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Retail Realities: Frankie in New York City

All good things come to an end — or grow into something greater. When Gaelle Drevet and Magda Pietrobelli opened Pixie Market in New York City’s Lower East Side in 2006, the duo never imagined their pint-size boutique would outgrow its brick-and-mortar roots to become an e-commerce superstar. “Pixie Market, the retail store, became too small to carry the same selection available online,” Drevet revealed. So in November, the physical space transformed into Frankie, a concept shop aimed at “Pixie Market’s older sister.”

Where its predecessor stocked a trend-driven, wallet-friendly selection of clothing, shoes and accessories (still available online), Frankie is more mature and New York-centric. “The Frankie girl enjoys affordable, luxe-looking basics that connect with her dynamic city lifestyle,” Drevet explained, noting that she saw a shift in customer base as soon as the new store opened its door. “Ladies who would not have walked into Pixie Market definitely noticed that Frankie was more appropriate to their taste,” she added.

While sales have been steadily growing, the New York winter has proved brutal and Drevet is looking forward to warmer weather bringing more business. Prices range $20-$500 and the high-low mix of international labels range from Britain’s Glamourous and Alice McCall to Australian label Shakuhachi and California-based Toit Volant. Denim-wise, the store carries pieces from the likes of Rodebjer, Cameo and Reisling. “We are soon going to stock vintage-style Levi’s, the original mom jeans,” Pietrobelli noted. Drevet, meanwhile, says their shoppers “love anything in black” and are drawn to silhouettes as opposed to specific brand names. “Our boutique has a leitmotif of uniquely fashion-current items with a one-of-a-kind feeling: refined, affordable but not disposable,” she said.

Bestselling silhouettes: Skinnies, flares, culottes and mom jeans.

Top trends: Culottes, mock-neck sweatshirts and flatform loafers.

Thoughts on the ‘70s: The decade is very rock ‘n’ roll in a feminine-sexy kind of way. All girls have a bit of bohemian in them so I think the trend will stick around for next fall and further on.

Next big thing: The ‘80s.