Friday, July 11, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Change in Adresse: The story behind the boutique's move from Rittenhouse to Old City

Adresse has changed its address. We've been wanting to say that for so long.

Change in Adresse: The story behind the boutique's move from Rittenhouse to Old City

What exactly happened to Adresse?

That’s the question locals familiar with the designer boutique murmured as they speculated why Adresse had suddenly up and left its Locust Street home and reappeared on Walnut to briefly share a space with Jacques Ferber. Then on May 6, Adresse announced via Instagram that it had relocated to Old City.

Owner Stefanie Lutzo, who’s largely remained mum on the situation, spoke to me Monday regarding the fate of her store, the first and immediate point being that Adresse has indeed moved from Rittenhouse Square to Old City (45 N 2nd St). “It was the right timing,” says Lutzo, who described the move as “very sudden” and “stressful.”

Unfortunately, when Adresse’s Locust Street lease ended, the building was immediately listed on the market to be sold. “We were trying to work something out,” says Lutzo, who adds that the hullabaloo, or “drama” she calls it, was something she was not accustomed to, especially since Lutzo’s expertise is in retail, “not real estate,” she jokes. “The ideal situation would have been this,” she adds. “We were trying to work out something to stay longer. Then I would have had a year to notify our clients.”

With the sudden scramble to find an appropriate home for the designer destination, Lutzo was faced with the possibility of temporarily closing her doors. However, Jacques Ferber’s Andre Ferber reached out to her and offered to help. “‘Stay for 3 days or 3 weeks, but at least you don’t have to close’ were his words," recounts Lutzo.

Adresse officially opened in Old City, another big Philly shopping destination with its independent boutiques and nifty furniture stores, in early May. “The space was available in Old City within the time frame I needed it,” explains Lutzo, who first looked into possible locations in Rittenhouse Square. However, Adresse's new building, a “gorgeous space” within the environment of Old City’s shopping district was a strong fit.  “It’s easier to park down here with the lot next door,” she says, which is an added benefit for the Main Line and suburban-chic moms who drive down to Adresse on weekdays to freshen up their wardrobes. Lutzo’s clientele consists of designer-conscious women with disposable income, and while the address has changed, she insists the product offerings, the hours, and the experience of finding one-off designer pieces still remain the same.

In addition to the usual gems like Chloe, MIH and Stella McCartney, the store also has some brand new additions that continue to fuel fashionistas' needs across the Greater Philadelphia region. Think cool sunglasses from The Row (the Olsen twins’ award-winning line), Wes Gordon’s spring collection, and Belstaff’s uber-cool leather jackets. “It’s a change for us I feel really positive about," Lutzo says when asked if Rittenhouse is a future option for her boutique again - a question she does not confirm or deny. Though her main concern is this: “I have to focus on the now.”

The "now" which entails operating one of Philly’s finest designer boutiques in the cobblestone streets of Old City. Sometimes the irony of transitions are just that.

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