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urking in an old brick industrial building in the shadow of the Massachusetts Turnpike is an under-the-radar, guerilla designer fashion store with a top-flight selection for women. Some 70 small local and national designers sell their samples and end-of-season inventories directly to buyers at Designer’s Circus instead of wholesaling them for pennies on the dollar to the discount chains. The designers make more money, and the customers get from 30 to 90 percent off boutique prices. Unlike conventional clothing stores, the Circus isn’t open all year long. It’s more of a series of periodic fashion events, a few a year, that go on for weeks at a time and are technically private. The secret? You can simply go to the website for the dates and times (there are always Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day sales), or to sign up to be on the mailing list. With clothes for all seasons, in all colors and for all sizes, these sales attract women of all ages. Geiger
America’s first discount store was Filene’s Automatic Bargain Basement (later shortened to Filene’s Basement), opened in 1909 by Edward A. Filene beneath his father’s Filene’s store in Boston to sell off overstock and out-of-season merchandise. It closed in 2007, and the chain it spun off shut down in 2011.
Check the website for dates and times.
These lines serve Designer’s Circus in Allston. Click to find more secrets on your route.
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