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Sherman Oaks’ Scandalo Boutique puts the artistic flair in your fashion wear

Posted By Karen Young On November 4, 2009 @ 1:27 am In Fashion & Beauty,Featured,Lifestyle,My Daily Find,Shopping,spotlight | 15 Comments

sarahtohl90BY SARAH K. TOHL

In times of a weak economy, with decreased retail sales, and boutique windows filled with “50% off signs,” it is a struggle for any business owner to find great success – but not so much for Alex Damiano, owner of Scandalo Boutique.

Scandalo Boutique owner

Alex Damiano, Scandalo Boutique owner, in her store surrounded by her favorite bags. All photos by Sarah K. Tohl.

Located on Ventura Boulevard, in Sherman Oaks, Scandalo Boutique has developed a strong database of clientele since it first opened four years ago.  Damiano, in collaboration with her mother, opened Scandalo just after finishing her studies at Marangoni Design School, in Milan.  Her motives were simple, yet challenging.  She wanted to create an environment filled with diversity in terms of fashion garments and style, as well as offer a place where customers could feel the support and comfort in their discovery of personal style.

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European imported blouse ($98) with high waisted lace pencil skirt ($59).

“It’s always great to see someone mainstream come in and then leave with one of my unique designs that are a little more cutting edge,” Damiano says.  “I feel like I influenced that person’s fashion sense.  I influenced something new.”

Rather than carry labels from some of the more “well-known” designers that can be found in department stores, Scandalo provides a supply of both classic and cutting edge designs made in the USA, in addition to pieces imported from Europe.  Currently, the best-selling items for this Fall include a high-wasted lace pencil skirt ($59), a shimmered “flapper girl” dress ($79), and patterned stockings and knee-highs ranging from $24 and up.

Scandalo offers one-of-a-kind handmade leather clutches and bags designed by Damiano herself – her popular “skull bags” ranging from $220 - $520.

Scandalo offers one-of-a-kind handmade leather clutches and bags designed by Damiano herself .

Best of all, Scandalo offers one-of-a-kind handmade leather clutches and bags designed by Damiano herself, including her popular “skull bags” ranging from $220 – $520.  As a small business owner and artist, Damiano would like to see more boutiques supported by community than department and chain stores.

“I want to give artists an opportunity to showcase work.  I want to promote people that are talented, independent designers,” Damiano says.

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Flapper Girl dress $79.

But there is more to Scandalo’s success than an array of diverse fashions and handmade creations.  According to Damiano, there is a different experience in a boutique.  One-on-one relationships can develop which makes the shopping experience more personal, comforting, and exciting.

“I have customers where I’m pretty much their stylist,” Damiano says.  “They’ll come in with a pair of shoes and say, ‘Alex, with this budget, please help me build an outfit around these shoes.’  After that happens once or twice it’s natural – they feel comfortable.”

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The famous skull purse accessorizes this outfit. Sweater $78.

It appears to be these one-on-one relationships, and Damiano’s attitude towards her customers that play a major role in Scandalo’s success.

“We are surviving the recession,” Damiano says,  “We haven’t had to clutter our window with huge sale signs.  Customers are very loyal.”

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Patterned stockings and knee-highs are hot for fall and winter. $24 and up.

Damiano adds, “We are not a pushy place.  We’re more about building a relationship with customers so people come back, rather than pushing a garment to make a sale.”

Scandalo Boutique 14547 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (818)986-1867 www.scandaloboutique.com

Sarah K. Tohl is a life-long Valley resident. She graduated Pitzer College in 2009 with a special major that combined the fields of writing and media studies, titled: “Verbal and Visual Languages.”


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