Local boutique Gigi Bottega hosts fashion show

Cathaleen Qiao Chen

Local fashion enthusiasts, downtown business employees and Northwestern students attended Gigi Bottega’s “Fall into Fashion” showcase to preview the boutique’s latest autumn styles Friday.

Hosted in collaboration with Salon Lotus, the event ran from 5 to 7 p.m., and invited attendees to interact with models, drink wine and take advantage of the boutique’s sale.

The “Fall into Fashion” showcase, held at 612 Davis St., was comprised of nine models, most of whom are employees from Salon Lotus, 808 Davis St. Fitted by boutique owner and manager Gina Vericella and salon director Amanda Mahoney, the models donned dark colors, romantic prints and flowy silhouettes – styles Vericella said are very much inspired by 1970s fashion.

“We are trying to make our customers happy by giving them prefaces to other businesses, but it’s also very exciting for us,” said Liz Herzog, a Salon Lotus receptionist and event model, who wore a green tank with a tiered lace maxi skirt. “Gina and my manager did a very good job picking out the pieces. A lot of the girls are buying what they’re wearing.”

Among the attendees were Medill senior Pavithra Mohan and Weinberg junior Rajul Parekh. Parekh, a frequent shopper of gigi, said she appreciates the boutique for its uniqueness.

“There aren’t any other stores like this one,” she said. “We’re very happy about the 20 percent sale tonight.”

Vericella said the store caters to a younger crowd – namely college students and 20-somethings, although its “contemporary look” is appealing to all. The boutique opened in July as an addition to its original location in Bloomington, Ill.

Shortly after its debut, Gigi forged a working relationship with Salon Lotus, which is one block away. Since then, Vericella and Mahoney organized the fashion showcase to promote each other’s business.

“We love to cultivate relationships with different merchants in downtown Evanston,” Mahoney said. “Most of us are not chain, and a lot of the small businesses like to work together. It’s a relationship that people should definitely build upon.”

Vericella said Gigi and Salon Lotus are considering to collaborate on another event in spring that would involve more Evanston businesses-one that would be very similar to Big Bite Night.

“Our goal is to get the downtown community involved,” Vericella said.

As a local establishment, Gigi showcased the products of other Evanston businesses, such as Mai Jolie, an Evanston-based jewelry seller. Local restaurants such as Lulu’s Noodles, 804 Davis St., and Tiny Dog Cupcake, 616 Davis St., distributed food at the event.

The showcase also displayed Evanston native Marjorie Kitzrow’s fragrance, Summersent,

“This fragrance is dedicated to the beauty, grace and dignity of women,” Kitzrow said. “It’s made for the women who wear it, not the woman who designed it. In fashion, they need to shape up their act because they don’t treat the women correctly. Half the time, the models look ravished or stoned or drunk or dead.”

Ultimately, Mahoney said the presence of live models would help foster an intimate connection between the business and its customers.

“You feel a lot more comfortable making an appointment after personally meeting the stylists,” she said.

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