Like Paula, I too can’t shake the news of Metier’s closing. This info came a month after another favorite store of mine shut its doors, Eva Gentry (formerly known as Butter). Two completely different stores on two opposing coasts falling victim to the same circumstances—Barney’s opening up just down the street from their outposts.
I think anything worth remembering or caring about—stores, people, movies, food, clothes—can mark a time in one’s life, and Metier and Eva Gentry were two pillars that bookended my life to this day, completely.
I began shopping at Metier in SF in 1994. I loved the carefully curated selection of easy pieces and the introduction to brands I didn’t know about: Souchi, Martha Davis, Giada Forte. But really I loved the owner Sheri and her sidekick, Trina. An awesome dynamic duo who were, and are, authentic and smart and kind and lovely. They always made me feel special and empowered. Not all girls do that for each other, but the ones that do should be given angel status, and that includes Sheri and Trina.
I will never forget being in the dressing room two months after having my first child, and Trina making me feel so great about myself, while inside I was feeling out of it, disconnected and wondering who I was at that moment and time in my life. To this day, even after moving to New York over five years ago, when I see Sheri, she asks about my two kids with absolute sincerity, and I can’t believe she remembers the details she does. But that’s who Sheri is. All about the details. And that came through in her relationships with her clients and the goods she carried in her store. From beautifully selected vintage jewelry, to Golden Goose shoes, to everything else that goes on your body between head and toe. Try finding that combo of humanity and style at H&M.
Segue to 2006 and my move from San Francisco to Brooklyn. As soon as I landed in NY I called my friend Hillary and asked her to take me to the best clothing store in Brooklyn. We met on Atlantic Avenue and walked into Butter, as it was known then. All white walls and black clothing hanging from the racks. Avant-garde favorites at the time: Rick Owens, Maison Martin Margiela, and the like. I couldn’t afford much, but it made me want to upgrade my closet and become more city chic and leave my eclectic SF self behind. Eva Gentry was a perfect reflection of what I wanted my new life to look like. I’ve bought some favorite pieces there, but their closing has left a heavy heart and a void in Brooklyn that shouldn’t be there.
Like Paula, I am part of the problem contributing to one-of-a-kind boutiques closing. I find it easier to do one-stop-shopping at Barney’s, Bergdorf, et al., instead of taking the time to support what’s right around the corner and deserves to be supported. I’m sorry to see these two independent boutiques close. They shouldn’t have, and in the end, it just plain sucks.
From now on I’m going to think before I buy. Or I’ll be saying good-bye to people and stores that make the cities I have lived in, and live in, unique and truly their own. I look forward to getting to know some of my favorites more intimately. Say “hi” when you see me at Burlap, Elizabeth Charles, Kirna Zabete, Aloha Rag and Otte.
As for Metier and Eva Gentry, you’re already missed. Sorry we let you down.