What storeowner wouldn't be happy with that kind of unsolicited testimonial? Despite the campus location, Vaughn crisply and emphatically says his new store, Johnny--like its sister store, Wendy, across the arcade--is not for students. It's for grown women with an evolved sense of style, who know how to judge quality in clothing and are willing to pay for it.
Vaughn and his business partner, Wendy Chapman, opened Wendy a year ago. Store Wendy focuses heavily on Eileen Fisher, a pricey brand for middle-aged women that manages to be simultaneously hip and age appropriate. It was such a success that they took out a year's lease on the small vacant space across the hall.
Store Johnny is stocked with Comfy USA and a related brand, Sun Kim. These are edgier labels than Eileen Fisher. The spare racks of mainly black, white, and gray pieces, enlivened by a few oranges and acid greens, look as if they belong in a big city warehouse-district design studio. And like the Eileen Fishers across the hall, they're serious clothes, not one-season throwaways: "You cannot work for this company unless you have ten years of sewing experience," Vaughn says of Comfy USA's impeccable craftsmanship, "and they use amazing fabrics--crinkle tissue, rayon, linen."