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Albany welcomes The Closet Downtown

The Closet Downtown is Albany’s newest clothing boutique

Hair stylist Denisa Watson takes a break from doing hair at Star Stylist Hair Studio to check out downtown Albany’s newest clothing boutique The Closet Downtown. (Staff photo: Brad McEwen)

Hair stylist Denisa Watson takes a break from doing hair at Star Stylist Hair Studio to check out downtown Albany’s newest clothing boutique The Closet Downtown. (Staff photo: Brad McEwen)

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Ayasha Banks, co-owner of Albany’s newest clothing boutique The Closet Downtown, says she and her partners chose the downtown area as the store’s location because they want to see the area grow. (Staff photo: Brad McEwen)

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Juan Everette, who co-owns The Closet Downtown, started his first retail clothing store, The Closet, in Moultrie eight year ago. (Staff photo: Brad McEwen)

ALBANY — Area residents looking for the latest fashions now have a new clothing boutique to frequent as The Closet Downtown has opened it’s doors in downtown Albany.

The business, which carries a variety of clothing and accessories, celebrated its grand opening Thursday with a ribbon cutting and an open house.

Ayasha Banks, who co-owns the store with Juan Everette and Jesse Williams, said the new clothing store is designed to offer area shoppers cutting edge fashions made by local and national designers alike.

“We’re offering products and materials normally not found in this area,” Banks said. “We have things from local designers around Albany and Atlanta. That’s where it all starts.”

The Closet Downtown actually originated when Banks partnered with Everette, who has run The Closet in Moultrie, for the past eight years, and decided to open a version of the store in Albany. The three partners settled on the downtown location.

“We live here, work here and play here so we thought we should start here,” said Banks. “We love downtown and want to see it grow so we wanted to contribute and bring something new to downtown Albany.”

Banks said the Albany location is really the start of what the partners hope will be a franchise business. They have already planned to open subsequent stores in other locations.

“We’re trying to establish a brand name store,” said Banks. “We’re looking at starting another location, in Valdosta and ultimately we’d like to be in Tallahassee and Atlanta.”

Despite plans to grow and expand the focus right now is on the Albany location and developing a steady clientele there. Already the boutique has hosted a fashion show and plans to hold more each season to show off the store’s selections.

The Albany location, as well as the store in Moultrie, carries a variety of items, including pants, shorts, dresses, skirts, tops and swimwear. The Closet Downtown also carries accessories, shoes and jewelry as well as housing a beauty bar where patrons can find make-up from MAC and Ka’oir cosmetics.

“We want to offer an upscale look along with upscale clothing for all ages,” said Banks. “Our motto is ‘why look in your closet for something to wear when you can shop at The Closet Downtown.’”

The Closet Downtown is located at 238 W. Broad Ave. and is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.