Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kris Koenig at Frankly Basic

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 7:21 AM

By JEN CHEN

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I’m an impatient shopper; I hate pawing through jumbled clothes racks at stores. That’s one of the reasons why I like Frankly Basic. Not only does it carry some cool clothes, but everything is nicely arranged. And, there’s a cute canine mascot, too! (and a very nice owner, as pictured above).

Kris Koenig and Heather Brown opened Frankly Basic three years ago in Waldo. Unfortunately, the store was one of the casualties of the Waldo fire, so they relocated to the Crestwood Shops at 55th and Brookside.

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Kris and Heather first got the idea to open a store during a trip to Paris, where they liked exploring all the little boutiques. They came home and opened a place that reflects their style, which Kris says leans more towards solid colors with occasional forays into discreet patterns and stripes.

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Frankly Basic sells women’s clothes and accessories. I asked Kris to describe the store’s style sensibilities. “When people ask, I try to tell them it’s a cross between Anthropologie and J. Crew. But our prices are more reasonable,” he said. He pointed out a row of colorful coats and said that his customers were surprised to hear that they’re $98 since they looked to be more expensive. “They’re not 100% wool, but a wool and viscous mix. Our lines are good-quality stuff,” he said.

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Kris grew up in Wichita, where he went to the same school as Standard Style owner Matt Baldwin. “So it’s funny that we both own clothes stores,” he said. As for his own style, he said that he’s into simple, casual clothes, like stuff from J. Crew or Brooks Brothers.

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Then, there’s Sandy, his sweet yellow lab. “She’s probably the best employee we have,” he said. Sometimes he leaves the door open, and she’ll just lie in the doorway. “If I don’t bring her in, people freak out about it. Some people stop by to see her, so I make sure she’s here most days.”

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