BOSTON – October 2, 2014 – Boston designers, buyers, and fashionistas alike are eagerly anticipating Boston Fashion Week 2014, set to take place October 5-11. As the event has grown since its inception in 1995, so have the number and success of Massachusetts-based designers and specialty boutiques selling their unique lines.

While high fashion may have emerged in Boston in the last few decades, the history of the industry goes back centuries. After James Cabot Lowell built the first Massachusetts factory in Waltham, west of Boston, in 1814, an entire mill town was created north of the Hub and named in his memory. Today, Lowell houses the American Textile History Museum, detailing the beginning of what has has become the multi-billion dollar industry fashion is today.

Notable Names in Boston’s Fashion Scene

Luke Aaron

With a background in costume design – which he honed as a student at Tufts University – Luke Aaron “combines the artistry of theatrical storytelling with the business of fashion…to inspire women through a balance of fantasy and wearability,” according to his website. Aaron draws inspiration from Boston’s connection to the history of America. Indeed, a restored pre-industrial building in the North End is his showroom. Known for his romantic dresses, Aaron made his Boston Fashion Week debut in 2012.

Daniela Corte

Now well established in the Boston fashion scene, Daniela Corte founded her self-named line in 2000, taking pride in offering elegant clothing that achieve both fashion and function for Boston women. Now offering resort and swimwear, Corte’s lines are available in boutiques nationwide. Her studio and boutique, however, remain in the heart of Boston’s fashion world at 211 Newbury Street.

David Chum

David Chum did not quite get his entire 15 minutes of TV fame, eliminated from Project Runway Season 9 on the first episode. But that hasn’t affected his success on the runway. Hailing from Fall River, MA, Chum graduated from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. Originally focused on painting, Chum taught himself how to sew and launched his fashion line with a fall 2009 collection. In 2011, Chum was the first recipient of the Emerging Designer Fund, a grant set up to help local designers grow their businesses.

Nirva Derbekyan

Born in Istanbul and of Armenian descent, Nirva Derbekyan graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art with a degree in fashion design. After spending a few years in London after graduation, she chose to return to Boston and start her own line rather than move to New York City. Soon thereafter, Boston Magazine named her Boston’s Best Women’s Designer in 2011. Derbekyan is based in Lexington where she has a studio and boutique.


Where to shop in Boston and beyond

Greater Boston

Gretta Luxe (Wellesley)

Founder Gretchen Monahan brought high fashion to Wellesley with her boutique that stocks the best in clothing, accessories, and bags from top designers from around the world as well as homegrown talent like Derbekyan. It’s the well-heeled staff that sets the store apart, offering impeccable fashion advice to eager customers.

Flock (Boston)

With a goal of capturing the spirit of the modern bohemian without sacrificing style, Dani McDonald and Lisa Kupsc opened Flock in the South End of Boston in 2009. The mother-daughter team brings a mix of refreshing, easy-to-wear clothing with a twist and unique accessories that inspire a free spirited life. This boutiques adds a touch of West Coast to an East Coast store.


North of Boston

Bobbles & Lace (Marblehead, Newburyport, North Andover, Boston)

Born in the beloved North Shore town of Marblehead by an aunt and niece team, the store’s loyal shoppers have led Bobbles & Lace to three additional locations in Massachusetts, in Newburyport, North Andover, and Boston. A favorite for fun dresses and jewelry, customers are equally delighted with the affordable prices.


Cape Cod & The Islands

Serenella (Nantucket & Boston)

Established in 1980 with a prime Newbury Street location, Serenella opened a Nantucket outpost in 2010 to cater to the upscale island crowd during the summer. The Nantucket store carries local swimwear designer Sinesia Karol, a transplanted Brazilian who launched her line in 2012 to immediate success domestically as well is in her home country. Serenella Boston also boasts exclusive access to designers like Aquazzura shoes.


South of Boston

Jennifer Reale Design (Plymouth & Hanover)

Jennifer Reale has been dressing the women of the South Shore since 2004 when she launched her sportswear line. With a special interest in fabric, the quality is top-notch and most prints are exclusive to the line. Bonus: All of Reale’s clothing is produced entirely in the United States.


Western Massachusetts and the Berkshires

Port (Northampton)

This women’s clothing shop was opened by a Springfield native, Benjamin Glushein, this year. The clothing is part nautical, part classic with a durable and sustainable feel. In addition to clothing, the store offers bags, stationery and shoes handpicked by Glushein with the idea of comfort and utility.

About MOTT:

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) is the state agency dedicated to promoting Massachusetts as a leisure-travel destination. An integral part of the state’s economy, tourism generates close to $1.2 billion in state and local taxes and $18.5 billion in travel related expenditures, supporting 129,400-industry related jobs.



For more information, contact:

Annie Moloney, Director of Communications

Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

617 – 973-8531

[email protected]


Molly Kravitz, Public Relations Manager

Connelly Partners

Mobile # 317-919-5252 ~ Office # 617-521-5431

[email protected]