A New York State of Mind on the Main Line
The first African American business owners High-End Fashion in Wayne expand to a bigger and better location with their upscale boutique
Newly Renovated 4,000 Square Foot Luxury Main Line Storefront Expected to Open July 2022
Last fall Hillary White Jean made noise in Wayne when she opened her bold and beautiful luxury clothing shop, HJ boutique, at 106 Lancaster Avenue--a hop, skip and jump from Wayne's main downtown intersection and less than a block from bustling restaurant row.
The first-of-its-kind Main Line retailer was a definite disruption to the fashion locals had been accustomed to. HJ boutique featured some of the world's most sought after elite brands under one roof such as Carolina Herrera, Alexandre Birman, Ulla Johnson, Janessa Leoné, Alexis Vallini, BRACCIALINI, Perrin PARIS and more. And, for style-driven suburban divas who regularly had to trek to the Big Apple to find such a discriminating collection, it was a breath of fresh air and inherently more convenient. HJ boutique was an immediate success!
Fast forward eight months to the summer of 2022--Hillary has expanded into a larger 19087 location just a few blocks away. She has taking over the 4,000 square foot Tehrani Brothers building on Route 30 in Wayne--known to Main Liners for decades as a retailer featuring oriental rugs and mattresses. The Menswear will be in one part of the sprawling space and the newly monikered Jean White Hillary, DBA JWH boutique, will showcase the same designer styles and expanding children's luxury line in the remaining retail area.The duo is renovating the 100-year-old building, painting the outside a perfectly preppy teal green and delightfully decorating an adorable back patio space to cater to (and regularly entertain) their affluent clientele. Parking is always at a premium in downtown Wayne but shoppers need not to worry as there will be 7 reserved parking spaces, 7 days a week.
"Our original location only catered to women, but we soon picked up on the fact that our Main Line customers were coming in with their families in tow and it just made sense to outfit dad and the kids as well. Family shopping with a sense and appreciation for luxury all under one roof--this is what we are uniquely offering the suburbs," enthused Hillary Jean.
Honing in on a rising Main Line fashion scene of haute couture and next-generation millionaires, JWH boutique has exclusivity with designers Herrera, Mestiza New York and celebrity favorite Camilla--as well as a customized jewelry line by the Hamptons' Jill Jacobson. Local fashionistas can also browse the spirited collection of designer Caycee Black (Project Runway Season 19).
Shoppers of JWH boutique can expect everything bigger, bolder and brighter in a grand building that has been given new life to showcase their curated line of high-end men's and women's fashion and accessories. They promise to pamper shoppers (and window shoppers to boot) with in-house spirits including complimentary champagne, Wölffer Rosé straight from the Hamptons and exclusive "Billionaire Row Scotch." In addition, the Jeans pride themselves on offering private shopping experiences and will gladly reserve the shop, day or night, for individuals or families who prefer one-on-one attention and confidentiality.
The timing of the Jeans' bold move couldn't be more perfect either. As businesses open up and galas and events return, so does the demand for society glam. And that was certainly evident at this spring's 126th Devon Horse Show where lovely locals donned high-end designers daily--not just at the all important 'dress to impress' Grand Prix night.
Besides bringing a bit of Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive to a Main Line retail scene that has seen its share of empty storefronts during the challenges of the past few years, the Jeans are also the first African American business owners in Wayne. It's an accomplishment that has garnered an incredible amount of community support and excitement for this power couple who met and fell in love on the streets of New York. "A lot of customers came into the first location and wanted to congratulate us on this milestone and we absolutely felt the support and energy. We are really proud to be here in Wayne. It's where we belong," beamed Hillary.
With a slew of great retail properties available around the western burbs, why did the Jeans (who previously had a successful boutique in Glen Mills) decide on Wayne? "We looked all over, walked into a bunch of storefronts and had a lot of late night discussions. But in the end Wayne just kept calling us back. Wayne chose us...so much so that we also made it our personal business to move here from Wilmington this spring. So now we call downtown Wayne home for our family," said Hillary.
And family is at the forefront of this Main Line...storefront. Their blended brood of two sons and two daughters are very supportive and have been involved in this new journey. Expect to see them from time to time in the shop helping their parents, especially son Michael Joseph who is studying criminal law at Stevenson University in Maryland but has an equal passion for fashion.
The new Wayne location is being renovated and is expected to open in less than a month in July. And, in 2023 look for a second location to open in East Hampton. Now that's truly a New York state of mind on the Main Line!
Boyds isn’t the only new higher-end fashion house in Wayne. JWH Boutique debuted in mid-summer at the old Mattress Factory/Tehrani Bros. rug showroom.
”We’re bringing Beverly Hills to the Main Line,” enthuses Haitian-born owner Hillary White Jean, who operated a much smaller shop a block away for several months last year and moved for the added space and visibility.
In the process, she changed the store’s name from HJ Boutique to JWH Boutique – a backward play on her initials – and no longer sells vintage clothing and accessories.
What she does carry are higher-end designer labels new to the Main Line: Camilla Australia, Anne Fontaine Paris, Mestiza New York, and Project Runway’s Caycee Black.
And to ensure you won’t see your twin at the party, JWH Boutique only stocks two sizes of each style.
The nearly 4,000 sq. ft. store has room for a menswear section, a smattering of kiddie clothes, and few racks of discounted duds bearing designer labels like Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta that Jean says she scored at their NYC showrooms.
Prices run the gamut. Some fashion jewelry is well under $100 while many dresses are $600 and up.
Glittering in a black, sequined dress and thigh-high boots with sky-high heels, Dorinda Medley, star of The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip and “Real Housewives of New York”, headlined the grand opening party for JWH Boutique in Wayne, PA. The store features a curated collection of designer clothes and accessories for women and children.
JWH Boutique is located on the storied Main Line, an area of the Philadelphia suburbs filled with upscale homes, country clubs, private schools and chic stores. Turns out, Dorinda loves the Main Line. “We lived in Ardmore, and I worked at the Laura Ashley (store) … in Suburban Square,” Dorinda said. “I love the Main Line. It’s so charming, so beautiful.”
Could there be a Real Housewives of the Main Line? Years ago, rumors swirled that Bravo exes floated the concept to a few well-known Main Line women, but none agreed to participate. There’s certainly enough glamour, drama and feuding for a RHML …
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