Downtown Shopping Explosion

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We at Scene are super-excited about all the new boutiques opening up downtown, specifically on West 9th Street. On February 1st, the very hip Style Lounge (1273 W. 9th St.) opened its doors. The downtown boutique sells designer jeans and clingy, exotic going-out shirts from showrooms in Vegas, LA, NY, and Chicago. On Friday night, the place stays open late, and guests can enjoy non-alcoholic cocktails as they listen to a DJ spin tunes. In March, 360 Clothing Studio (1360 West 9th Street) will celebrate its grand opening. The store, which already has satellites in Akron and Lorain, specializes in sporty-urban type ware. They will join Clothing Brigade (1300 W 9th St.), an upscale designer boutique located a few doors down from Constantino's Market as Cleveland's new go-to shopping center. What caused the renaissance, we wondered. "I think there's a market for it," says Rey Musa, the owner of 360. He figures that all the boutiques can "kind of help each other out." Aja Lewis, the model-looking owner of Style Lounge, agrees that the stores will benefit one another. And she doesn't worry that her $205 jeans and $41 plain white t-shirts might not sell in blue-collar Cleveland. "It's an up and coming neighborhood and the rent here is expensive," Lewis explains. "People here have money to spend." And if they don't, they can still take heart: Forever 21, the super-cheap and trendy fashion store, will open in Tower City in the spring. — Rebecca Meiser

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