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The Bermudian

Award of Excellence: Gibbons Company

Some say that constant change lies at the heart of successful retailing. Certainly Gibbons Company, the last true department store in Bermuda, appears to have embraced that belief with continual renovations, progressive marketing and exciting merchandise, and those efforts have helped Gibbons Company earn the Award of Excellence this year in Clothing & Accessories. In department after department, the store is brimming with the latest fashions, homewares and accessories to suit all seasons, sizes and styles. From sexy lingerie to men’s underwear, from men’s ties to women’s business attire, from kitchenware to cosmetics—Gibbons Company carries all of this year’s award-winning styles. What began as The Woman’s Shop in 1923 and became Gibbons Company in 1987 has evolved into the biggest department store on the island. With CEO and merchandising manager Paula Clarke leading the way, the store offers three floors—about 33,000 square feet from Reid Street to Church Street—of everything your household might need and a few things you just might want. Of course, there are also the Nine West store, 25 Reid, MAC Cosmetics and the Perfume Shop in Dockyard that make up the Gibbons fashion and accessories group. This fall, all departments at Gibbons Company, including wedding and baby registries, will offer complete online shopping—a first for Bermuda. Perfumes and gift cards are already available at www.gibbons.bm. This innovative department store consistently endeavours to provide their customers with the best in everything, from the essential to the distinctive—a point not missed by our judges.

Women’s Wear

From business separates to weekend styles and even semiformal wear, you can always find something stunning at Marks & Spencer (17 Reid Street, Hamilton, 295-0031). This English brand, renowned for its commitment to quality and classic London style, has expanded its range to feature fashions for all women of all ages, sizes and even heights. As one judge put it, “No matter what I am looking for, I can always find something there.”

Lingerie

Gibbons Company (Reid Street, Hamilton, 295-0022) claims to have the largest collection of day wear, loungewear, sleepwear and robes in Bermuda—and our judges agreed. “You can find everything there from muumuus to French-maid outfits,” joked one judge. Well, maybe not, but they do have an enormous selection of lingerie from such brand names as Bali, Calvin Klein, Hanes, Betsey Johnson and more. They even offer free bra-fitting services.

Cosmetics

Brides know, the glam after-hours crowds know and even our judges know that MAC Cosmetics (Front Street, Hamilton, 295-8843) is the best place to purchase quality cosmetics with an edge on style. With talented makeup artists on hand to guide you through the overwhelming displays of products and accessories, even a novice will leave the trendy Front Street store feeling supermodel sexy.

Men’s Suits

A well-tailored suit says a lot about the man who wears it, and the best-dressed businessmen head to English Sports Shop (49 Front Street Hamilton, 295-2672) when the need for a new one arises. The store, which dates back to 1918, carries a wide range of ready-to-wear suits, ties and all the other accoutrements a well-heeled gentleman who wants to look his polished best needs. Our judges gave them high marks for their quality, custom-made suits, exceptional service and annual two-suit special deals.

Men’s Business, Casual

Ties and pinstriped suits have been replaced by polo shirts and khakis in many a boardroom lately. For the professional man who still wants to look business casual and not weekend lazy, A. S. Cooper Man (30 Front Street, Hamilton, 295-3961) offers the solution. From DKNY to Polo Ralph Lauren and Claiborne, they carry a wide range of brands to suit any corporate culture.

Trendy Wear, Men’s

“You just feel trendy when you go into Sasch,” stated one of our judges. With their unique brands of über-hip European fashions, Sasch (Walker Arcade, 12 Reid Street, Hamilton, 295-4391) was hailed as THE store for the latest men’s clothes for whenever you need to look your stylish best. Our judges also praised the funky, newly renovated atmosphere and excellent personal service.

Ties

Thin or thick, short or long, vibrantly hued or subtly subdued, the fashionable look for men’s ties changes with the season. Whether you are searching for cutting-edge or classic, the sublime selection at A. S. Cooper Man (30 Front Street, Hamilton, 295-3961) is sure to please. And for those seeking a gift for the man in your life, pick out a shirt and the knowledgeable salesmen are always willing to help you find the perfect tie to match.

