Carnaby Street Style celebrates one year of London-inspired business

Jake Green

Carnaby Street Style celebrated “A Year in Style at CSS” with a party Friday night at the boutique at 100 E. Erie St. in downtown Kent.

The store opened its doors after hours to Kent State students and members of the community for an open-house party with music, refreshments and a storewide discount. About 60 patrons attended the party within its first hour. 

Customers browsed the clothing racks and sampled English finger foods while owner Emma Day managed the cash register, greeting many shoppers by name.

“[Day]’s so creative in the way she involves her customers,” frequent customer Mikel Perkowski said. “She’s done fashion shows featuring them and includes them in the purchasing decisions.”

Perkowski first came into Carnaby Street Style when it opened last year, drawn in by the unique style and bright look of the shop, she said.

“I’ve been coming since day one. I love London, so the second I saw ‘Carnaby Street,’ I went in,” she said.

Day moved to the Hudson, Ohio, area from England when she was 10 but visited London as she grew older. Inspired by the style on the famous Carnaby Street, she finished her business plan on a trip in the summer of 2012, she said.

“We were shopping at a boutique on Carnaby Street in London where they were having an event,” Day said, “and I turned to my family and said ‘this is how it’s done, Carnaby Street style, and the name was born.”

Day’s plan for the store includes regular events for her customers, such as the fashion show, which is planned to be annual, and Friday’s anniversary party. 

English stores hold a lot of events to keep their clientele interested, which is hard to find in this area, Day said.

“I love Kent,” she said. “The business just had to be in Kent’s redevelopment. It’s brought together townies and students in such a great way.”

Freshman exploratory major Danielle Minor loves the variety of styles offered at Carnaby Street Style, which only sells six of each item, she said.

“Knowing that many other people won’t have the same clothes as me is important,” Minor said. “Every time I come to Carnaby, I find great items for my wardrobe.”

Minor started shopping at the boutique when she first visited Kent as a senior in high school, drawn in by the bright colors and London style, she said.

“I’m really excited to see what the future of Carnaby will hold,” Minor said.

Day doesn’t know what’s in store for her business’s future but assures more events are coming, she said.

“I take it one day at a time,” Day said.

Contact Jake Green at [email protected].