A MONMOUTH COUNTY BOUTIQUE, ONE AHEAD OF ITS TIME, CONTINUES TO THRIVE AND EXPAND, OFFERING THE BEST DESIGNER FASHION UNDER ONE ROOF, AND WITH A PERSONAL TOUCH
BY LAURA D.C. KOLNOSKI • PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBERT NUZZI
To experience “The New Urbanism” in action, look to New Jersey’s most respected, revitalized cities, where the trend is firmly planted, and growing exponentially. Red Bank exemplifies this movement with shoppers filling the sidewalks, couples frequenting thriving restaurants, and professionals going to eateries for lunch, often dining alfresco. The energy of the town is magnetic and lively. Meanwhile, suburban malls are experiencing fewer shoppers and more vacant retail stores. Even the largest online sellers are opening brick and mortar stores to serve the trend toward walkable and environmentally friendly municipalities.
We’re witnessing a new, vibrant lifestyle reminiscent of an earlier time when downtowns were the thriving heartbeat of daily life. Downsizing retirees, families, and commuters want lower rent alternatives to New York without sacrificing desirable amenities. Those residents need services, entertainment, nightlife…and quality opping options. Not prone to making impersonal purchases via computer, new urbanites want the sensual, tactile experiences associated with walking into a brick and mortar shop where exceptional personalized service and unique goods await.
CoCo Parì, a designer boutique established 20 years ago on what is now the most happening block of Red Bank in Monmouth County, became a catalyst for the successful businesses that have located and flourished around it. CoCo Parì recently expanded the store, taking over the entire 10,000 square feet of its 17 Broad Street address. The boutique has more merchandise today than ever, and now carries a plethora of men’s as well as women’s designer shoes. Its iconic 50 foot shoe wall is now 100 feet, adorned with top designer shoe brands from Christian Louboutin, Gianvito Rossi, Jimmy Choo, Giuseppe Zanotti, Saint Laurent, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Chloé, and many more. Customers are amazed by the enormous selection all under one roof.
Along with the very impressive selection of designer shoes for both men and women, CoCo Parì’s racks are filled with up to the minute luxury clothing from Jitrois, Alexander McQueen, Cushnie et Ochs, Hervé Léger, Victoria Beckham, and more.
CoCo Parì’s clientele enjoy VIP treatment from a highly trained staff of personal stylists/consultants overseen by owner and sole buyer Kimberly Landau, who hand selects the store’s highly edited collection of sought after styles and statement pieces. Landau’s gift is connecting with her clients, sensing their needs, and steering them to the most flattering silhouettes.
“I take great pride in what I do,” said Landau, who exudes a warm, caring sensibility that connects with whomever she is addressing. “Every day, I truly find immense gratification in making someone feel special and beautiful. In a way, God gifted me a talent. I loved to dress up as a little girl. Today, I see women transform in front of me. I know I’m doing my job when people leave here and get complimented. That’s what makes them come back.” Her fashion instincts and sincerity have made CoCo Parì a fashion destination like no other an independent boutique offering the most desirable top designer brands under one roof.
Landau, a former fashion model and Holmdel native, was inspired to create her own retail experience by the vibe in Miami Beach’s South Beach district, where she discovered trendy boutiques featuring feminine clothing that inspired confidence and made its wearers feel comfortably sexy. She wanted to bring the same chic ambiance to her home state. Her customers reveled in the surroundings and the selections, letting themselves go and enjoying the experience of being spoiled. Soon there after, the store was recognized by New and New York media alike as a “luxury land mine” and “the best boutique in New Jersey.”
“I want to utilize this place to make people feel good,” said Landau, noting the store has become a destination for a day or night on the town. Couples come in to shop together, she explained, then take in a show, the borough’s many live music offerings, and the enticing cuisine offered by the area’s popular restaurants. “There’s something here for everybody. I listen to people. We walk around the store and have conversations, so I know what they need and want. I work within their comfort zone to make them feel stylish and can work with their existing garments as well to update and freshen their looks. I love it when they send photos of their events and activities in their Coco Parì apparel. It’s like getting an ‘A’ on a test!”
Clearly, Landau’s hands on approach allows her to fully understand customers’ desires, which has informed and enhanced her buying ability. She was among the first to discover influential brands and young, up and coming designers like Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin, who now stand at the epicenter of the fashion world. It wasn’t long before major brands noticed CoCo Parì‘s success and began calling her to carry their lines. CoCo Parì became famous worldwide due to Landau’s selection of these fashion forward designers and focus on red carpet treatment, which cannot be experienced in department 2018stores or with a click of a mouse. Every fashion consultant at Coco Parì has their own way of styling, and customers return to their trusted favorites to be styled head to toe. Private shopping is also available.
This summer, bright colors, prints, and feminine ruffles are trending for women, Landau said. The expanded men’s designer shoe department reports brisk business in its wide array of designer sneakers, along with loafers and casual shore necessities in a variety of colors and prints and with accents like zippers, buckles, and studs. Formal and classic styles abound, as do materials like suede, patent leather, metallics, and lightweight canvas and weaves by marquee names. New clothing and shoe designers for men and women have recently been added, including Francesco Russo, Camilla, L’Argence, and Zimmermann, and CoCo Parì has introduced, new for 2018, its own label in amazing dresses. Arriving next are vintage inspired Louis Vuitton bags and fun items featuring 1980s sensibilities. Cutting edge accessories, including sunglasses, complement the looks.
“I’ve brought in many lines, so we can offer any price point; anyone can come in and find something,” Landau stressed. “It’s not about the stuff, it’s the interaction, inspiration, and the experience you can’t get through a computer. I can curate for each person’s lifestyle. If you’ve never been here before, you need to see and understand the concept of coming into a store like this. Whether a customer spends $100 or $1,000, it’s wonderful to see someone transform. Their shoulders go back and their face lights up, regardless of their age. Women deserve to be in a nice outfit no matter where they go.”
An emphasis on a team approach to serving customers helps make CoCo Parì a fashion haven with panache. Longtime customers cite the store’s energy and the expertise of the staff as much as the designer labels for their loyal devotion.
“As a team we all collaborate, which is essential because we all have a different point of view and a way of styling,” said store manager, Sophie. “It’s not about selling clients one item, it’s about styling based on the customer’s lifestyle. Clients appreciate our personal touch. We cultivate the relationship, and clients return often to update their wardrobe. With our expansion, we now have more merchandise than we’ve ever had.”
Although, CoCo Parì doesn’t sell online, new arrivals are posted on Instagram and Facebook daily.
“I want to be a blessing to someone every day,” Landau said. “You must be happy with yourself; that’s the greatest gift beyond success to do good for someone else. I like to look people in the face and help them find happiness, because at the end of the day, when you look good, you feel good, and that’s what’s really important.”
17 Broad Street, Red Bank / 732.212.8111
270 Norwood Avenue, Deal / Instagram @cocopari / cocopari.com