South Beach fashion just a stone’s throw from Staten Island
A fortuitous trip to South Beach some 15 years ago set the wheels in motion for CoCo Pari, the sophisticated, unabashedly sexy fashion boutique in Red Bank that’s a favorite shopping destination of music icons (and Jersey boys) Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi, not to mention a stream of Bergen-based customers.
In the years since, Kimberly Landau, the shop’s owner and sole fashion buyer, has witnessed the renaissance of Red Bank, a Jersey Shore hamlet that now counts Tiffany & Co. among its high-end retailers. The town’s current nickname, “Soho of the Shore,” is a vast improvement over the late 80s’ “Dead Bank.”
“It was more than just creating a store,” Landau said. “I feel as though I took part in driving the renaissance of a town.” Nurturing relationships with leading fashion designers was key to that success; among the marquis labels found within CoCo Pari’s three-story, 10,000-square-foot space—Versace, Mandalay, Herve Leger, Roberto Cavalli, Valentino, Robert Rodriguez, Stella McCartney, and Alexander McQueen. A 50-foot wall of fashion footwear is testament to Landau’s passion for shoes and the respect she garners from top designers such as Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, and Yves St. Laurent, whose luxury lines are typically found only in department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. In fact, the New York Post’s widely read “Page Six” recently dubbed CoCo Pari “a hybrid of Intermix and Bergdorf Goodman.” Landau and her legions of fans couldn’t agree more.
Capturing the soul of South Beach—in attitude, art, and architecture—helped cement the store’s reputation as New Jersey’s premier purveyor of sexy, sophisticated clothing. Never is the spirited South Beach vibe more evident than on Friday and Saturday evenings, when the boutique is open until 11:00 p.m. for late-night shopping alongside a lively Latin beat that spills out of the expansive Broad Street storefront. “In South Beach,” Landau said, “the boutiques feel more like clubs than stores, and the clothes were feminine, confident, and sexy. I wanted to share that experience with women here… to bring both the clothing styles and that sense of revelry home.” To that end, her work goes well beyond aesthetics.
While customers rave over the designer clothes and wide selection of shoes (often more than 80 styles of Louboutins alone), Landau is proudest of CoCo Pari’s customer service. She has assembled a staff of genuinely friendly sales associates whose only objective is “making sure every woman feels special.”
“We understand that not every woman is in her 20s and a size 2,” she said. “The clothes have to work for real women.”
To help achieve that, Landau hand picks every accessory, shoe, and item of clothing in the store’s inventory, working to ensure a broad mix, from swimsuits to workday basics to formalwear, in all a range of prices. “I’d rather have someone leave empty handed,” she said, “…than to leave the store with something that doesn’t look great on them.”