High fashion comes to Carbondale

By Gus Bode

High fashion – once exclusive to the runways of such cities as Paris and New York – has found a new home on the Strip.

Two Boutique, located at 400 S. Illinois Ave., opened its doors last week and Owners Abe Traverso and Juliana Ogliari said the clothing store offers hip, fashionable apparel usually reserved for places other than Carbondale.

“We felt that we could bring New York boutique flavor to Carbondale and keep it on a Carbondale budget,” Traverso said. “And bring a new vibe, a new atmosphere and kind of rejuvenate some of the Strip down on this end.”


Traverso, New York native, said the store carries vintage and hard-to-find articles of clothing, most of which come from independent designers. Despite the high fashion attitude, most of the street wear T-shirts are reasonably priced between $26 and $35, he said.

Because the store features items from independent designers, Traverso said much of the clothing is available on a limited basis.

“If we have five shirts, once they’re gone, they’re gone,” Traverso said. “We don’t want it to be where there is somebody else you’re going to run into wearing the same thing as you.”

Traverso and Ogliari also said they hope to carry clothing designed by students from the university.

Jane Workman, a professor in the fashion design and merchandising program, said Traverso has expressed interest in carrying student-designed clothing and hiring fashion students to work in the store.

Workman said the situation is unique and noted the possible benefits for budding fashion designers.

“The obvious benefits, of course, are that the students’ clothing will be there for customers to take a look at and try on,” Workman said. “They’ll get exposure for their original designs that way and possibly some clientele.”


But clothing isn’t the only way Traverso and Ogliari hope to stand out. Both are passionate about the arts, which include music, paintings and fashion. Traverso said he hopes the store becomes a headquarters for artistic and cultural events in Carbondale.

A grand opening is scheduled for April 25, and Brad Buehler, a friend of Traverso and Ogliari who handles promotions for the store, said a large event is planned. He said they are working out the details, but hope to have a silent auction, live music and art. The event will be held both inside the store and in the parking lot behind the building.

Traverso said the store has a concept that he and Ogliari could stand behind because it is something they believe in. Ogliari said the boutique is really an extension of their passions.

“This has everything to do with both of us,” Ogliari said. “I love fashion, that’s why we tried to bring fun and one-of-a-kind items.”

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