Off Broadway, the fun and colorful clothing and accessories store on 72nd street between Columbus and Amsterdam, is closing its doors after the death earlier this year of owner Lynn Dell Cohen. The shop had tried to stay in business for a few months after she died, but the owners said “our landmark store is just no longer quite the same without her presence.”
Off Broadway had been around for 50 years. Cohen became a style icon for older women, and was even featured in a documentary called Advanced Style. “On behalf of The Cohen Family as well as the staff & management of Off Broadway Boutique we would like to thank each and every one of our wonderful customers from the A Listers of Hollywood to the working girl on the Z train wanting to look great on a budget , your support has kept us going for 5 decades.”
The merchandise was completely unique because of Cohen’s adventurous eye.
“Calling the Off Broadway Boutique a women’s clothing store is like calling Liberace a pianist: technically accurate, but a deeply insufficient way to describe a shop that traffics in silk caftans, floor-length gowns and leopard-print turbans for women who, Ms. Cohen said, “dress for the theater of their lives,'” a Times profile explained. “The shop, which Ms. Cohen opened 50 years ago on a commercial stretch of West 72nd Street, is itself something of a stage, its shelves and racks home to everything from metallic shoulder bags and hats shaped like Frank Gehry buildings to raw silk jackets and gold chain necklaces so heavy they could anchor a ship. Many of the wares look less like clothes and more like birds of paradise come home to roost.”
They’re now having a clearance sale, with much of the merchandise going for 75% off; they’re selling the fixtures and mannequins too.