Hip Chic offers young girls the perfect dress for their Sweet 16, Junior Prom, Bat mitzvah and more.
Hip Chic, located on 533 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, N.J., has been around for almost 16 years. Owner Grace Caravello opened up Hip Chic back in 2000. Although Caravello did not have a background in fashion, she spent her early career working on Wall Street. It wasn’t until she had children that her career started to transition. “I needed to go to work, but I didn’t want to go back to Wall Street because I had two young kids at the time,” said Caravello.
Hip Chic was not always known for its clothing and accessories. “Obviously I liked fashion, but to be honest, the store started out only offering makeup and body products, with some accessories,” said Caravello. Hip Chic was first located on Bellevue Avenue in Upper Montclair, N.J. “It was strictly just makeup, body products and accessories, and then everyone asked me about bringing in clothes for young girls so I started doing pajamas and t-shirts and it evolved into a boutique for pre-teens and juniors. Now I don’t do makeup at all.”
At the time, Hip Chic was the only boutique in the area that carried Bobby Brown makeup. “It was really cool because she came in and said that she wanted to bring her merchandise out here and wanted my boutique to be to be the first one that carried it,” said Caravello. Hip Chic now sells predominantly clothing, accessories and lots of gifts.
Caravello decided to target Hip Chic’s clothing and accessories to pre-teens, juniors and young adults. “Sometimes moms even come into shop so it really depends,” said Caravello. She has a lot of regular customers and as they grow, they start going to places like Urban Outfitters, but will always come back when in need of a particular dress.
Hip Chic’s most popular selling item is dresses. Most of the dresses Caravello sells are worn for special events and parties. “I sell lots of dresses for bat mitzvah’s, sweet 16’s, junior proms and sometimes I even sell dresses to brides for their dinners. I have people that come out from Livingston, Wayne, Roseland and all over the place to get dresses from my store because it’s really difficult to get dresses for girls that are ages 12 and 13, that look like they’re 12 and 13 as oppose to making them look like they’re going to a club. You have to make sure that it’s not too overwhelming but that they still want to look like they’re adults,” said Caravello. Hip Chic carries unique brands such as Vintage Havana for pre-teens, and gets most of its dresses from Sally Miller.
Starting January, Caravello is going to do a model search, which she has done in the past. This is where she has young girls come in and give their photographs. She then uses them to advertise for the spring.
Caravello also offers a unique internship program for fashion students, tailored to their specific likes and interests. “The internship experience really depends on what they want to major in in fashion,” said Carbello. “One young girl would come with me shopping because she wanted to focus on the buying aspect. Some girls like to do merchandising so I have them do the window displays or they help merchandise on the floor. During the holidays, past interns have done a couple of the showcase windows, which was great exposure for them.”
To find out more information on Hip Chic, you can follow them on instagram at @hipchic, and like them on Facebook, at Hip Chic.