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Zoom call with the head of Celine, then dashing out to make a FedEx drop-off. Given that Forty Five Ten's Mirador restaurant is closed, the team isn't above whipping up lunch to serve to clients or simply keeping wine glasses full as a customer slinks into a Galvan frock. Wilkes says that she treats customers coming into the store the same way she would at her home. She and her fellow stylists are doing everything possible to ensure that retail therapy is delivered with warmth and perhaps some frivolity. And therapy it is, given that 2020 has been a trial for us all and is dealing a whopping blow to businesses around the country. Many retailers, especially those in the luxury sector, have been forced to press pause or, in some cases, a hard stop. I need not remind everyone of the struggles that Neiman Marcus, J.Crew and Brooks Brothers, to name just a few, have faced due to COVID-19. Or the sadness we felt with the demise of retail gems Jeffrey in NYC and Totokaelo in Seattle and NYC— two stores known for edgy innovation. A quick primer for those who don't know the history of Forty Five Ten … Launched in 2000 by fashion entrepreneurs Brian Bolke, Bill Mackin, and Shelly Musselman, it was named for its address on McKinney Avenue and quickly became the Mecca for Dallas women who craved unique and special fashion choices. There was the usual suspect list of designers, but Bolke, Mackin and Musselman painstakingly took the time to whittle down those collections to just a few select pieces. In 2014, Headington Companies acquired the company, with plans to construct a flagship to be built as part of a downtown renaissance. In November 2016, Forty Five Ten officially moved into a glamorous four-story building between Main and Elm, just across from another of Headington's large investments, the Joule Hotel. Bolke departed in 2017, and for a short time the organization was led by fashion director Taylor Tomasi- Hill, a Bolke protégé brought in for the new, much larger store. Then, early in 2018, Headington acquired Tenoversix, Kristen Cole's boutique that she had launched in Los Angeles and which had opened in the lobby of the Joule. Shortly after Bolke's and Hill's departures, Cole was named Forty Five Ten's president and chief creative officer. The following was a period of rapid growth, with stores opening in Miami, Aspen, Napa, and Hudson Yards in New York City. Fast forward to today's COVID world. O n March 20, Forty Five Ten shuttered to wait out this new and frightening COVID 19 pandemic. In early May, in-person shopping resumed, strictly by-appointment, but there were no artfully laid-out vignettes within the store. I remember vividly showing up in early May for my 10 am appointment, texting Dianna Miller that I had just parked in the nearly empty valet lot. Wearing a fabulous outfit accessorized with a clinical mask (this was prior to everyone upping their face-covering game), she unlocked the door. She mimed a socially distanced air hug, and we spent a few minutes with the requisite "How are you?" and "What have you been doing at home the past few months?" I then asked where I would find the sales racks or discounted rooms. Miller's quick response: "You don't get it. The whole store is on sale." They'd realized that they needed to quickly clear out the huge inventory of Spring 2020 merchandise that had languished while everyone was sheltering in place — an entire season of women's and menswear. Also, by this point, they had made the decision to close the Aspen and Napa stores (Miami had closed in January 2020), and the Aspen, Napa and Miami merchandise was slowly being sent back to the Dallas mother ship for liquidation. (As we went to press, we learned that Forty Five Ten would soon announce the closure of the NYC Hudson Yards store.) With "Canceled" scribbled across every event in my Smythson datebook, my shopping trips to Forty Five Ten quickly became my only social outlet, where I saw many of my former-party friends, masked up, and pulling racks of discounted clothes to the dressing rooms. Luxury SUVs departed the parking lot weighed down with boxes and shopping bags. One of those girls, Sheryl Maas, describes the atmosphere: "Being in the design world, I love an estate sale. This kind of feels like the biggest clothing estate sale on the planet. But primarily I'm going there to support the community. This is a hometown company and a local team. They are listening to us and asking, 'What should be our next chapter?' Which makes us all feel more vested." T he duo at the helm of this new retail world, Anne Wallach and Jordan Jones, make a great team. Jones, just 27 years old, will soon be hitting her five-year anniversary with Forty

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