audrey * k is so honored to have received two top awards for the
Best Handbags in Los Angeles in 2009 and 2010.
Taste of west coast fashion
Fort Lauderdale Affordable Fashion Examiner-Alana Wooten
While I was in the Los Angeles area earlier this month, I had the privilege of taking in some sights in the downtown Burbank area. I was supposed to be looking for Star Wars costumes for my nephews, but ended up running into two delightful clothing boutiques. Lucky for us they have websites where they also showcase their merchandise.
The first boutique is called Audrey*k. When I walked in, I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by Audrey herself! Her clothing and accessories are really adorable with a definite retro, and Modcloth feel, featuring designs of her own and local designers, “fusing modern and vintage styles in a fashion forward way”. She has everything available in women’s apparel, accessories and gifts. You can check out her website to see items available in the store, purchase gift certificates, sales items, and dresses from the Audrey*k couture collection, where each dress is individually made in small quantities. For example, this Julianne dress in black, an Audrey*k design, is a pretty and funky cocktail dress with cap sleeves, and a mesh like fabric, achieving a simple yet classic and overall sleek look, on sale for $99. Pair this dress with a yellow sunflower hair piece for $25 and definitely make a stylish impression!
Look, audrey * k is listed under the Points of Interest in the guide, Walking L.A.
Author, Erin Mahoney takes the reader on different routes through out the LA area.
Turning the daily walk into an exciting adventure!
Be sure to grab your copy on amazon.com
Audrey K Boutique - Vintage-Inspired Modern Clothes by Local Designers
One morning my close friend and I did a long bike ride and stopped in a quaint district in Glendale to have coffee and a pastry. Across the street we spotted an adorable boutique—Audrey K. There was a rack outside with dresses on sale. My friend, Catherine, flipped over the designs and rushed into the store for a closer look. I followed, still a little winded from our bike ride. I noticed the clothes had a very old Hollywood look to them, yet they weren't vintage at all. They were fresh new designs by local talent. And everything was priced affordable. While I was browsing, Catherine tried on and purchased several outfits. I got bold and tried one on, too. And I loved the way it looked and felt. The sales staff was attentive, but not pushy in the least. It was a wonderful shopping experience. Since that first visit, my riding partner and I have purchased many outfits from that store (which continues to stock beautiful, unique, vintage-inspired clothing at a reasonable price). What looks couture is actually affordable. Now that is what's so special about Audrey K Boutique!
"The store has been a passion of mine. I've been in retail my entire life and I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to focus on designers that were local, not mass-produced, or all over the mall."—Audrey Robles, Owner of Audrey K Boutique
Audrey Robles is the owner of Audrey K Boutique located in Glendale, California. Uniquely, she is a trained wardrobe stylist who helps out her clients individually, lending a friendly, caring atmosphere to those who shop at this vintage-inspired boutique. Audrey K has been featured in several publications, blogs, and the points of interest in "Walking in LA." She has an extensive celebrity clientele, and her fashions and accessories have been seen on popular television shows. Audrey K is a boutique that fuses vintage and modern and vintage styles in a very fashion-forward, sophisticated, and affordable way. The boutique offers styles that you won't see anywhere else. How does this boutique accomplish that? By supporting local designers with something unique and are high fashion with an edge.
I love your stuff. It reminds me of vintage even though it's not. The 30s, 40s, 50s . . . How did you come up with such a niche-specific store?
I've always been drawn to the styles from the 50's era because they embrace a women's femininity. There's something spectacular seeing women who's put the time into look herbest and possessing a since of a glamor. The movie stars of Old Hollywood oozed glamor like Sofia Loren and Bettie Page and Marylin Monroe. Unfortuntily most women today have shyed away from wearing dresses, and it's my desire to reintroduce them to the our closets. As a wardrobe stylist I work personally with each of my clients in showing them that there are dress styles that can be flattering for every body shape, and you don't need an occasion to wear a dress. We have causal styles that meet most women's daily activities and lifestyles. Exchanging out the dreaded pant suit with a flattering dress can bring joy and a sophistication that can make a women feel good about herself.
The Retro Pinup scene has never lost it's flair from the 50's. It's been more of an under spoken lifestyle but slowly this look is starting to bubble up into high fashion. And like most fashion trends once it's gets more popular it eventually ends up on runways, unfortunately sometimes the essence of the style gets lost in translation. I'm trying to preserve the 40's and 50's vintage styles in keeping with their original vintage look. The styles we carry in my boutique are a perfect example of that.
How do you decide what goes into your store?
To be honest with you, I buy the fashions that I like. When I buy, I'm very particular about what I choose for the boutique. Fabric is super important. You can have a great looking piece but if doesn't feel good on the skin changes are your not going to wear that style very often. Of course the over all look and esthetics are crucial as well, then pricing that item at a fair price makes that item worth wanting. I hand pick every item while consisdering our customers and their needs.
I also seek out independant designers that recreate the vintage look. They use friendly fabrics of today that modern women can wear everyday. You can wear these dresses and feel beautiful because the styles accommodate a lot of women as far as shapes are concerned.
plus they are pieces you can pull out of the closet and use season after season.
You're also a designer?
The designing aspect is something that has evolved on its own. I have a college degree in fashion merchandising which has helped give me tools that I use but desiging has been more of a self tought trade. I'm drawn to frabics, color and textiles and before I know it I've stetched a dress. Over the years, while assisting my customers I have noticed them trying on something in my store that doesn't fit and I think to myself, I can tweak that to where it would fit better if it was a little longer, or maybe if it was made in another fabric. So being in the fashion industry, I see things that would meet the customer's needs that other styles or clothing lines don't so I find myself wanting to design .
