Jamie: Nashville’s leader in designer fashion and jewelry
By: Madeline Leesman
From the moment I ring the buzzer at the front door, it feels like stepping in from Fifth Avenue. Floor-length gowns costing thousands of dollars and fine jewelry costing tens of thousands of dollars fills every nook and cranny of the boutique. Sky-high floor to ceiling mirrors amplify the glistening diamonds from the jewelry case in the showroom. Color-coded racks of ready-to-wear and couture pieces arranged by designer, size and price line the walls. One price tag for an Oscar de la Renta gown reads $2,000. Another one reads $3,500. Some pieces look sleek. Some pieces look sparkly. But each and every piece in the boutique shares one common trait – it all looks expensive. The store gives off an aura of sophistication and wealth. It feels like only the elite shop here. Even the air smells rich.
Welcome to Jamie, Nashville’s No. 1 spot for high-end designer fashion and jewelry. This privately-owned boutique provides stunning, top-of-the-line fashion and accessories which capture and create a loyal clientele. Jamie established a designer fashion scene in Nashville and continues to remain a prominent leader in the city’s fashion culture.
Jamie Stream, the woman behind the boutique, opened Jamie in 1978. After moving to various locations throughout the Nashville area, Jamie settled on 4317 Harding Pike 24 years ago.
Nowadays, Stream resides in New York and Palm Beach. Stream’s son, Hud Hudson, handles all the day-to-day operations at the store. “We pretty much pioneered the designer business in Nashville,” said Hudson. “There was not a designer business here when we started.”
Since then, the carefully curated collection of designer European and American brands including Oscar de la Renta and Brunello Cucinelli earned the boutique a mention in publications like Harper’s Bazaar and Lucky. Harper’s Bazaar named Jamie a Style Leader, while Lucky recognized Jamie a Best Boutique.
As a result, the clientele at Jamie is widespread. Single women and housewives. Outsiders and Nashville natives. Old money and new money. The customers look for classic pieces. Even the employees recognize the importance of owning investment pieces rather than trendy, seasonal clothing and jewelry.
Emmy Patterson, a sales associate, frequently shopped at Jamie before and after landing a job at the boutique. Patterson said she admires Jamie’s selection of merchandise because it remains timeless and classic.
“You can have it in your closet for 10 years and it’s never going to go out of style,” said Patterson. “The attention to detail in those clothes that are timeless is they are so well made, they can last forever.”
One piece in particular, the mega-swirl ring by Graziela, a Brazilian designer, remains a fan favorite among the clientele and staff at the boutique. The intricate, diamond encrusted white gold ring swirls around the entire length of a woman’s finger. It looks elegant, but painful to wear. However, the sales associates encourage me to try on the ring and discover the hype about it. I notice it instantly. The ring includes a disguised hinge, allowing my finger to bend with no trouble. Fashionable and functional, the ring costs nearly $4,000.
Compared to the prices of the other jewelry, $4,000 looks cheap. A pair of teardrop diamond earrings by Graziela run at $13,000. Diamond hoops, also by Graziela, cost about $22,000. Even a 4 million year old fossilized sand dollar necklace by Nan Fusco, a Laguna Beach-based brand, does not surpass the most expensive item in jewelry. The priciest item, a diamond encrusted, sliced-geode cuff bracelet by Kimberly McDonald, sits at the very front of the items in the showroom. The bracelet costs about $40,000.
During our conversation, Pam Stegall, another sales associate, slides a breathtaking Kimberly McDonald ring onto my finger. The dainty rose gold ring, encrusted with diamonds and two dark brown geodes, shimmers like a tiny disco ball on my finger. Jewelry manufacturers can not duplicate geodes, making the ring one of its kind. The ring felt heavy. It felt expensive. I felt like I did not deserve to wear it.
In addition to selling exclusive jewelry brands, Jamie also stays committed to providing their clientele with designer fashion unavailable at most retailers.
“We try to buy exclusive lines that a lot of stores don’t have. And definitely don’t have in Nashville,” said Stegall.
For example, Jamie sells Luisa Cerano, a German designer brand unavailable in many countries and not available at most retailers in the United States.
In January, Jamie hosted a trunk show featuring Lafayette 148, a designer brand based in New York. Currently, only four retailers sell the brand. Featuring a brand like Lafayette 148 at Jamie exemplifies how the boutique paves the way for designer fashion in Nashville.
“They’re not very widespread yet,” said Stegall. “It was great, getting them to come to our store.”
In addition to Lafayette 148, Hudson plans on hosting seven or eight more trunk shows at the boutique this year along with fashion shows.
At fashion shows, Jamie sometimes collaborates with other organizations like Symphony Ball, the Nashville Humane Association or the Belle Meade Country Club. Hudson said the next fashion show will take place sometime in April, most likely at Belle Meade Country Club, not much different from Jamie’s first fashion show in the late 1970s at Bluegrass Yacht and Country Club.
“Sometimes we bring a designer in and specifically feature that designer, and sometimes we just do a mix of what we are all about,” said Hudson. “The next one will probably be a mix. A collaboration of our designers.”
The boutique itself includes a collaboration of different designers. Traditional floor-length dresses by Oscar de la Renta, bright pops of color from Tibi tops, straight cut blue jeans by FRAME and furry multicolored scarves from Fabiana Filippi adorn the racks of clothing throughout the store. Even the table for accessories on sale includes an eclectic mix of accessories, mostly scarves, from designers such as Paisley Road and Alonpi. Each item ranges from $200-$400. It might seem expensive to some people, but Jamie’s loyal clientele keeps coming back to shop in the boutique for these one-of-a-kind pieces.
Jayne Ann Woods, a Jamie customer for the past 35 years, said Jamie feels like the best of the best in Nashville.
“I’ve been shopping here since before they moved to this location. I’m probably one of their oldest customers,” said Woods. “Jamie is very high quality. Very unique. I find everything I need here.”
Hudson, who began working at Jamie 30 years ago, said he sees generations of families shopping at the boutique for timeless pieces for their wardrobes. The age demographic becomes so widespread where everyone who steps into the boutique can find a designer brand which resonates with them.
Classic fashion, timeless jewelry, and staff dedicated to providing their clientele with the best European and American designers make Jamie a style leader in Nashville.