As Nordstrom tries to find its bearings while navigating the COVID-19 retail fallout, it announced late on Monday that it will close all three of its Jeffrey boutiques. This move is in addition to the previously-announced closure of 16 full-price Nordstrom stores.
Jeffrey Kalinsky, founder of the luxury store and the current designer fashion director at Nordstrom, has made the decision to retire entirely from the Seattle-based retailer. Kalinsky initially joined Nordstrom in 2005 as director of designer merchandising. Since then, he has served as executive vice president of designer merchandising and vice president, designer fashion director.
“There’s always been a tremendous synergy between Nordstrom, Jeffrey Kalinsky, and his successful luxury specialty stores,” said Pete Nordstrom, president and chief brand officer at Nordstrom. “Both our brands are built on a relentless commitment to the customer, and a focus on providing them with the best possible service and merchandise offering. Jeffrey is an icon in the fashion industry, and in his years at Nordstrom, he brought tremendous creativity, innovation, and expertise that have been invaluable to us as we’ve worked to establish and expand our designer offering. We’re grateful for his leadership and many contributions to the company. We’ll miss him greatly and wish him all the best.”
“Nordstrom has been an incredible partner to me and to the Jeffrey brand,” added Kalinsky. “While I’m disappointed in their decision to close Jeffrey stores, I understand it is the right decision for the business given the circumstances of this global crisis. I’m grateful for the tremendous support Nordstrom has shown me over the years, and the contributions they’ve made in growing the Jeffrey brand. I’ve formed meaningful friendships with so many people at Nordstrom and I wish them nothing but continued success.”
Kalinsky opened the first Jeffrey store in Atlanta in 1996. He learned the retail business while growing up working at his father’s shop, Bob Ellis Shoes, in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. His budding love for retail then led him to stints at Bonwit Teller, Bergdorf Goodman, Donna Karan, and Barneys New York during his formidable years. Then, in 1990, Kalinsky opened Bob Ellis Shoes in Atlanta, followed by Jeffrey Atlanta, and a Jil Sander boutique at Phipps Plaza.
In August 1999, he opened Jeffrey New York and the store received instant industry acclaim. He is widely credited as a pioneer of New York City’s Meatpacking District and the first fashion retailer to open a store in the now bustling neighborhood. In 2005, Nordstrom purchased a majority of the retailer, bringing Kalinsky aboard to partner with head merchants and help create a more comprehensive designer offering for its stores and customers. He opened his third, and final store, at the Palo Alto Stanford Shopping Center in August 2018.