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Cutting Edge of Carytown's Fashionsphere
by Josephine Stone
A.J. Cotman, LeenaLu's assistant manager
LeenaLu is the self-proclaimed "New Kid on the Block" in Richmond, VA's Carytown shopping district. Those of the words of owner and assistant manager LeeAnn Ibañez and A.J. Cotman, respectively. Open since November 20, 2010, the store has already turned the heads of Sunday strollers, frozen yogurt consuming Sweet Frog-sters next door, and local publications Style Weekly and Richmond Magazine.
Located at 3143 West Cary Street, LeenaLu embodies the spirit and influence of Ibañez 's nine-year-old daughter, Leena, as well as….Carmen Sandiego?
"Me and LeeAnn see LeenaLu as a character, kind of like the Carmen Sandiego of the fashion world," Cotman says when describing their store. "She's from the future and is always seen in outfits light-years beyond the fashions of the modern day. People always try to catch her or copy her style, but every time you see her again she's got an even more awesome style."
The sleek, mysterious look that just keeps escaping the clutches of those who try to mimic LeenaLu's personified character is one that doesn’t come at a great price. In fact, the price of wearing Hollywood and New York's latest is fairly low.
"At LeenaLu we feel that the consumer deserves the finer things at a 'refined' price," Cotman continues.
Keeping prices low is what allows LeenaLu to have shoppers of diverse age and social status.
Driving home the point, Cotman says, "From the high schooler with a little cash to blow, to the college student just learning how to balance tuition, fun and fashion, to the business woman and mother who need to shop responsibly to make sure the bills get paid--I mean, where else can you get a sassy cocktail dress for $25.99?"
Oh, wait…there's a place.
LeenaLu also doesn't pigeon-hole itself to the high-end fashion of far-away lands, either. Living in a fashion community, it's hard to keep the local inspiration out. Ibañez and Cotman pride themselves on working with local fashion designers and being an outlet for upcoming talent.
Where else can you find LeenaLu apparel besides on Carytown's finest and frugal shoppers? This Sunday, October 16th at 4 p.m., the clothing of LeenaLu will be featured in the Quail Bell Magazine/VCU Barnes & Noble cooperative fashion show, "Once Upon a Dream", in Richmond. Come see what Cotman deems "Your wardrobe's not-so-dirty little secret"!
"We are super-mega-turbo-ultra-dragonzord excited to be a part of the Quail Bell ["Once Upon a Dream"] fashion show!" Cotman says.
And we, too, are whatever 'ultra-dragonzord excited' means!