The rich culture of Tucson is reflected in the local fashion scene. There are many boutiques and stores that demonstrate different styles, functions and flair — there’s something for everyone. To get an idea, read about these popular clothing stores in Tucson.
What began as a small 500 square foot t-shirt shop is now home to over 100 brands available to the Tucson community.
Dress Code initially expected to draw the attention of music fanatics, however it has since drawn the business of many other subcultures and communities in Tucson, especially that of the UA.
Dress Code was launched in 2006 by a family composed of musically-driven individuals. Three brothers and a sister shared the vision of creating a boutique that would be synonymous with the “latest, hottest and freshest” trends.
One of the owners, Mustafa Dawoodbhoy, was a student at the UA while the family launched Dress Code. Dawoodbhoy studied accounting through the Eller College of Management and later earned a masters degree.
“Keeping up with the rigor of Eller and helping launch the store was not an easy task, however since it is something we are passionate about, we made it possible,” Dawoodbhoy said.
All ages can enjoy the pop culture-inspired flair; there are men’s, women’s and children’s sections.The popular unisex brands consist of Converse, Vans, True Religion, Ray Ban and so many more.
Dress Code has incorporated more elements of pop culture relating to that of TV shows and movies into their merchandise selection, includinghits like The Office, The Bachelor and Bob’s Burgers. Some of their musician and band merchandise features celebrities like Lady Gaga and Kanye West as well as Radiohead and The Beatles.
Their most recent expansion included the addition of brands such as Stussy, The Hundreds and 10Deep. Furthermore, they have collaborated with a popular local designer Prince and feature his collection FINALLYMADE.
With these additions, Dress Code owners are confident that their boutique will continue to grow. Dress Code is located at 2636 E. Broadway Blvd.
Located near the UA campus is one of Tucson’s first boutiques, ZOË.
ZOË exudes an aesthetic that is feminine, airy and colorful. The shop’s selection encompasses “a little bit of everything … [including] cute clothes for going out, accessories, clutches and a few home goods like candles and art” said Lissa Marinaro, current owner of Zoë and a UA alumna.
“I loved shopping and one day I went into my favorite store, ZOË, and the owner was hiring … two years later it became mine” said Marinaro.
Originally, ZOË opened on Fourth Avenue in 1994. With recent increase in business however, it moved to the current location on the corner of Campbell Avenue and Hedrick Drive.
Since the switch in ownership, Marinaro has broadened the array of merchandise available to include trendy pieces for numerous occasions. ZOË sells casual tees, rompers, semi-formal dresses and super cute accessories, making it a go-to for any customer for various festivities.
Originally from the midwest, Marinaro moved to Tucson to attend the UA and escape the harsh winters.
“I fell in love with Tucson and never left,” said Marinaro. The captivation of the Tucson flair led her to showcase the skill and creativity of numerous locals.
“We carry one-of-a-kind accessories from local designers, and art from local artists that we rotate every couple of months,” Marinaro said.
Also inspired by the desert landscape, Marinaro decided to include a “Desert Love” tab on ZOË’s website where interested shoppers can find desert-inspired apparel and accessories. Along with their selection of locally-sourced items, Marinaro’smini schnauzer, Mozart, often accompanies her to work.
Located on University Boulevard are two popular sister stores, Collette Clothing and Boutique 816. These two businesses share more than just trend-driven clothing. They are co-owned by Amy DeVries Jesionowski. Jesionowski first launched Collette clothing back in 2011, and after seeing lots of success, she decided to open Boutique 816 in 2012.
Although run by the same owner, Collette and 816 contain different styles and vibes to accommodate the large customer base. Collette is geared more toward customers who prefer a “girl next door” aesthetic.816 is “where boho meets edgy” said Nicole Cuillo, a UA senior and manager at the boutiques.
Once inside either store, the customers are greeted with a charming vintage feel.
“There are many different kinds of displays showcasing the character of the store and, although 816 is smaller in size, it still possess the same vintage feel,” Cuillo said.
The vintage presence in both of these stores is created by Jesionowski. She uses her interior design niche to create eye catching and unique displays. She does this by transforming old furniture pieces she finds in thrift stores around Tucson into chic functional embellishments.
With an impeccable eye, Jesionowski and her managers regularly take trips to Los Angeles and attend trade shows in Las Vegas to buy and deliver the most up-to-date pieces. The merchandise ranges from formal to casual depending on the time of year, but usually Collette and 816 are equipped with something perfect for any occasion.
Jesionowski is also very conscientious about upcoming events happening on and off campus. When popular events such as spring break, homecoming and festival season are approaching, she makes sure to include many new pieces that help her customers look their best.
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