So Long, Jeri

Jeri Rice’s eponymous women’s shop closes today

July 16, 2009

Jeri Rice at the Fairmont Olympic

After almost 30 years as the go-to style adviser for many a Seattle socialite, Jeri Rice is closing the doors of her eponymous shop at the northeast corner of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. (Her Portland shop closed in May.)

Today is the final day to shop the boutique.

Let’s get this part over with: Everything in the store is 80% off. There isn’t a lot left, but those with auctions, charity balls, big-deal weddings, and red carpets on their calendars would do well to stop by—and stop by early (doors open at 10 and close at 6). Gowns and separates by Roberto Cavalli, Marchesa, Valentino, and others, as well as some ready-to-wear, remain. The shop’s furniture, jewelry cases, and display pieces are also available.

It’s something of an understatement to say that Rice’s downtown presence will be missed. As a highly successful female business owner she’s been pioneering and bold (you can read about how she brought European brands to town, and reinvented her family’s brand, in the press pages of her site), and she’s contributed to civic causes and world-wide justice in more ways than one. First, there are all the women who found perfect knock-out gorgeous gowns for three decades of black tie fundraisers (which is why we included the shop in this piece about shopping for the holiday party season) — and on a much deeper level, Rice herself has been on the front line of many important causes here and in the Middle East and is a founding member of the Center for Women and Democracy at the UW.

The official word from the Jeri Rice employee I spoke with is that the lease is up on the space, and it’s time to move on to other things. But unofficially, I’ve heard talk of documentary films, Cuba, and working for a peaceful, two-state co-existence for Isreal and Palestine. Fourth Avenue and University will be a different place without Moschino and Jean Paul Gaultier in those windows, but hopefully, Downtown’s loss will be the world’s gain.

[Image from the Jeri Rice site]

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