In the late 1960s almost every city had a hip part of town where you could dance at the latest discotheque and buy the chicest clothes. In Chicago that area was Rush Street, and one of the coolest boutiques was Paul B. I recently found a blog by the woman in the hat in the photo below reminiscing about the days she worked at Paul B.:
“Paul was a dream to work for, the clothes were fantastic, and the girls were nice … Preston was the manager, a fun, black man with absolutely no rhythm, we teased him about that constantly. The store was open til midnight on Fridays with a bar serving champagne in the back by the dressing rooms, so dates wouldn’t get bored while women tried on clothes … it was like a party. I loved dressing the windows, especially because the clothes were always ahead of the curve. I had some very interesting customers there … The Staples Singers, Minnie Ripperton, and Andre, a pimp who shopped for his 3 ‘girls’…”
I would love to find more information about all those little boutiques that could be found in the trendy areas of fashion-conscious cities where young people shopped for the latest clothes in the 1960s-70s. These shops were rarely big enough to pay for advertising, operated with a small staff, and although a few designers found fame starting in a small boutique (Mary Quant, Betsey Johnson, Dorothee Bis, Vicky Tiel…), most designer/boutique owners left the business and faded into obscurity. A few of the shops have remained famous in memory (Apple boutique, Bazar, Paraphernalia) and a few shops even survived in some form afterwards (Biba, Le Chateau), but most were gone by the 1980s and will be forgotten.