When Zoë first opened its doors in 1995, it was a different place entirely. It packed all its style into a mere 600 square-feet and sold only women’s clothing. Since then, Zoë has not only added shoes and men’s apparel to its inventory, but it has also acquired more space. A couple of big moves (across the street in 1998 and across the other street in 2004) and one expansion last fall makes the shop nearly ten times its original size! And, it just keeps growing—its 3,500 square-feet sister store opened in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York in November 2006.
With its swelling space and repertoire, Zoë has become Princeton’s very own style landmark, and is quickly becoming Brooklyn’s too. The woman who made it all possible is owner Lisa Brock, a graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology. For the past decade, Brock has combined her design expertise and business instincts to transport high fashion to what used to be the unfashionable “burbs.” Her finger always on the pulse, Brock attends shows in Paris, Milan, New York, and Los Angeles regularly to keep only the freshest looks hanging from Zoë’s racks.
What sets Zoë apart from its look-a-likes is the uniquely mixed collection of designers, ranging from Lanvin to Rag & Bone, Givenchy to Alexander Wang, and Chloe to Diane von Furstenberg. Even more distinguishing is its customer. Unlike the typical high-end boutique that services women in their 20s and 30s, Zoë’s customer is anyone from the precocious teen to the groovy matriarch. It isn’t clear which came first—does Zoë carry this diverse label load to accommodate its varied patrons? Or are Zoë’s patrons varied because the store’s selection is so wide and deep? Either way, it’s a marriage that works.