bride for Halloween. I lived in an apartment building with many steps, and I was traumatized to discover that by the end of the evening my beautiful bride’s dress had been torn to shreds from trick-or-treating and continuously stepping on the hem. Years later, I remember being a bride in my grown-up wedding dress and how I felt like a princess for the day. I remember my brownie outfit and the sash that held my badges and how I wore it with pride, like a true soldier. I remember being in eighth grade, putting on a pair of bell-bottoms, wedge shoes and a Huckapoo shirt, and feeling confident and cool; the first time I really felt that way as a young teen (after months of feeling awkward and gangly). My clothes are my memories and I remember it all.

This holiday, I was moved when my friend gave me the charming book, Love, Loss, and What I Wore, written and illustrated by Ilene Beckerman. It is the story of a woman’s life and memories, told through the clothes that she wore.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore - written and illustrated by Ilene Beckerman

Love, Loss, and What I Wore – written and illustrated by Ilene Beckerman

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For your holiday party, tie it up with a bow and wear what feels comfortable!

My See by Chloe bow dress found at Loehmann's

My See by Chloe bow dress found at Loehmann’s

When it comes to dressing up (or dressing down) it’s crucial that you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing and most like yourself. What do I mean? You always want to feel good when you walk out the door. Even when holiday shopping tempts you, it’s not worth buying something new that doesn’t suit your style perfectly – no matter how shiny or glittery it may be. I would rather wear something I really love again and again, than wear new things that are just, so-so. Continue reading

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