Van De Vort
Andrea Van De Vort creates a new sense of discovery with her reimagined Flower Hill boutique
Posted on September 3, 2019
Fashion is not downloadable. Not yet, at least. Until then, one of San Diego’s most successful players on the fashion scene is recalibrating the brick-and-mortar model with the same vigor as yesteryear’s influencer.
On the second story of Flower Hill Promenade in Del Mar, Andrea Van De Vort has created an old-fashioned love letter to North County with her eponymous new flagship — a soaring 1,800-square-foot space with wood ceilings, skylights, a vintage French fireplace, and a Calder-esque chandelier. Inspired by a Paris apartment, Van De Vort tapped fifth-generation San Diego designer Alexis Garrett, whose own less-is-more philosophy pervades the mostly white boutique.
The eye-catcher? An all-glass photo studio doles out behind-the-scenes action while seamlessly redefining the art of window-shopping. By all accounts, observing a real-time photo shoot of a yet-to-be posted fashion collection is pretty meta.
One would expect nothing less from Van De Vort, a pioneer of brand mania on social media who six years ago was the first to connect a digital platform to her physical inventory, then located downstairs. Present day, the proto-influencer and effortless cool girl is all grown up: the 33-year-old mom and entrepreneur juggles her ready-to-wear collections and two boutiques, having opened a second Van De Vort at One Paseo earlier this year.
“The future of retail is tailored to the community’s needs and tastes,” says Van De Vort, chatting on a velvet settee in a barely-there shade of violet. “I want to bridge the gap between younger and older generations and bring them to a place where they can understand one another.”
A youthful spirit courses through her boutique in decidedly grown-up silhouettes — from the fresh denim palette of Australia’s Zulu & Zephyr; exotic vacation pieces from Aéryne, perfect for exploring hidden arrondissements; and textured off-duty style in the form of Janessa Leoné hats and Karen Walker sunglasses from Oz. There’s also an exclusive collection from The Vintage Editor, a sustainable fashion model created by (full disclosure) the writer of this article.
Van De Vort 2.0 is refining a vision. She’s nurturing established relationships with runway-paving brands from Australia, LA, and of course, San Diego, instead of chasing hot new labels for a generation of young fashion consumers whose attention spans are growing shorter by the day. The Flower Hill store will distinguish itself from competitors not only through its visual presence, but also by hosting events that engage tactility.
On October 3, she’s hosting a sustainable fashion workshop with The Vintage Editor and Kaiya Inouye, a designer, artist, and Otis alum, who will be personalizing vintage for modern shapes. Expect sublime pleated fabrics, archival Diane Freis dresses, and an elite collection of indie designers from past eras, many of whom are the most copied on 2019 runways.
Current obsession: The alluring world emerging offline. 858.925.7676, shopvandevort.com
Photography by Vincent Knakal