I’m sad to see that Patricia Field is closing her eponymous store. I used to browse there when I was in high school; I couldn’t afford to buy anything, but I liked to look. Back then, the store was located on East 8th Street. My most memorable visit was on July 31, 1984, when my friends and I spotted INXS singer Michael Hutchence browsing the racks. Too bad that I refused to believe it was him!
The store later moved to the Bowery, and I’ve recently had several (mostly successful) shopping trips at that location.
As much as I’ll miss the store, I respect Pat’s reasons for shutting it. Field opened her boutique when she was 24. She’s now 74. I’d say 50 years in the business is pretty damn good! Yesterday, she told the New York Daily News that she’s ready to do other things, including socializing and exercising, but it won’t be all fun and games. She’s got projects in mind too. As she told the News:
“I’d like to make a movie with a friend of mine. I’ve had many offers to do a book, but we haven’t had the time. So I don’t want to retire and just sit there – that’s not in my nature – but I really felt the need to simplify.”
A lot of people with Pat’s brand-name recognition would have been wheeling and dealing before retiring — looking for investors to put Pat Field stores all over the place, selling the name to try to ensure some kind of retail immortality only to see the meaning of that name decline without the founder’s input. But Pat said, “My purpose was to … answer to no one but myself, to be independent.” I’d say the route she’s going is the ultimate declaration of retail independence. Sometimes you just have to …
The photo above is from Thanksgiving, when I entertained my Frozen-loving niece by spelling “Let It Go” with the feathers falling from the G-Lish top that is the one truly craptastic thing that I’ve bought from Pat Field.
After the Thanksgiving molting, I finally threw that top out. I was leaving handfuls of feathers in my wake whenever I wore it, and I was over that. I’d only worn it four times since I got it in July. That’s so not me. I like to keep things for 10 years. Fortunately, it looks like my other Pat Field acquisitions are going to have more staying power. I’m going to be all over Pat’s liquidation sale, for sure!