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Issue Date: May 2014 Issue

Best Duds

Kara Kissell
Fashion is a bonding business. You look to your best friend for an honest opinion or to borrow a fabulous new find. Cleveland boutique owners and designers share a snapshot of their devotion to fashion and friendship.

What's your favorite thing about shopping with your best friend? "I love how fearless she is about her own style — that she'll try absolutely anything on," says Kim Crow, owner of Evie Lou. "Even if it's shredded and furry, or with a crazy inset cape, she's going to try it."

What is the bond you and your best friend have over fashion? "It's a way to communicate about things that are not about fashion — it's a door to open up to talk about relationship problems or fears about your body," says Valerie Mayen, owner and designer of Yellowcake Shop. "It's the small things that lead to the real things."

What do you enjoy the most about sharing clothes with your best friend? "Splitting the cost!" says Jennie Doran, owner of Room Service. "We like to buy things we can both pull from for the season. She might be out and see a great pair of boots and text, 'I'm buying these for the family!' "

What do you love most about your best friend's style? "Growing up, my mom was a stay-at-home mom, but she would always get ready and dressed in the morning even if she didn't have to go anywhere," says Blair Ritchie, handbag designer.

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