Ode to Kitson, Thanks for the Memories (and all the cool, overpriced but fun stuff!)


Fame in Lalaland. My, how you are fickle.

Before the selfie; before the Kardashians; hell, before even the iPhone, there was Kitson.

It’s hard to remember what came first: Paris Hilton, a pre-hot mess Lindsay Lohan (seriously, she did exist!!) – or Kitson. Okay, okay, I do remember – but it’s a bit like the story of the chicken and the egg, isn’t it? One could scarcely exist without the other. At least not in this celebrity-obsessed culture they all helped cultivate. Or at least fuel the flames of the fire.

The iconic retailer had its humble beginnings on Robertson Boulevard (well, humble for Beverly Hills… it’s not Rodeo, is it?) It was a quieter time. A time where we didn’t watch reruns of Laguna Beach or The Hills on Netflix – but live, on actual TV. Yes, we were still watching actual TV way back then! A time when tourists didn’t mob the store and cause security to act like ‘retail bouncers’ by roping off the entrance and forcing shoppers to wait in line… (for a glimpse of Nicole Richie shopping? Really?) It was a time where tourists didn’t mob the store just to bring something back home some random Kitson-branded logo tee).

But change, it always does come around. And quickly, the once ‘humble’ retailer was spawning sixteen other locations. Dividing fans between Team Angelina and Team Jennifer T-shirts (Brad, I hope you saw a cut). And making us want to buy every funny, witty, much overpriced toy or shirt or dress or coffee table book they offered. My own personal favorites include my Trophy Girlfriend and Little Miss Giggles t-shirts.

As for why Kitson is bidding adieu, they are keeping fashionably (though frustratingly) mum. All that’s officially been said from Chief Restructuring Officer James Wong is that they are “in discussions with interested parties to attempt to effectuate a transaction that preserves the iconic brand that loyal consumers have come to love and respect.” In other words: blah, blah, blah.

The two firms, Gordon Brothers Group and Hilco Merchant Resources, are tag-teaming the efforts to launch the store closing sales. I stopped in to the Robertson flagship the other day and spotted a funny Nintendo Gameboy-shaped purse that said ‘Game Over.’ “Perfect for Comic-Con,” I thought! Till I remembered I don’t usually go to Comic-Con. (Wouldn’t you know it, Beauty-Con is held at the same time! What’s a beauty/fashion-obsessed girl to do!)

So goodbye to the much-celebrated, photog’d, whined-about, bigger-than-big iconic Kitson. We will miss you. The paparazzi will miss you. And LiLo may just miss you most of all. (Or perhaps not. Wouldn’t you know it? She hasn’t returned my calls.)

But hurry. Prices are getting slashed but much like the fame it helped inspire… one minute, Kitson will be in. But the next – quite literally – out.

Au revoir.

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