We've been following local fashion designers Kiss The Girl since they first turned up at Phoenix Fashion Week.
The locally owned company was something of a Cinderella story. Early on, the owners sold tees out of a van at local farmers' markets. After the cheeky, youthful designs caught on, KTG took over an existing kiosk on the bottom floor of Scottsdale Fashion Square and eventually moved up into a glass-walled storefront on the top floor of the mall.
We were understandably bummed when we learned that KTG's Fashion Square spot folded this past weekend. Last week, boxes of clearance shirts were laid out at the entrance to the store, slashing prices down to $10 to 20 for select designs. Long-sleeve tees were on sale for forty percent off.
We chalked it up to the difficulty of turning a profit with affordable shirts and capris in a low-traffic area of a mall more welcoming of $300 Coach handbags and $500 Betsey Johnson dresses.
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Luckily, Kiss The Girl isn't gone for good...
Owner James Ross, who runs the clothing company with his three sons and other family members, opted not to renew his short-term lease with Fashion Square when the adjacent luggage store announced plans to expand and tear down walls.
The situation could be a blessing for Ross, who says he's looking into other storefront options inside Fashion Square. While KTG built up a bit of a cult following at Scottsdale Fashion Square, the third-floor storefront wasn't the most ideal location to bring in new business. "We were sad we had to shut the store," says Ross. "But the bottom floor does double the business as the top floor."
Kiss The Girl's line is currently available through their website and at local boutiques including Electric Ladyland and Apricot Lane. A blowout sale is planned for later this month at their North Scottsdale location; join the KTG mailing list for details.