Belle Reve Boutique
320 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-333-3148
Poor Blanche DuBois. The sordid star of A Streetcar Named Desire so longed for Belle Reve, the family estate where she once lived, that it drove her mad. Twin Cities fashionistas have been spared such a bitter end with the opening of Belle Reve Boutique, the newest addition to Minneapolis’s burgeoning East Hennepin district. Owner Aisha Ghanchi transformed the former Denny Kemp salon space into a historic New-Orleans-meets-L.A.-rock-and-roll haunt that pops with dark wood, deep violet walls, and gilded accents. Shoppers can browse high-end clothing, shoes, and accessories while gleaning fashion inspiration from movies (think Flashdance and Funny Face) that show on a large, flat-screen television. Ghanchi stocks the store with well-known lines like L.A.M.B., as well as up-and-coming brands like Na.Be, by Project Runway contestant Victorya Hong. Eco-minded shoppers will be pleased to find a selection of environmentally conscious lines, such as Mika and Risto Bimbiloski, that say “hip” rather than “hemp.” The style influences of Ghanchi’s mother and younger sister, who helped found the store and serve as buyers, mean that multiple generations can happily shop together under one roof.