Alan Bilzerian Is a Boston Style Icon

Along with its eponymous founder, the Newbury Street clothing boutique is a veritable fashion legend.

Resident style mavens Alan and Bé Bilzerian. / Photo by Ken Richardson.


Alan Bilzerian

The only thing greater than the number of Best of Boston awards Alan Bilzerian has scooped up over the years? The tally of world-famous designers he’s introduced not just to Boston, but the United States. Prada, Comme Des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, and Issey Miyake are just a few big-time fashion names that lined the racks of the Worcester boutique back when he launched in 1967. “The Aerosmith guys would call me and say, ‘Can you wait for us?’” Bilzerian recalls. “‘We’re on the way to Worcester.’”

Today, Bilzerian and his wife, Bê, own a two story boutique on the tony first block of Newbury Street, a much more convenient spot for Aerosmith and the various other celebrities—Cher, Elton John, Madonna, Ringo Starr, to name a few—who’ve heard about Boston’s OG fashion mecca. The couple also designs uniforms for commercial clients, including hotels and restaurants such as XV Beacon and Mistral.

But back to the boutique. Enter the men’s department and expect to be greeted with L.G.B.’s impeccable pencil jeans, Carol Christian Poell’s unlined blazers, and Raf Simons’s futuristic kicks. Upstairs in the women’s area, you may find yourself seduced by Avant Toi’s metallic sweaters, Haider Ackermann’s deep plunge maxi dresses, and Guidi’s calf-sculpting leather booties. There are belts, jewelry, blankets, candlesticks—even a crystal ball, should you find yourself in need of one. In all, the collection is wildly original and thoughtful.

Photo by Ken Richardson

How’d it get that way? Well, if you ask Bilzerian about his secret for 50-plus years of success, he’ll tell you it’s because he and Bê have remained true not only to their eye, but also to their gut. “It’s totally emotional,” he says. “It’s understanding what is inspiring us—music, architecture, Rothko paintings, whatever it is.” In other words, Bilzerian usually has an idea of what he wants for the store first, then goes out and finds it. If he can’t, he’ll create a collection with a designer or in his own atelier.

Arguably, though, another reason for Bilzerian’s long-term success is the word “long-term.” First, there are his employees, the majority of whom have worked with the couple for decades. Then there’s the family: Bilzerian’s sister, Dolly, has worked with him for 50 years; daughters Lana and Harley also both work with the company. Bê, of course, has stood at his side since the couple first met in a Paris workshop where she was a designer.

Together, the couple have managed to curate a collection of worldly pieces that reflect their unique vision. “Good designers don’t focus on doing everything for everybody,” Bilzerian says. “Neither do we.”

34 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston,

This story first ran in the print edition of Boston’July 2024 issue, as part of the Best of Boston 50: Shopping package.

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