Audrey K Designs that will be sold exclusively on my website. (New lines were released Spring/Summer 2009.)
You said that 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s retro . . . all those eras had their bad picks as well. I noticed in your shop your stuff seems to be the cream of the crop of those styles. Can you tell me where that keen eye of fashion comes from within you?
The women of my family were fashion icons. My great grandmother owned
her own boutique in the 30's and hand sewed all of the clothing. Her daughter, my nana dressed to the nine everyday. She also designes and sewed most of her clothing knitting a matching hat to go with every outfit. My mother was a model for Caesar's Palace and also ran a modeling agency in Las Vegas Nevada. Each of these women taugh me how dress like a lady however you wouldn't have known that if you saw me in the 80s. I had a mullet and wore bad clothes. I think it's something I grew into. I never wanted to do fashion and sketch hen I was a young child. That would have made a great Cinderella story. But that really wasn't how it was for me. I went to the American College for the Applied Arts to get my degree. That sparked it for me. I was drawn to retail jobs centered around sales and customer service. I was very good at it too. I've always known what I like. Regarding picking the cream of the crop, because there are styles in the 50s and 60s and even in the 70s, where I hoped those styles would never come back, there were styles where certain designers nailed it. So I tried to find those pieces and put them in the store. Everything in here is a winner. I don't just go out and fill the store. to fill it. I am very particular, so we nail it every single time.
Where do you see Audrey K in 5 years?
My husband and I have a goal to expand the boutique in a few years, whether we open a second location or having one central Flagship store, however we don't want to grow too fast because when you do that, the jewel of what this store is all about gets muffled in a way. You have to have the right supportive group of people working with you in order for the success to stick.
Interviewed by Kaylene Peoples
To learn more about Agenda Magazine, visit their website at http://www.agendamag.com/.
Tweeting to the top
Companies using tools like Facebook and Twitter say customers like being engaged.
By Zain Shauk
Audrey Robles doesn’t panic about the economic slowdown or the dwindling foot traffic outside her Kenneth Village store. Instead, she fires up her Twitter account.
She also posts to her blog, monitors her Facebook page and adds to her bi-weekly e-mail newsletter.
The media blitz may seem aggressive to those unfamiliar with the social networking tools, but Robles credits her efforts for not only keeping audrey*k boutique in the black, but pushing it to new heights as well.
“This year has actually been our most profitable year in the three years since I’ve been here,” she said. “So even though there is a recession, customers still come and buy.
Kenneth Village Spotlight--
Audrey *K Boutique Focuses on Fusing Unique Modern and Vintage Fashions
By Carol Brusha
One of my pleasures when walking at Kenneth Village is checking out the window display at Audrey K. It is always fun and interesting to see what new outfit, handbag, or pair of shoes is being put on view. This is a boutique catering to trendy teens and young adults, modern, career- minded young women, and on-the-go moms who are seeking something fashionable for themselves or for gifts. Men, looking for something special to give to someone special, will find a peaceful environment with many choices at reasonable prices and a friendly, helpful staff -- and if they cannot make a decision, they can purchase gift cards. Owner Audrey Robles will mark her two year anniversary in Kenneth Village in July 2008. Why did she come here? “I love the quaint atmosphere in Kenneth Village and that all the stores are individually owned, plus it is close to my home,” she replied.
Modern to Retro
Her clothing styles range from modern to retro. “My customers are your everyday women who know what they like and don’t want to pay a fortune for it. My focus is to fuse modern and vintage styles from the ‘40s and ‘50s in a very fashion-forward, sophisticated and affordable way,” she explained. Audrey also makes every effort to support local designers so she offers unique styles. “It’s the little twists on the trends that make the difference that creates individuality and separates you from the pack,” she said. So what will you find at Audrey K besides ladies apparel, shoes and a fabulous assortment of handbags? There’s a nice selection of lingerie, scarves, hats, sunglasses and added to this delightful mix is a variety of handmade jewelry from local artists, body pampering products, and items for the hair, such as hair clips and hair bands. She also has candles, retro greeting cards and tchotchkes to display in the home or office.
Audrey is a Wardrobe Stylist
Audrey is a wardrobe stylist so she can assist clients in discovering their personal looks by teaching them the fundamentals in how to shop and giving tips on how to gain confidence in dressing.“The trick to looking fashionable is learning how to put outfits together and wearing pieces that enhance,” she explained. This is accomplished by finding what works for each individual taking into account personality, body shape, occupation and lifestyle. Audrey and her staff of two place a lot of attention on good customer service.“We treat each client with respect and focus on meeting their fashion needs. We never let a customer walk out with a purchase unless she looks and feels fabulous in it or with it,” she said. “There are no pressure sales here, just honesty and sincere feedback. I adore my customers and make every effort to please them,” she explained and, as a result, many of them have become friends.
Monthly $25 Gift Certificate Drawing
Once a month, there is a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to either a restaurant or entertainment venue. Every customer is eligible. There is no minimum purchase. The ambience of the shop is peaceful with retro background music softly playing (no blaring distracting music here) and several comfortable chaises to sit on. It is open every day except Monday.
Open Tuesday to Sunday
Hours are: Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Online, her website is www.audreyk.com. All purses in the store are available for purchase online, as well as some items of clothing. Within the next few months, she hopes to have her entire inventory available online. Audrey and her business partner/husband, Rodrigo Robles, hope to make the Kenneth Village shop their flagship store and to expand to other locations. They have a 13-year old son, Christian. For those wondering what the “K” stands for, it is Audrey’s middle name, Kay.
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