There’s nothing quite as fabulous to fashionistas as boutique shopping. I, personally have scored some great finds over the years. Last week, we celebrated the independent retailers of NYC, and this week the celebration moves to Philadelphia. Sipping on mint-less mojitos from Don Q, Stylemom’s EIC, Nichelle kicked off Philly’s Independent Retail Week with Founder/Nolcha CEO, Kerry Bannigan, Bel Esprit, and a host of other fab fashion friends at the Shops at Liberty Place.

(Nichelle Pace of with Kerry Bannigan, CEO of Nolcha and Founder of IRW
photo by Andrew Huynh)

(We loved Kerry’s fabulous boots!)

(Nichelle with long time stylist friend and fashion designer, Angela Edmunds, owner of Showroom 77)

It was wonderful to meet new local designers such as Elena Lecce. Her origami inspired designs were fresh, fun and uniquely chic:

(Elena Lecce talks about her design inspiration – photo by Andrew Huynh)

(Elena Lecce’s Senior Collection – photo from Elena Lecce)

IRW Philadelphia runs from June 14th – June 20th. Here are our top picks for must attend events:

The Furry Fashionista | All Week Long
Is your finicky feline ready for the runway?  Is that a supermodel chewing on your shoe? Is your mongrel the next Madonna? Show Philadelphia your pet’s fashion sense!  Bring a photo of your pet in their finest haute couture to a participating pet store and your pet will get a treat, and their fashion photo will be displayed in the store. Participating retailers:

  • Bonejour Pet Supply, 53 N. 3rd (3rd and Arch Streets)
  • Just Dogs Gourmet, 1804 Chestnut Street

Dutch Umbrella Ambassador Club: Shop ’til you Drop | All Week Long
Take an Independent Retail Week respite and drop yourself into one of the participating restaurants or cafes and enjoy special treatment to help you rejuvenate.  Simply show your shopping receipt and enjoy any of the special offers listed on Then once your energy’s revived, you can keep on shopping!

Umbrella Drive | All Week Long
Support a green Philadelphia and drop off your broken umbrellas to be transformed into fashion items. The proceeds of the created items will be donated to Haiti relief efforts.Each customer who brings an umbrella is given a chance to win an ethical prize package worth at least $250.  Prizes are donated by the international ethical designers of the Bel Esprit showroom. Drop offs:

  • Adorn Handcrafted Jewelry, 608 North 2nd Street
  • Knit Wit, 1718 Walnut Street
  • The Little Apple, 4353 Main Street

Joan Shepp, 1616 Walnut Street | June 16 | 5pm – 9pm
Stop by to enjoy drinks, hors d’oeuvres and modeling of the latest store fashions!

Pileggi Boutique, 715 Walnut Street | June 17 | 5pm – 7pm
Join Pileggi Boutique for their Thursday night happy hour!  Each Thursday, Pileggi opens its doors and provides drinks to customers and passers-by.  Enjoy a cocktail and shop in the store for great clothing and accessories.

Mandee,1529 Chestnut Street | June 17 | 5pm – 9pm
Come sample the latest in botanically based, luxury French skin care … at affordable prices!  Revel in decadent, handcrafted formulas – from face crèmes and masques to eye gelées and hair treatments.  Free samples of Votre Vu. Strike a Pose! 20% off your purchase and your pic will be taken in your Mandee outfit and uploaded to for others to rate your fashionable look!

Showing with Style (Maternity), 4321 Main St | June 18 | 4pm -7pm
10% off regular price apparel. Customers who spend over $100 will receive a free 15 minute in-store massage from a certified pre-natal masseuse.

Matthew Izzo, 151 N. 3rd St.| June 18 | 6pm -9pm
Enjoy cocktails at trunk show featuring Deviant Jeans and Duke and Winston. Also on site is the Matthew Izzo + Duke & Winston + Philadelphia Fashion Week press conference to announce dates of the show, the schools involved in the student show October 6, and ticket sales starting June 18th.

SA VA Fashion Show in Love Park | June 19 | 6pm- 8pm
Celebrate summer and sustainability with us at the SA VA LOVE fashion show. The event will be a socially conscious & sustainable fashion show presented by SA VA featuring summer collections.  In addition to showcasing locally made apparel the event will bring awareness and support to the sustainable economy and culture of Philadelphia.   Proceeds will benefit Arts & Culture at Fairmount Park.

For a full list of retailers and events, go to

References links:

Andrew Huynh Photography

Showroom 77

Bel Esprit

Elena Lecce