Most first-time clients will ask if BLP just opened and are always surprised to find out the shop has been here since 2010. A lot of folks also comment on how cool the space is and how good it smells.
Jess and I recently discovered her new obsession: Boutique La Passerelle in downtown Pittsburgh. You can visit their site here. It’s a unique boutique that sells reasonably priced one of a kind high fashion items only available in Europe. Here is my wife wearing a dress that no other boutique in the country has:
The owner of the shop – Adele Morelli – was recently kind enough to do an interview with me:
Tell me about yourself…how long have you been in Pittsburgh? How long have you had an interest in fashion?
I am a Pittsburgh native, born and raised in Shaler. I moved downtown in 1999 and lived there for 15 years. I recently moved back to the ‘burbs to live with my partner and his kids. I’ve had an interest in fashion since I was a little girl. My mom worked in retail and would take me shopping to find good deals with her discount and coupons. I learned to appreciate fashion, and calculate discounts, at an early age.
Tell me about the first time you went into the shop.
The first time I went into the boutique was shortly after it opened in 2010. I read an article in the Post-Gazette about this fabulous boutique in downtown Pittsburgh with European fashion at reasonable prices. I fell in love with the clothing and made fast friends with the owner and manager.
Now, tell me about your purchase of the shop and the history you inherited.
The original owner Cidalia Duarte had boutiques in Portugal and brought the idea with her when she moved to the U.S. She traveled to Portugal twice a year and imported clothing from Portugal, Spain, France and Italy to ensure that BLP carried lines found no where else in the U.S.
I like to patronize and support small businesses and BLP was my go-to shop for clothing – most of my wardrobe was from here. Cidalia and I were both at a crossroad in our lives in 2013, and when I found out she was selling the boutique to take a different path, I jumped on the chance to buy it. Cidalia trained me and Anna (manager) very well – she took me to Portugal for two weeks and both of us to New York twice to show us the ropes. When Cidalia finally left to move to Florida, I knew we would be able to continue the model she created.
How proud are you to be the only shop in the area (isn’t it the country) to have the fashion line you were telling us about?
I’m very proud to carry unique pieces found no where else in the States because it’s really what sets BLP apart from other boutiques – that and the fact we have limited sizing so our clients feel as unique as the pieces they’re wearing.
What do you hear from people that come into your shop for the first time? What would you like Pittsburgh to know about the shop in general?
I’d like everyone to know that when you shop at BLP, you get personal attention (if you want it) and we will be honest about how you look in our clothing. After all, our clients represent us when they go out in our pieces so we want them to look awesome. And because of our limited sizing, you won’t see yourself coming and going.
What would you like to see happen on Wood Street and in downtown?
I’d like to see downtown return to the shopping destination it was when I was little girl. My mom and I would take the bus downtown, have lunch and spend the day shopping. I have great memories of those trips and would like to see it happen again.
I think Wood Street is already happening! Hello Bistro, Katie’s Kandy, Point Park University and the soon-to-be PNC tower have Wood Street abuzz with activity. Once the construction is done, everyone will want to visit Wood Street. Of course, more retail couldn’t hurt.
You can see the owner and manager wearing any of the items available in the shop via their social media profiles:
Here is their Facebook page.
Here is their Twitter page.
Here is their Instagram page.
UPDATE 2-13-2015: The ladies from the boutique have been kind enough to work with me on something I’ve been wanting to do for a while – a downtown cell phone photo contest. Take a cool picture with your phone and tag the @thejunctionman and @bout_paserrelle on Twitter and you could win $50! They’re going to be stocking up with brand new spring items soon so let’s show some downtown Pittsburgh love!