Whether vintage or from the runways of New York, Fondren shopping is one-of-a-kind. Quaint shops welcome visitors with open arms and personal customer service is still the rule. From trendy styles at Fondren’s Fashion House to high-end brands at Fondren Muse, we think it’s a shame not to let you in on Jackson’s best kept secrets.
Sophie McNeil Wolf compiles a rundown of Fondren’s fashion…
Fondren Muse, 3413 North State Street
Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Marni, Michael Kors, Missoni, Tory Burch, Miu Miu — all under one roof. Yes, it’s even in Mississippi. Mary Amelia McRee opened Fondren Muse, an upscale consignment shop, in the fall of 2012 because she saw a need, not only for fashion, but for the community. Located in a house at the corner of Decelle and North State streets, McRee knew the property was in need of a makeover. “We love Jackson and Fondren, and thought we could help and do our part to preserve the area we love by putting our boutique here,” she says. It didn’t stop there. The boutique donates a portion of their profits to benefit Community Animal Rescue & Adoption (CARA), a local non-kill animal rescue in Jackson.
Blithe & Vine, 2943 Old Canton Road
Liz Spratlin’s philosophy towards her store Blithe & Vine is simple. “If I love it, I buy it for the store,” she says. Self described as chic, casual, and versatile, Blithe & Vine has found a nichÃ© with classic, sophisticated brands such as Koch, Ulla Johnson and Mother Denim. Started almost five years ago, Spratlin has seen nothing but growth, including a second expansion just last year and a recent move from Fondren Corner to a larger space in Fondren Village.
Fondren’s Fashion House, 310 East Mitchell Avenue
Located in a bungalow on Fondren’s fashion row on Mitchell Avenue, Fondren’s Fashion House has mass appeal. From affordable trend-setting items to custom high-end pieces, owner Connie Brown handpicks classic looks for every woman. The store also offers five style experts, including celebrity stylist J. Bolin (pictured, right, with Brown), to help style for any occasion. A Natchez native, Brown says the historic feel of the neighborhood makes her feel at home. “The customers that stop through can’t actually believe that this is a house full of beautiful clothes,” she says. “The area is phenomenal.”
Swell-O-Phonic, Soma/Wilai and Slavebird, 2906 North State Street
From quirky Jackson themed T-shirts to a curated men’s and women’s boutiques, Ron Chane’s Swell-O-Phonic,Soma/Wilai, and Slavebird are a mainstay of the neighborhood keeping Fondren funky. In business in Fondren for 14 years, Chane continues to expand his mark on the retail scene, offering sought after brands not found out elsewhere in the tri-county area, such as Element, Gentle Fawn and Paper Crane. With a recent launch of online sales to chane.com, don’t expect them to slow down any time soon.
Lipstick Lounge, 304 East Mitchell Avenue
When asked what Lipstick Lounge does best, Yolanda Minnifield is quick to answer. “We bring the bling,” she says. Opened four years ago on Mitchell Avenue’s fashion row, Lipstick Lounge offers women’s clothing, accessories and handbags and shoes for men and women with brands such as Red Kiss, Fahrenheit and Liliana. When it came to choosing a location, Fondren just felt right. “My neighbors look out for me,” she says. “We work together and look out for each other. I love the aspect of a home being turned into a business.”
Mulberry Dreams, 3026 North State Street
The new kid on the block, Mulberry Dreams opened in November of 2013 in the old Green Room space on North State Street. Inspired by fashion from Australia and New York, pieces are part bohemian, part edgy with a classic twist. Why choose Fondren? Owner Jamie Ainsworth explains, “My favorite part is being able to get to know my neighbors and get involved in all the events. I like the close relationship of the community working together to draw more people in.” Can’t get to Fondren? Mulberry Dreams also offers personal styling and home appointments.
lululemon athletica, 3100 North State Street
Tucked next to M!SO on Duling Avenue, lululemon athletica showroom is a cozy, boutique version of a larger lululemon store. Offering athletic wear for running and yoga to tennis, golf and CrossFit, the store made waves opening this past July. When it came to choosing a location, showroom manager Kayla Weems knew Fondren was the right place. “It was Fondren or bust for me when choosing a location for my showroom,” she says. “lululemon’s motto is “Elevating The World From Mediocrity To Greatness” and Fondren is a community that elevates on a daily basis.”
Posh Boutique, 4312 North State Street
If you ask Keisha Marie Alexander to describe her North Fondren boutique, she’ll tell you, it’s in the name. “Posh says it all. It’s an elegant, stylish, chic, swanky little shop. We pride ourselves on giving everyone a very posh-like experience, from the assistance you get to the atmosphere.” Opened five years ago near the corner of Meadowbrook Road and North State Street, Posh Boutique is home to women’s fashions from brands like mink pink, Mek denim and Aryn K, among others. Posh will also soon launch a private label and T-shirt line called FoRosKi.