Women’s Business Attire

Today’s working woman wants to create a style all her own that is anything but, well, work. Our judges chose Gibbons Company (Reid Street, Hamilton, 295-0022) as the best one-stop shop for women’s business attire. They also noted Gibbons for their great opening hours, beautiful facility and stylish work wear from such varied brands as Liz Claiborne, Josephine Chaus, DKNY and Mac & Jac.

Trendy Wear, Women’s

Once the mecca for traditional business-suit-wearing women, the former Crown Colony store at the very beginning of Front Street has reinvented itself as Boutique CC (1 Front Street, Hamilton, 295-3935). They still carry popular business suits and a fair range of stunning evening gowns, but now this trendy boutique also carries fashionable designer threads with an edge on style. Regular customers are also treated to special new arrivals notifications and invitation-only fashion shows.

Drop-Dead Evening Wear

When formal weddings, gala events and annual Christmas parties call for drop-dead gorgeous evening wear, local divas head to Diva Wear and More (61 Reid Street, Hamilton, 735-8878). Organized by size and filled with fabulous accessories to match, our judges hailed Diva Wear as the store that makes shopping for any event easy and fun.

Trendy Wear, Young Adult Boys

For the hottest urban wear, Bermuda’s young men head to Sports Source in the City (Lower Level, Washington Mall, Hamilton, 292-9442). Print T-shirts, funky jeans and the latest sneaker styles make Sports Source in the City the number-one stop before any major holiday, event or big night out where young men need to make a statement.

Trendy Wear, Young Adult Girls

Looking good is serious business in Bermuda. When they need to look like a million but don’t want to spend that much, trendsetting young ladies seek out the latest fashions at A. S. Cooper Express (Washington Mall, 12 Reid Street, Hamilton, 296-6525). From tees and tanks to dresses and accessories, A. S. Cooper Express has it all to put that perfect outfit together.

Plus-Size Wear

Regardless of size, Bermudians always want to look good. According to our judges, for the big, beautiful and trendy the best place to shop is It’s a Plus (39 Court and Dundonald Street, Hamilton, 292-8585). Because when you look good, you feel good.

Workout Wear

Whether you are into yoga, running, tennis or football, our judges will send you down the stairs to the Pro Shop (Reid Street, Hamilton, 292-7487), which they declare is the best place to purchase all your workout wear. “I always find everything I need at the Pro Shop,” stated one judge, while another claimed their customer service was “second to none.”

Scent-sational Scents

Floral, fruity, musky or spicy? Smelling good is as personal a taste as one’s style. At A. S. Cooper’s main store (59 Front Street, Hamilton, 2953961) the enormous variety and thoughtful layout of the perfume section on the first floor made it a winner with our judges.

Dry Cleaner

When you want to be treated like family—and your precious garments treated even better—look no further than Family Cleaners (Flatt’s Village, 292-0166). Aside from the quality dry cleaning, they do alterations, have reasonable prices and provide excellent customer service, said our judges.

Men’s Underwear

Boxers or briefs? Whatever your preference, the large selection of Hanes, Calvin Klein and Jockey underwear available at Gibbons Company (Reid Street, Hamilton, 295-0022) gave them the edge with our discriminating judges this year.

Kiddie Couture

They have won this category five years in a row, proving that Iana (12 Walker Arcade, Reid Street, Hamilton, 295-4391) has what it takes to keep the coolest kids in town looking their stylish best. The fashion-forward children’s clothing line features the best in European style from newborn to young teens.

Shoe Store

Service and style trumped selection this year with a comparatively small shoe store beating out the competition. Our judges felt the excellent service and beautiful styles available at Locomotion Too (Washington Mall, Upper Level, Hamilton, 296-4030) deserved the recognition.

Kids’ Shoes

Because of its selection, the newest shoe store on the block garnered our judges praises. KayRi Children Shoes (Washington Mall, Upper Level, Hamilton, 292-9317) has an enormous selection of children’s shoes from fancy sandals to casual sneakers.

