Anyone driving by Ponce City Market to peep the progress may have noticed that several retailers are already open for business. This summer, the first stores began opening their doors at the mixed-use development housed in the historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. building on Ponce de Leon Ave. NE in Midtown.
West Elm, Anthropologie and Onward Reserve opened in June. Michael Stars, Goorin Bros. Hat Shop and LouLou Accessories opened in July and this month marked the opening of The Frye Company, Karoo (eyewear) and CorePowerYoga with Lululemon and Williams-Sonoma scheduled to open this weekend. Madewell and J. Crew open Sept. 1.
Foodies will have to wait a bit as the Central Food Market restaurants do not begin opening until September. For now there are food trucks parked next to Binders Monday through Friday during lunch hours. There is no official opening event, but you can get updates on specific retailers by checking the PCM website linked above. A free concert series, Ponce City Nights, takes place every other Thursday beginning Sept. 10.
During one of my recent trips to the development, I stopped in to check out the Frye Company, one of eight locations nationwide and Atlanta’s first. The store carries all the Frye favorites — the Harness, the Engineer, the Campus — and because the space is so large, it also houses every men’s bag in every color.
The selection is curated for Atlanta area shoppers based on local trends and web traffic. Women’s shoes for example, have a healthy selection of sandals and ballet flats. In addition to the classics, there are newer styles such as the Melissa (released 4 years ago) which garnered such a healthy response from consumers that it now comes in several variations. Frye designers mine the archives, rather than popular trends, for design inspiration when creating new styles.
I also visited Michael Stars, which relocated from Phipps Plaza to PCM in mid-July. The fall line is fresh on stores shelves offering dresses, pants, tops and jackets in colors ranging from jewel tones to neutrals and materials from jersey to cashmere.
The Artisan Collection features jackets with beaded designs that are handcrafted in Haiti. For each jacket sold, $100 goes back to support schools in the country.
Jumpsuits are big for fall as are wide-legged pants and graphic tees to layer under those comfy, laid-back Michael Stars cardigans. Shoppers will also find a healthy selection of athleisure clothing, which remains one of the biggest trends in women’s clothing. Clothing for men and women ranges from about $40 for a tank up to $300 for cashmere items. Denim, by DL 1961, runs about $178.