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First Look: FashioNation Opens on South Broadway Friday

If you were ever a patron of FashioNation's iconic location on 13th Avenue in Capitol Hill, the new store on South Broadway -- which "officially" opens this Friday, October 10 -- should be comfortingly familiar. "If we took a screw down at the old store, it was used here at the new store," says co-owner Pam Italiano.

Pam and her husband and co-owner, Paul Italiano, have been hard at work over the last few weeks, transforming the former Packrat Antiques store into a bigger and better version of their counterculture haven for clothes, accessories and more. Along with their devoted staff, the Italianos brought to the new spot not only FashioNation's entire inventory, but the hardware, racks and even some of the doors and trim from the old location. Pam also built many of the store's fixtures by hand to fit this new and improved version of the classic shop.

See also: FashioNation Signs a New Lease on South Broadway

Paul says the landlord of FashioNation's old home on 13th told them to take anything and everything from the location because it was all going to be ripped out and renovated, anyway. The industrious couple put their employees and family to work and the new version of FashioNation is shaping up to be just like its old spot -- but better.

"No beige carpet or paint here," says Paul, adding that often when a retail institution like FashioNation renovates or grows, it loses its identity. The situation is quite the opposite for this new shop, which feels just like the old store, complete with black and gray walls; racks packed neatly with leather jackets and petty coats in neon colors, plaid pants, one-of-a-kind sunglasses and belts, and of course, the store's selection of outrageous hair dyes and nylons.

And there's no talk of FashioNation without talking about shoes: Boots, heels, creepers, you name it, this shop is internationally known for its footwear selection and is still a go-to shop for an unparalleled collection of Doc Martens. "This isn't Journeys or Nordstrom -- many of these boots are unique to us," Paul says proudly. Doc Martens has even sent a small selection of limited-run boots and Mary Janes that FashioNation will be debuting with the opening of the new store -- including an 8 Eye Hell boot featuring the designs of historic Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. Keep reading for more on the new FashioNation. Along with being a bright and airy showroom of FashioNation's array of clothing and accessories for adults, the new Broadway location is a merger with its companion kid's shop, Babysitter's Nightmare. At the former 13th Avenue spot, the two stores were disconnected by a storage area between the storefronts, meaning employees would have to leave one store to unlock the other other if customers were interested in looking at children's wear. Now it is all one seamless retail floor.

FashioNation has been open throughout its move and beautification project, but the store is officially celebrating this new chapter of retail life with a grand opening party from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, October 10, at 1594 South Broadway. For more information, visit the store's website.

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