By Dan Murphy
When Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s inaugural “Open Newbury Street” initiative transforms the street into a pedestrian-only walkway on Sunday, Aug. 7, several participating businesses will offer special promotions and activities to mark the occasion.
From noon to 5 p.m., the School of Fashion Design at 136 Newbury St. will offer a special pop-up shop featuring the work of Daniela Corte – one of Boston’s leading designers and a graduate of the school’s Class of 1999. Corte’s swimsuit designs were featured in Sports Illustrated Swimsuits Edition 2012, and her work has also appeared in Women’s Wear Daily, Town & Country and Lucky Magazine, among other publications. While her boutique on Newbury Street is by appointment only, the pop-up shop will allow a much broader audience to see her designs.
“Daniela is an example of what students learn here,” said Dr. Denise Hammon, the school’s president. “If it’s a nice day, we’ll move the mannequins outside to give passersby a look at her wonderful construction techniques and elements of what makes her work so special.”
The pop-up shop will also serve as a fundraiser for the school, with Corte donating a portion of the proceeds for student experiences and scholarships.
“I think it’s wonderful that the mayor is taking this initiative to make Newbury Street accessible to that many more people,” Hammon said.
The consignment clothing-store 2nd Time Around, located at 219 Newbury St., is e offering an additional 10-perecnt off purchases on Sunday.
“We usually do well with sidewalk sales at our other locations, so we are interested in seeing how this turns out,” wrote Kristen Rollins, the store’s senior marketing manager.
At Max & Riley, the fashion boutique at 226 Newbury St. that Susan Roussilhes owns and operates with her daughter, Hope, sale items displayed on the sidewalk will be 60-percent off list prices and the rest off the inventory inside the store will be 30-precent off regular prices.
“I think the mayor’s initiative is great because there are so many restrictions on Newbury Street, so this gives us the freedom to be more creative with merchandising and advertising,” Susan said. “We hope it brings back repeat customers, and that people who don’t know our store will become familiar with it.”
Susan believes it’s fitting that “Open Newbury Street” comes so close to the store’s first anniversary on Aug. 15.
“We are new to Boston and love being part of the community, so this is sort of like our birthday kickoff,” she said.
Meanwhile, three neighboring restaurants – Dirty Water Dough Co. at 222 Newbury St., Umai at 224 Newbury St. and Piattini at 226 Newbury St. – will collaborate to construct an outdoor seating area with picnic tables and sell food items and drinks from their respective eateries.
Inside the Dirty Water Dough Co., the “Dirt Water Block Party” will feature some of Boston’s hottest deejays, including Dude n Guy, Richard Fraioli, Greg Gatsby, Andski and friends.
“We’ll open our bay windows, put speakers outside and have the music going all night long,” said Sam Sokol, owner of Dirty Water Dough Co.
Sokol hopes that “Open Newbury Street” will not only showcase the street’s businesses, but also help them attract new patrons beyond their regular clienteles.
“We’re really excited to see people and show them what we do,” Sokol said. “We hope community will embrace ‘Open Newbury Street’ and want to do it again.”
“Open Newbury Street” will close the street from Berkeley Street to Massachusetts Avenue to vehicular traffic on Sunday, Aug. 7, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parking will be restricted beginning at 8 a.m., with signs posted to inform drivers of the change.