Visitors to NorthPark in 1965 were transported to France each time they stepped into women’s retailer Colberts. This original tenant was a Texas-based chain decorated with French-themed decor, like an extravagant chandelier in the foyer and French street signs. Colberts sold ready-to-wear for women and juniors, and even had an extensive fur selection. In 1970, Colberts purchased the popular Volk’s retail chain and renamed all of their stores Colbert-Volk for a time. It closed in 1981.
Kinney Shoes was found in many shopping centers across the United States. It was founded in 1894 and by 1936 it was the largest chain of family-owned shoe stores in the country, specializing in affordable, well-built shoes for all ages. In 1974, Kinney Shoes opened the first Foot Locker in California to be the go-to spot for sports related footwear, which is still around today. Kinney Shoes closed in 1995.
Open at NorthPark from 1967 to 1996, Lillie Rubin carried luxury clothing and accessories for women. Merchandise included evening gowns, tailored pantsuits and jewelry. Prices ranged from $29.95 to $2,000.00 (which would be $14,000 today)! Caché absorbed the company in the late 90s, after several trying years in sales.
Murata Pearl, an international company, controlled 20% of the world’s supply of pearls in the mid-1960s. NorthPark was lucky enough to have the only retail store in the United States outside of California. According to the vice president of Murata Pearl, the store featured over 1 million pearls set in rings, earrings, necklaces, cuff links and more. A signature fixture in the store was a 15-foot high reproduction of an oyster (with a pearl, of course). It closed in 1991.
Page Boy Maternity
Dallasite Elsie Frankfurt started Page Boy Maternity in 1938 with a $500 loan from her father and a mission to elevate maternity clothing. Years later, the company grew to own many retail stores and even secured a long-term partnership with Lord & Taylor. Frankfurt also owned The Lotus Shop at NorthPark, a specialty store devoted to fashions and accessories from Tunisia. In conjunction with Frankfurt and the Tunisian ambassador to the United States, NorthPark organized Tunisia to Texas, a festival celebrating Tunisian culture held throughout the shopping center in 1966.
NorthPark was home to the largest of the 18 Pants Parlour shops in the United States when it opened in 1965. As the name may suggest, the brand had a unique concept in that they primarily focused on pants and top combinations for women. Stocked with over 4,000 pants and tops sorted into 8 labels signifying different fashion trends and body types, the store encouraged shoppers to mix and match according to their tastes.
Poise ’n Ivy
Poise ‘n Ivy was very popular store for teen fashion, which also had the distinction of being the business next door to the WFAA-TV studio where Sump’n Else, the American Bandstand-style show featuring an impressive list of guest appearances and musical acts, was shot. Hordes of excited teens walked by Poise ‘n Ivy to crowd in front of the studio window so they could watch the show live each weekday. It closed in 1979.
Red Cross Shoes
Red Cross Shoes is know for being one of the first companies to market shoes as a brand name, for mass producing shoes that had a clear left and right foot, and implementing an advertising campaign touting the first “noiseless” shoes for women. All common and obvious aspects of the shoe industry now, but only thanks to Red Cross Shoes. The brand became immensely popular in the Great Depression era when new owners, the U.S. Shoe Corporation, reintroduced Red Cross Shoes for forty percent cheaper than previously offered. Despite using the name and red cross imagery to boost its image, Red Cross Shoes were not associated with the American Red Cross in any way. It closed in 1981.
Woody’s Barber Shop
Legendary Dallas barber Woody Wells opened the second location of Woody’s Barber Shop at NorthPark. He managed the location himself, with twelve chairs in an old-school barber shop atmosphere. The shop also offered nail care and hair coloring services. Wells, who retired at 89, was known to cut NorthPark Center founder Raymond Nasher’s hair from time to time. It closed in 1990.
Zales began in 1924 in Wichita Falls with a concept that was unheard of in the jewelry market up to that point: mass marketing. Rather than appeal solely to the wealthy, Zales sought to deal in a high volume of quality jewelry that was financially accessible by many. In 1946 the company moved its headquarters to Dallas and would expand the chain to over 400 stores when the NorthPark location opened in 1965. Although it has moved several times since then, Zales is still at NorthPark today, located on Level One near Macy’s.
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