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Best Hot Boutique 

The Standard

Nestled between corporate-fashion storefronts at Town Center, The Standard boutique offers an alternative to larger retailers' create-a-look philosophy. A year ago, Matt Baldwin and his wife, Emily, were living in Los Angeles; they decided to return to the Midwest (Matt is from Wichita, and Emily is from Springfield) to start a family and a business. The resulting shop has a purely West Coast vibe, with brands such as Lacoste, True Religion, Trunk, Jack Spade, Punk Royale, and Chip and Pepper. Blending conservative and fashion-forward styles, the shop caters to high schoolers, midtown hipsters and trendy moms. "I think a lot of people in the Midwest thought, Fashion is on the coast, and we've just got to wait for it to trickle in. But there's the customer who's educated and wants what's hot today," says the 26-year-old Baldwin. "As far as what's hot in L.A., it's hot at the same time right here." Every few months, Baldwin visits Los Angeles to scout trends and broker deals. Recently, he convinced Jedidiah designer Vince Flumiani to relocate from California to help the store start a clothing line. The Standard proves that trends can start where they are supposed to finish: at a suburban strip mall in Kansas.

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