Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Shop Girl: Meet Nicolette Prpa of SHE

Nicolette Prpa of SHE Boutique

Meet Nicolette Prpa, the owner behind the highly successful SHE Boutique. This busy owner runs two brick-and-mortar stores, one in Lincoln Park and the other in Highland Park, IL. She's just added e-commerce, so savvy fashionistas can shop from anywhere worldwide. We recently caught up with her to see what customers are buying now, what's in her closet and the future of SHE.

Runway To Retail: What are SHE customers buying right now?

Nicolette Prpa:
There’s not one customer that comes into the store without picking up or glancing at a pair of Bloch London Flats while hearing our employees giddily rave about their comfort. Of course, the very moment the silky smooth lined sole meets their feet our customers are sold on these very special ballet shoes, which is why we try and get them in as many colors as we can to make sure our customers don’t go through a seasoned withdrawal from the most coveted shoes thus far. We’ve also seen Tart’s colorful sundresses flying off our racks as well as Mint’s Linen Wide Legged Pants both embody effortlessly chic style.

RTR: What are you buying for fall?

My closet is about to be uplifted by my newly inspired ideas for fall attire brought on by lines like Jill Stuart with her new high-waisted skirts, oxford shirts by Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, booties by YSL and of course the one of a kind Sword jackets that have the ability to transform all my outfits through their finely handcrafted Italian leather. The Sword jackets could be the one piece that is simply thrown over any ensemble and always uplifts my mood by their luscious leather feel and smell.

RTR: Who is the perfect quintessential “SHE” customer?
Ideally, our SHE customers are the ones that know what they are looking for, but just need a little help putting together the right outfit for the right occasion and are willing to try anything once!

RTR: What are the designers you always stock and why?

Bloch London ballet flats are one of our top priorities when stocking the SHE closet for the very reason that these will inevitably fly off the shelves at the same rapid rate we order them. Also, for every season we stock up on Young Fabulous & Broke’s collection of low-key looks that are both fashionable yet made for extreme comfort. And of course, Mint by Jodi Arnold is a brand we have had from the very day of opening our store and is still an iconic name for her concise construction of the shape for every woman and her fine detailing that always leaves us in a lull over each piece we get in throughout the year.

RTR: What designers surprised you this fall season?
We have been truly awe inspired by the latest designs by one of our newest labels, Society for Rational Dress. They have given us a reason to start off fall with a fresh new vibe; their pursuit in rational dressing has certainly caught our attention this season. With their vibrant dresses in deep teals and rustic browns as well as their racer back tanks with an edge through their bronzed chain straps, they are valiantly becoming essential pieces and great layering tools we will be able to use in the midst of our fall wardrobes.

RTR: What are your biggest tips for dressing?
Don’t over expose yourself, being sexy to me is more rather than less and you have to love what you are wearing. You have to feel good because confidence is in the way you dress and will always translate how you look depending on how you feel in what you wear. Also, don’t be afraid to accessorize, the best essentials for transforming a look from day to night is through the use of belts and vests. These are key pieces that are either overlooked or underestimated for the power they have over any outfit.

RTR: What’s in your closet?
NP: Young Fabulous & Broke sweats in every color, a whole lot of shoes (Black Lucite Heels by Barbara Bui), our Team SHE white tank for everyday of the week, a sexy Zac Posen black dress, and array of sundresses by the designer Falls.

RTR: What’s in your beauty bag?
NP: My own SHE Skin Dark Circle Eraser Cream, Dr. Bram’s daily UV protection bronzer, Lancome’s Vertuse mascara, Lorac on screen duo eyeliner, Smashbox o-block, Judy Malone’s Amber & Lavender scent, and Armani foundation #7.

RTR: Favorite Runway Accessory:
NP: Jill Stuart’s fall gladiator shoes.

RTR: How did you get started and what lies ahead in your future?
I began SHE in May of 2007 in Lincoln Park and after a year I decided that I wanted to bring our diverse array of clothing to the suburb Highland Park outside of Chicago as well. Luckily, both have become very successful endeavors which has led me into recently launching a website paralleled to both stores carrying the same designers our customers love. Where I see this all taking me would be in many new directions. In September, I am launching my own skin care line called SHE SKIN and I hope to open our SHE store nationwide. I live by the mantra that the “Sky is the limit.” There are endless possibilities when hard work is put forth, so I see my future in that same light, limitless.

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