Thriving stylishly

We don’t have to tell you that this has been a challenging time for the luxury market. And yet some luxury retailers have managed not only to survive but to thrive in this environment, thanks to some reinvention and a little help from their friends.

“The good thing is that we have been in business for 40 years and have a lot of loyal clients,” says Anastasia Cucinella, co-owner with Debra O’Shea of Mary Jane Denzer in White Plains — a name long associated with high-end fashion in Westchester County and beyond.

But loyalty tells only one part of the story. Clients such as brides and grooms have gotten creative about their gatherings in the time of Covid. Venues have gotten inventive, too, as 80% of this year’s weddings were postponed. That means that couples have been booking ceremonies and receptions for next year, perhaps opting for an early day in the week as they come up against weddings that were always slated for 2021. Meanwhile, some weddings and what O’Shea calls “Zoommitzvahs” and other events took place in the warm weather months as small outdoor and/or online affairs. These may have occasioned gowns for backyard terraces or shorter dresses transitioning to evening gowns.

Adding to the challenge of the new normal is the question of inventory. With mills shuttered and couture house staff working at 25% or 50% capacity, inventory is more limited. What once took 12 weeks now takes six months. Cucinella and O’Shea, who have been working with clients by appointment, encourage them to start planning and committing to their choices for their big days now to accommodate lag time.

Elsewhere, it’s business as usual at the elegant store, whose gray and white palette offsets shimmering day and evening dresses and radiant accessories. There will be trunk shows by Neil Bieff, Monique Lhuillier, Pamela Rolland and Jason Wu at MJD in January and February as well as spring and summer collections.

“People are tired of hanging around in loungewear,” Cucinella says.

Time to be glamorous again. And Mary Jane Denzer is just the place to do it.

For more, visit mjdenzer.com.

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