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It's not goodbye, it's "see you soon," according to Owen boutique owner Phillip Salem. He tells WWD that he's closing up his shop on Washington Street at the end of the month to make way for a new development on the property. "A lot of landmark buildings have been approved for air space," he told the paper. "All these buildings are getting higher. [Meatpacking District is] turning into something I never expected it to turn into: something commercial."
Thankfully, it's not the end for Owen, which quickly became a harbinger of downtown cool after it opened in 2012 with budding names like Jonathan Simkhai, Cushnie et Ochs, and Jennifer Fisher jewelry. Salem is already searching downtown for new store locations, with the hopes of opening in the first half of 2016. "I could have gone somewhere quickly and thrown together something, but I don't want to lose the identity I've worked so hard to get," he said. "I want to keep the next store consistent with the Owen identity, the clean lines, beautiful racks, and great fitting room area."
"I have high hopes for the future," he added. "I'm going to revamp and relaunch the store. This could be the blessing we need to take the store to the next level."
In the meantime, will there be a sale? There's a good chance, even though the store held a pretty great one last week—we've reached out to the brand for confirmation [Update: All merchandise is up to 80% off]. Customers will still be able to find Owen's eponymous handbag collection on their e-commerce site—and perhaps select vendors ("Whose dream isn't Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys New York?")—while the physical store is closed.
Over the next several months, Salem will focus on creating a retail experience even more striking than his dramatic setting on Washington Street. "When people came in, they remembered they were in Owen," he said of the early months. "On the last day, everybody can take a paper bag as a memory."