Coolest Shades

Wherever they go, people will follow. The fashionably casual and sought-after designer shades at Bling Sunglass Boutique (Albuoy’s Point, Hamilton) are so popular with local fans they have followed the store from Buds, Beans and Books to their shop on Par-la-Ville Road and now to their location inside Fantasea Cruises at Albuoy’s Point. According to our judges, there is just no better place to shop for sunglasses locally.

Dazzling Diamonds

We were devastated to learn that our favourite and multi-gold-award-winning jeweller Solomon’s Fine Jewellers (17 Front Street, Hamilton, 292-4742) was closing its doors this summer after 33 years. Our judges hailed it as the very best place to go for quality diamonds from reputable sources, and the exceptional service always made the store a pleasure to patronize.

Trendy Jewellery

Located rather inconspicuously on Euclid Avenue, Jacqui Lohan’s jewellery studio has slowly and steadily built up a loyal clientele of patrons looking for unique and beautiful handmade bijoux. At Atlantic Jewellery Studio (21 Euclid Avenue, Pembroke, 296-1554) Lohan creates her fabulous pieces from coloured gems and precious metals as you browse the huge collection that lines the walls and fills the tables.

Handbags

Prada, Fendi and Ferragamo—oh my! Local women love to stay au courant when it comes to stylish accessories. When you simply must have the latest designer handbag from the hottest European designers, Lusso (51 Front Street, Hamilton, 295-2928) is the only place to shop for the island’s chic and sophisticated.

Casual Hats

The store may be smaller than many women’s closets, but Accessory Box (Washington Mall, Upper Level, Hamilton, 295-8712) is brimming with enough baseball caps, Kangols and summertime favourites to help keep locals looking and feeling cool all summer long.

Sunday Hats

Many religions observe the tradition that women should cover their heads in a house of worship. Today, the classic “Sunday” hat has evolved into more of a fashion statement at government functions, weddings and other formal events. When the occasion calls for an elaborate cover for their tresses, locals in the know head up to Somerset to Cessi’s (23 Somerset Road, Somerset, 234-3030).

Hair Accessories

Overflowing with all the trendy clips, headbands and elastics you’ll ever need, A. S. Cooper Harbourside (Pier Six, Front Street, Hamilton, 296-5883) once again takes the top honour for best hair accessories. This is now the fifth year in a row that A. S. Cooper Harbourside has won this category, proving that they truly are the tops in mane accessories.

Watches

Discerning customers choose Crisson Jewellers (55 Front Street, Hamilton, 295-2351) when they are searching for the perfect watch. The authorized Rolex retailer in Bermuda, Crisson’s is known for its enormous selection of timepieces from Omega, Tag Heuer, Ebel, Movado, Citizen, Guess and more.

Women’s Swimwear

Year after year, Calypso (45 Front Street, Hamilton, 295-2112) has stocked their back room floor to ceiling with the widest array of ladies swimwear and beachy cover-ups available. With exclusive lines like Dolce & Gabbana, Jantzen, Ralph Lauren, Anne Cole, Calvin Klein and more, Calypso has once again proven to be a paradise for the water babies among us.

Men’s Swimwear

When it comes to trendy board shorts, Makin’ Waves (75 Front Street, Hamilton, 292-4609) carries the best men’s swimwear in popular lines like Quiksilver, Billabong and O’Neill. The graphic prints and bold styles are enough to make any man stand out from the crowd on the beach or in the water.

Bargains, Deals, Discounts

From children’s party favours to Band-Aids, hair accessories to candles, you can find all kinds of bargains at the Dollar Depot Stores (Heron Bay, 238-1993, Shopping Centre, 296-4205, Shelly Bay Plaza, 293-1615, and Somerset Plaza, 234-4212). With late opening hours, various locations and an endless variety of necessities on hand, the Dollar Depot Stores are a popular source for thrifty individuals on the lookout for a good deal.

THE JUDGES

Timothy Petty, sales manager, Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort & Spa

Robin Mullan-Soares, graphic designer, Capital G Limited

Suzanne DeCouto, owner, Washington Lane Engravers

2008 Best of Bermuda

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