Recently, due to rising rents, we lost Movie Star News, the shop started by Irving Klaw on East 14th Street in 1939, featuring photos of pin-up queen Bettie Page. As for the Bettie Page photo archive, it was sold to a dealer in Las Vegas. Now, from Las Vegas to New York comes the Bettie Page clothing store.
Launched at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, the shop has opened on Bowery, between 1st and Houston, in that ever-expanding mini-mall complex that used to be the home of feminist author Kate Millett, and before that the infamous McGurk's Suicide Hall.
Reports Chain Store Age (yes, that exists), the "Bowery neighborhood...has recently become a flashpoint for cutting edge, fashion forward designers." The Bowery store is the clothing chain's 11th location and they are planning to "aggressively" expand. Said the co-owner to blog Culture Brats, "We want to open in high traffic, tourist-oriented locations like Haight-Ashbury or Union Square would be another example. Mall of America." The Mall of America location opened last year.
The designs are rockabilly hip, inspired by the famous and beloved model of bondage, spanking, and sadomasochism. They also have outfits for small children.
I wondered: What does this mean for nearby rockabilly boutique Enz's? Once a "local hangout for enfants terribles like Lou Reed and Debbie Harry in the seventies," Enz's has been a New York City original since 1972.
I asked Enz's owner Mariann Marlowe her thoughts. She told me: "As long as they carry their own line, I will have no worries. My lines are all produced in America and consistently well made. I also design my own line."