234 North Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, (310)?275-3013
About as exclusive as you can get, the Rodeo Drive outlet for New York-based designer Judith Ripka just oozes class, sophistication, and a design combination of romance and simplicity. The pure, sleek lines of the design by James D’Auria Associates focus the customer upon the jewelry itself, which is presented in elegant dark wood cabinets with an absolute minimum of fuss. The exterior of the store, with its starkly geometrical windows and door, also acts as a magnet to passersby. Understated showcases in the windows allow all the emphasis to be put on the product.
The judges were divided on Judith Ripka’s store. Karen Karch, herself a jewelry designer and storeowner, recognized the store’s good fit for its clientele, noting, “It’s a tasteful and correct design for the clients.” The carefully matched wood also met with her approval: “I like the dark wood furniture against the lightness.” Bob Olmstead proclaims the store “a nice, sophisticated boutique,” while Gwen Carrington says, “I like the fact that the jewelry was used as the basis for the design,”?adding, “I?also get feelings of confident feminism.” Anne Sowden took the minority opinion, pointing out the drawbacks of both the Rodeo Drive address and the too-rich-for-my-blood atmosphere, going so far as to describe the design as “very Tiffany’s and intimidating.”
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This story is from the August 2002 edition of INSTORE