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Fashion Design Books Next to FIT Closing by End of Year, Manager Says

By Maya Rajamani | October 17, 2016 3:15pm
 Fashion Design Books manager Irobia Allen, 32.
Fashion Design Books manager Irobia Allen, 32.
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DNAinfo/Maya Rajamani

CHELSEA — A fashion-focused bookstore that caters to students at the Fashion Institute of Technology is closing its doors.

Fashion Design Books at 250 W. 27th St., near Eighth Avenue, will shutter by the end of the year, manager Irobia Allen said.

After talks with the building’s landlord, Allen realized there were no “feasible options” for staying at the site, she said.

She declined to go into specifics, but alluded to a rent increase as the reason for the impending closure.

“You have to be prepared for what people are asking for,” said the 32-year-old manager, who started out as a cashier at the shop six years ago. “Just like everything else that’s going on in the city, rent is a problem.”

Fashion Design Books at 250 W. 27th St., near Eighth Avenue. (DNAinfo/Maya Rajamani)

The store — which sells fashion-related books, art supplies and sewing staples — has operated out of various spaces in the neighborhood for more than 15 years, Allen said.

Customers appreciate that it closes later than its Garment District counterparts.

“When you have a 6:30 [p.m.] class, and the Garment District hasn’t been open for an hour and a half, where do you go?” she asked.

A property manager for Halstead’s Management Company's Picaso division, which manages the West 27th Street property, did not immediately respond to request for comment Monday.

A spokeswoman for FIT said she was not aware of the store’s impending closure.

Allen nonetheless hopes to reopen the store somewhere nearby.

“Hopefully there is a space… and we can continue to serve the students, which is our main goal,” she said. “Just being a part of this community is really a joy.”