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Industry + Insights / September 12, 2013 / Katie Flanagan
Designer Consignment Boutique Ella Rue Goes Online
If you thought consignment shopping meant your surroundings had to embrace a humble vibe, then you may have never been in a consignment shop like Ella Rue. Upon paying a visit to our new partner Ella Rue, it felt as though we were in a large, enviable walk-in closet with the most coveted of items within reach. Warm lighting, clean displays and personal touches (including  a blown up photo of the store's canine namesakes Ella and Rue) make the shopper feel right at home. We chat with owner Krista Johnson about her thoughts on the store, consignment and what DC is buying and trading these days. [gallery link="file"] 1. What is your favorite fall trend for the upcoming season? Leather, emerald green, herringbone, and winter white. I could base every outfit off those four components. I am actually most excited that Manolo Blahnik is making a huge comeback this year!   2. What must-have items are currently offered at Ella-Rue for the upcoming season? Right now, we have a runway piece from Michael Kors done in Leather and plaid. We have great statement bags from Bottega Veneta, Mulberry, and Jimmy Choo as well as fabulous fall coats from Rick Owens and Marni.   3. What do you find to be the best transitional piece from summer to fall can you keep in your closet year round? A great crisp shirtdress that you can roll up or down sleeves. Theory makes my favorite shirtdress of life.   4. What inspired you to open this space? Why Consignment? I didn't have a large-scale budget but had an upscale dream. I opened Ella Rue because I loved the women's clothing industry and decided consignment was the way to start. As I grew the store, I realized I love consignment so much more than new retail.   5. How do you curate the store? How do you choose which pieces to take and which to reject? I pick pieces that I would buy in a new store. Things have to have purpose and be on trend or a classic style.   6. What are the top 5 items in your closet that you would consign right now? Hmmm… My Jimmy Choo Private (sandals w/ a killer heel) in beige and black, vintage Pucci Top I got on eBay, Prada Pink Silk ballerina dress, Leopard Stubbs & Wootton Flats, and my skinny Jeans that are too small (as she laughs).   7. Consignment used to have a not-so-glamorous rep - not everyone liked the idea of owning used items even if they were nice. Do you see a shift in mentality? I think because of the 2008 (economic) crash people realized money doesn't grow on trees. It allowed people to learn that saving money is chic and shopping resale is also good for the environment. It's a win-win for all!   8. What personal touches set Ella-Rue apart from competing retailers? We give the most personable shopping experience in the city. A lot of our clients say they feel like they are in their best friend's closet and at home. Many of our clients are busy politicos, moms, and working professionals that have limited time. We pull inventory and get it set up in the dressing room complete with shoes if they need to run in and out. Requests even go as far to create completely new wardrobes!   9. What are the hottest pieces Washingtonians are dropping off these days? What are they picking up? We have been getting in a lot of Alexander McQueen, Cushnie Et Ochs, Chloe, Celine and Lanvin pieces. We are most known for our dresses and our shoes. Right now shoppers are buying those the most.   10. Where do you see the future of Ella-Rue going? I see Ella Rue being more digital and online-friendly thanks to SNOBSWAP! I hope to extend our items to anyone who is looking for the perfect piece wherever they may live, not just D.C. We are also doing a vintage trunk show in Los Angeles later in the fall.   Shop Ella Rue designer consignment boutique >
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