Real Reporter Boston – Millennials are said to be loathe to brick-and-mortar retailing, but at least one stylish constituent of that generation is embracing a physical approach via her boutique women’s clothing store that recently opened right next to tony Newbury Street at a Linear Retail condominium. Founder Jiaming “Annie” Li’s vision is on display in 700 sf at 222 Clarendon St. where she offers a line of apparel featuring a Chinese theme. As for the old-school approach to pitching her wares, Li maintains “our store has many advantages” over an online platform.
“Here, I can interact with the customers and be sure to help them find what they need for any occasion,” she explains. “They can touch and feel the silkiness in products and pair them in person with accessories. We are known for having ultra-soft and cozy materials which our customers adore and items that are not mass-produced.”
Whitea Annie’s is inspired by Chinese style Li describes as “classical, fresh and el¬egant,” yet she stresses the store has offer¬ings which “cater to all women who want to stand out from the crowd in high-end, cozy apparel.” Articles include blouses, coats, hats, pants, skirts, sweaters and myriad other accessories. Items are accented with neutral colors like tan and blush, but there are overt shades as well. Li maintains there is “an untapped need in Boston” for “gen¬uine and fashionable” yet modern Chinese clothing, adding that, “I hope to bring great style to the city with my unique designs.”
Linear Retail Vice President of Leas¬ing Evan Eisenhardt calls Whitea Annie “a perfect pairing to Linear’s business model of having a portfolio in which 50 percent (of inventory) is occupied by independent retailers” across the Burlington firm’s vast portfolio of 85 “convenience-oriented” re¬tail assets.
“We like taking chances on new and fresh ideas and people who are passionate about what they do and inspire others,” Eisenhardt says in citing the Whitea Annie visionary shop as exemplary of the mis-sion. “Annie has completely transformed the space into a beautiful boutique with high-end but affordable product,” he elab¬orates. Linear Asset Manager Ken Nolan also assisted in facilitating the launch in a space that previously was the longtime home of Sordillo’s Tailoring.
Linear has owned the condominium occupied by Whitea Annie since paying $3.95 million in September 2008 for Units 1, 2, 3 and 5 of the 220-224 Clarendon St. condominium.