I never pictured myself as a business owner or even working in the fashion industry. However, I always knew I wanted to create something special. And that I did—introducing Marilyn’s on 5th Avenue.
My journey to the present began in 1999, the year we thought the world was going to end as the clock struck 12:01 AM. Thankfully, it didn’t so I can share my story.
To understand me and my drive for excellence, you must know my past. My mother considered etiquette of the utmost importance to a good life. In her opinion, Emily Post was too formal, but Amy Vanderbilt was the true etiquette authority. I grew up knowing many formalities like always eating dinner in the dining room and writing my first thank you note at the ripe age of three years old. These formalities also carried over to my dress. My mother preached quality over quantity and that clothing must always be properly fitted. She considered dressing for the weather important to the element of being fashionable. And finally, my mother’s golden rule—better to be underdressed than overdressed.
Now that you understand my background, let’s circle back to the daunting year of 1999. It was that year I was asked to go on a fashion buying trip to Paris and Milan. The colors, prints, and fabrics were so intoxicating and filled with excitement. It was a feeling I hadn’t experienced before, and I instantly knew what I was destined to do. So, I spent the next ten years bringing that thrill with me to the United States. In 2009, I began a small accessories store in Naples, Florida. I filled my store with Europe’s finest jewelry, shoes, belts, and scarves. And as a last-minute decision, I added French white blouses. Little did I know, this decision would kick start my business. I began making my own Italian white blouses four years later. Soon after, I added elegant hats and fascinators. The rest is history.
In 2013, business was booming so I moved to a bigger space on 5th Avenue South. It was then that I decided to bring in women’s clothing. Later in 2017, the online shop was launched.
Fast forward to the present, I remain at the 5th Avenue location and take annual buying trips to Europe. While there, I walk ten to fifteen miles a day seeking out special pieces to bring to my shop. I explore a multitude of fashion fairs, showrooms, jewelry laboratories, sewing rooms, and small factories. Presently, I manufacture blouses, dresses, and pants under my own label. I take pride in the collections I bring back and design with you, the customer, in mind.
My life’s ambition is for you to experience that same excitement I felt in 1999. I hope you leave my store feeling enriched by Europe’s luxury and culture. I want you to discover pieces unlike anything you see in your everyday store.
When you come to Marilyn’s on 5th Avenue South, you can expect a personalized shopping experience like no other. And in keeping with mother’s instruction on fit, complimentary alterations will be available to you when necessary. Marilyn and her team will ensure you leave feeling confident and empowered in your style.