[Sept. 2016 Features] West inspires East Coast fashion

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By Nicole Shapiro ’18

Hidden between all the chain stores in downtown Westport, the new boutique, West, maintains its originality by bringing West Coast aesthetic to the East. On Monday Aug. 15, Laura Maged opened up West, which is located where Alex and Ani used to be in downtown Westport.

Since Maged and her family own a house in California, she would shop on the West Coast, and she was inspired by the styles.  

“I decided what was missing in Westport, as far as retail stores, was a lot of California brands and a West Coast aesthetic, and I am also doing Australian brands because they have a similar feel,” Maged said. “I thought it would be fun for people to go into stores and see things you just don’t see anywhere else around here.”

Among all the casual and laid-back-style clothing at West, Staples student Emerson Kobak ’18 is selling a few pieces from her own clothing line.

“I’ve gotten much more serious about fashion and designing, and I’ve done so much more for it,”  Kobak said. “I just think once I have more stuff in, it will be really cool. If I see someone walking and wearing something that I have made, I think that is just so crazy.”

Maged attended Emerson’s fashion show earlier this year and was interested in selling items from her line.

“It’s great for everybody.  It’s great for me [because] I love the local element and I love that she’s learning about how to price her stuff on the wholesale end,” Maged said.

Jacob Maged ’18, Laura Maged’s son, has his own business remodeling and customizing shoes. He is really proud of his mom for following her passion and accomplishing what she loves, and he hopes one day he can work alongside her.

“I think someday my mom and I could work really well together and learn off of each other,” Jacob Maged ’18 said.

In addition to selling clothes, West also sells art.

“ All of my art is very affordable,” Laura Maged said. “If you can afford a pair of leather pants, you can afford a piece of art, and I want it to be that place,” Maged added. In fact, according to Maged, West will have a new art opening every three to four months featuring a new artist.

While Maged admits that the prices are higher than teens might find at an Urban Outfitters, she said West aims to be a clothing store for everyone.

“I really hope that it’s a place that teenagers can come,” Laura Maged said. “I want it to be a fun, festive atmosphere that people can come, not only for the fashion, but for the art as well.”