New York fashion maven Beth Buccini delivers high style to her hometown at Bryn Mawr's buzzy new outpost of Kirna Zabête.
Red alert: With Kirna Zabête now in her own backyard in Bryn Mawr, Chadds Ford resident Beth Buccini is already planning a fourth location in Palm Beach.
A few weeks after Beth Buccini opened the Bryn Mawr location of her renowned New York City fashion emporium Kirna Zabête, a customer walked in, looked around at the rows of luxe, fashion-forward clothes, shoes, and accessories, and stated, “You’ll never be able to sell any of this.” To which Buccini retorted, “Actually, it’s all been selling really well.” Really, really well, in fact. Buccini’s sartorial sixth sense has rarely failed her. It was the reason that this former fashion magazine editor opened her first store in New York’s SoHo neighborhood 17 years ago, which has since garnered A-list fans like Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz. And it’s that same instinct that compelled her to bring it home to Philly this past winter.
“When I first opened the New York store, I felt like there was a void in the market,” she says. “When I moved to Chadds Ford six years ago with my kids and husband, I spent a lot of time looking at what everyone was wearing. And I felt that same kind of void. The woman here is very sophisticated and knows what she wants—and if she doesn’t know, she’s eager to learn. And that’s my favorite type of customer.”
To fill that local void, Buccini has transformed an old Septa garage into a sleek Bryn Mawr Village boutique that carries an eclectic and meticulously curated montage of clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, gifts, and home goods. Her wares range from a $5 Terrapin Stationers Je T’aime Mini Card notecard to a $5,000 Mr&Mrs Italy parka, with racks of enough Chloé, Stella McCartney, Frame Denim, Adam Lippes, Altuzarra, and Saint Laurent pieces in between to satiate even the most discerning shopper.
“I think that my fashion editor training was fundamental in tweaking my eye and allowing me to learn what’s important and what’s interesting,” she says of how she decides what makes the cut. “I try not to look at things as a retailer all the time. The one thing I’ve found over the years is that people want interesting, new, fun, unique. But they also want solutions.” Her editor training and industry cred has also allowed her to forge global relationships with cutting-edge, up-and-coming designers, including 42 labels with whom she has exclusives in the Philly market, like Off White, Ellery, Monse, and La Double J.
“It’s been our mission for the last 17 years to carry the most important designers of today and tomorrow,” says Sacai-loving Buccini, who describes her style inspiration as a cross between revered socialite Lee Radziwill and funky Wonderland editor Julia Sarr-Jamois. “We have Gucci, which is the hottest designer in this location, but I always want to show new designers that have that element of surprise. Creatively, it needs to give me goosebumps.”
But don’t head over on the hunt for the hottest trends. “I try not to be trend-based, because at the end of the day you want to buy things that stay in your wardrobe that you can wear over and over,” she says. “Ideally, a woman should be filling her closet with things that she loves of great quality, that she can wear over a lifetime.” Bryn Mawr Village, 915 and 925 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, 610-581-7777