Always in Style
with Greater Burlington's Fashion Divas
They've seen fashions come and go through the last three decades - from Frye Boots to linebacker-sized shoulder pads; palazzo pants to leggings; chartreuse tunic sweaters to Calder-esque earrings so big they tangle in your seatbelt. They've waited on celebrities from Ginger Rogers to Rose Kennedy to a former Vermont governor shopping for her wedding day. They've had to adapt to fluctuations in their local market and cope with clothing manufacturers' belt-tightening measures.
They are the "Fashion Divas" of the greater Burlington, Vermont area.
Sportstyle's Peggy Eastman, Marilyn Gaul of Marilyn's, and Expressions' Lorre Tucker have each owned successful women's apparel stores for 20-plus years, no small accomplishment when 80 percent of clothing retail stores will fail within their first five years, according to industry analysts. Looming over them is the Goliath of national corporate chains with seemingly endless resources, but each of these veteran entrepreneurs has established her niche and, to paraphrase Woolf, fabricated a "dressing room of her own" - enabling the rest of us to go in style.
Early Burlington Retail Scene
Lorre Tucker arrived in Burlington fresh from New York's Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), with nearly a year in a high-end Manhattan boutique under her belt. Ready for a change from the Big Apple, she didn't count on the dearth of job opportunities here for women at the time. "You'd open the newspaper and it'd be Dunkin' Donuts or you could be a maid or a babysitter," Tucker recalls. But just as surprising to Tucker was the "fabulous retail scene" she found, impressive especially given Burlington's relatively small size, and led then by two stores in particular, The Mayfair and Magrams Department Store.
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