by Karen Alberg Grossman
It was a party to remember Thursday night at Mitchells in Westport, Connecticut as the team unveiled its spectacular renovation that added beautiful new boutiques, a new men’s lounge and dressing room, expanded shops for women’s shoes and accessories, and many new fashion labels.

The evening was sponsored by Ermenegildo Zegna, a nod to the ever-strong partnership between the store and the brand. Robert Aldrich, who runs the Ermenegildo Zegna business in North America, was on hand to meet and great about 500 VIP customers and showcase the new Ermenegildo Zegna collection; the Mitchells expressed tremendous appreciation for this special partnership that first connected two family businesses some 30 years ago and will hopefully continue forever.

Westport’s First Selectman Jim Marpe expressed the town’s tremendous appreciation for the grace and dignity with which three generations of Mitchells have run the business, continuing their legacy of major philanthropic efforts. “Strong family values and a commitment to excellence form the backbone of this special business. Plus, the Mitchells have taught us all how to hug.”

Bill Mitchell recounted the story of how, sixty years ago, his dad decided to quit his NYC advertising job and, with his wife Norma, opened a little store in Westport with just a few suits, a bottomless coffee pot and lots of love. “My grandmother was our first tailor because she knew how to sew and we didn’t have to pay her…. With the third generation now leading the charge, with eight stores and e-commerce and more to come, I hope we’ll continue to run the business with the same degree of humility as when we started. I thank all of our wonderful customers for your support, and more importantly for your friendship. Just please don’t ever check to see what you spend here on a monthly basis—it could ruin the party.”

The joke evoked much laughter and Marcia Selden’s exceptional catering coupled with some wonderful prizes (and cocktails) made for a truly fabulous evening.