Aspen boutique closing down after 12 years
Aspen Times Staff Writer
The black-and-white-striped awning above Hildegard’s boutique should be rolled up by the end of this month.
After 12 years of peddling designer duds in Aspen, owner Hildegard Christian Wax has decided to retire. When she opened up her boutique more than a decade ago, Christian Wax said she became the first place in town where a woman could buy a business suit.
“There was Chestnut Run, and they had their own look with long skirts, blazers and boots,” she said. “All the women in town looked like that. Nobody in town had filled my niche back then – a place for business suits, beautiful hats, accessories and handbags.”
The shop has been located at 228 S. Mill Street across from the Wheeler Opera House for its entire existence.
Currently everything in the store is on sale with the aim of moving the remaining inventory out the door. That inventory includes popular and sometimes exclusive designers like Christian Lacroix.
“I’ve always loved fashion and clothes,” Christian Wax said.
Although she is originally from Germany, Christian Wax first came to the United States as part of a student exchange, attending the University of Southern California. After returning to Germany, she applied for and received an immigration visa and moved back to California.
She managed the original Georgio’s boutique – creator of the famous fragrance of the same name – on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills before moving to Aspen with her husband in the early 1990s. She found her niche as one of Aspen’s original boutiques, and quickly had a dedicated local following.
“I’ve taken great pride in bringing customers what’s current, with-it and top quality clothes at good prices,” she said.
Even as more and more high-end clothing retailers with big brand names like Chanel, Gucci and Prada set up their own boutiques in Aspen over the years, Christian Wax said she never felt threatened.
“They have a loyal clientele that only dress in big-name clothing – like head-to-toe Chanel,” she said. “It doesn’t bother me, in fact, it helps, because people have come in to buy our unique clothes.”
Christian Wax said she’ll spend retirement traveling, visiting her four children and five grandchildren, and perhaps even taking up oil painting, a passion she gave up to open the boutique.
“I just look around in Aspen and saw what other people weren’t doing,” she said. “Business has always been great, but it’s time to retire.”
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