Although she hasn't been to the City of Light, Fadia Nemeh envisioned a Parisian boutique — the kind dressed in dramatic hues and dripping with crystal chandeliers — when she designed her appropriately French-named business, Mademoiselle, in 2011.
The 1,200-square-foot shop at the Promenade at Crocker Park is a departure from the chain stores that surround it: Vibrant violet and black-and-white-striped walls give way to racks of trendy tops, skirts, dresses, swimwear and evening gowns purchased in batches of six. Once styles selected from seasonal runway shows — such as a sheer black and crystal-embellished top by international fashion label Gracia ($69.95) — are sold-out, they're not replenished, offering customers virtual one-of-a-kind finds.
Bright, chunky baubles and slender gold chains shimmer beneath shiny black chandeliers, while oblong and infinity scarves ($19.95 each) lie on tables topped with glittering Eiffel Towers.
"I want people to walk in here and see an upscale aesthetic," says Nemeh. "But I also want to be affordable enough that people stay."
Accessories start in the single digits, and beaded and chiffon eveningwear made by red-carpet designers Sherri Hill and Jovani are priced at $320 and up.
While Mademoiselle has become a destination for prom dresses, Nemeh's collections — culled from New York City's latest fashions — also call to trendsetters shopping for a getaway or a night on the town.
"I have a lot of customers who come in on a Friday afternoon shopping for a top to go out in that evening," she says. "I appeal to that edgier crowd."
Nearby Find Cara's Boutique offers the largest selection of Pandora jewelry and Vera Bradley bags in Northeast Ohio. 30179 Detroit Road, Westlake, 440-899-0050, carasboutique.com
max out summer fashion
The maxi dress, a summer staple, gets a modern update as the black-and-white feathered pattern leads to a pop of hem-length color. "It's the perfect dress for someone who wants something trendy without going overboard," Fadia Nemeh says of the $69.95 WOW Couture frock.