Who's in store?/ShopTalk

By Carol Tisch January 1, 2010

Who's in store?

Everyone knows there’s a stunning First Couple in the White House. But in Sarasota, there’s another pair of tastemakers: our quietly elegant first couple of retailing, Brenda and Geoffrey Michel of The Met Fashion House & Day Spa.

An icon on St. Armands Circle, The Met embodies a rare mix of refined and edgy fashion coupled with exclusivity and friendly, personalized service.

“Geoffrey and I both have fashion in our blood,” says Brenda, “and we’re both very involved with our clients. It’s important that we understand who our client is and what is going on in their lives.”

“Our business is truly a community and family business,” adds Geoffrey. “I grew up riding my bike around St. Armands Circle and dreamed of having my own clothing store at a very early age.” That dream is manifested in The Met, a lifestyle concept that he says is in part inspired by Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani. “They approach their businesses with adamancy for perfection, and they truly know who they are,” he says.

Can’t live without “My family,” says Geoffrey.  “A lot can go on in a day, yet my wife and kids make it all better. I’ve learned more about myself during story time than I did in school.” He adds, “My iPhone makes my life efficient; my morning workout makes me calm and healthy.”

What this town needs “City leadership. I commend our city leaders that have given their time to stand for their cause, yet I feel that we could be doing more with a true CEO at the helm,” Geoffrey explains. “If we want nicer parks, better schools, improved public works, we need growth to fund the tax base. A true business person understands how to get this done.”

Generation A to Z “We have a traditional client who knows us for Armani, Zegna, Burberry and Ralph Lauren,” says Brenda. “But we also have young moms who talk up Catherine Malandrino or Diane von Furstenberg and high school kids who text us about a Lacoste polo.”

The Met Fashion House Day Spa & Salon, 35 S. Boulevard of Presidents, St. Armands, (941) 388-3991


Feathered Nest?  The new Blackbird Home Gallery has a mission: Everything is geared to helping you furnish your home in comfort and style. Owner Mindy Rollins’ hand-picked designer furnishings are luxurious, casual and brimming with edgy elegance. Check out the Oly Studio chandeliers that she and the top design magazines on the planet adore. Above: the pierced white resin Meri Drum Chandelier at $2,465. Blackbird Home Gallery, 1540 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 366-0941.

State of the Art Onlookers on State Street are doing double takes: The new Bowman Originals gallery and retail showroom also houses jewelry artist Ned Bowman’s workshop, and you can actually watch the artisans in action from windows outside. “I’m fascinated with old world techniques, archaeology, anthropology and mythology,” Bowman says. And it shows in exquisite silver and gold pieces that incorporate symbolism and ancient motifs. Silver jewelry starts at $50; the Sundial ring (above) is $1,920. Bowman Originals, 1400 State St., (941) 316-9594.

Art and Soul Get a glimpse of the art world of tomorrow at madeby, a new gallery featuring one-of-a-kind and limited-edition works for sale by more than 50 Ringling College of Art and Design students and alums. From fine art photos to greeting cards, art glass and jewelry, buying a great gift here is good for the the school and an investment in emerging artists. madeby, 734 Central Ave., (941) 822-0422.

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