Designer Abbey Glass Goes All-In for Retail Fashion
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Designer Abbey Glass Goes All-In for Retail Fashion

Ansley Park native designs and markets to a confident, comfortable and often nostalgic customer.

After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).

The Abbey Glass collection is designed to feel “dressed-up”, feminine, and a bit nostalgic.
The Abbey Glass collection is designed to feel “dressed-up”, feminine, and a bit nostalgic.

Move over Diane von Furstenberg, Atlanta’s Abbey Glass designs clothes as her own brand and operates a retail store.

Glass grew up in Ansley Park and purchased her first sewing machine at age 13. After attending The Paideia School, she graduated with a degree in apparel design from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.

She mused, “I’ve been sewing and drawing dresses longer than I can remember.”

Once graduated, she collaborated with Supima Cotton, showing off a capsule collection in Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City. After the show she moved back to Atlanta, merely planning on being here for some R&R before returning to NYC, when The Paideia School moms and parent’s friends sought her out for custom dresses.

She built a small studio in her apartment and took a few custom commissions, and the rest is history. Abbey Glass is located next to LeBilboquet just off Peachtree in the very chic Buckhead Village District.

Abbey’s store feature merchandise primarily designed by her including the fabric.

Now 32, she learned some valuable lessons and in 2019 closed her first location (opened in 2017) at Ponce City Market.

She recalled, “We started our retail at P.C.M. and moved to Buckhead 3+ years ago to follow our demographic. Ponce was indeed getting younger even though we were meeting a lot of new customers in that neighborhood.”

Evaluating the local fashion scene, she said, “Atlanta is very commercial, while building our ready-to-wear business here, I definitely had to learn that there wasn’t as much appetite to stand out, it was more about being comfortable and confident in what you were wearing. I think in recent years, Atlanta has taken a big leap in incorporating what they do so well in other design areas such as interiors, architecture, art, and film into their fashion scene.”

Glass’s personal style is bold, feminine and classic. She doesn’t shy away from color or retro prints. She laughed, “I’m always trying to channel my inner Audrey Hepburn or Jackie O.” Glass manufactures 99 percent of everything she sells. She orders fabric to be woven and printed specifically for the brand. Fabrics come from NYC shows but are woven all over the world.

In terms of her business niche, Abbey professed, “Our mission is to offer women confidence for every occasion. Whether she’s going to a beachside brunch or her daughter’s wedding, we are here to make her feel like looking good is easy – she’s going to get tons of compliments on her look, while feeling comfortable and chic.”

The Abbey Glass collection is designed to feel dressed-up, feminine, and evoke feelings of nostalgia when seeing the line’s silhouettes and fabrics. She has original floral prints and novelty fabrics that invite customers to approach and touch the garments. Evaluating the current market, she noted, “We are seeing a resurgence of shopping local and customers wanting to connect with the brands. Shein is still the largest retailer in the world with cheap goods, but I’m hoping that customers make a choice to minimize buying from fast fashion and change behaviors.”

Glass grew up at in Ansley Park before graduating from Rhode Island School of Design. Today she wants to channel her own Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn.

Abbey Glass’s ecommerce business has taken off since 2021. She said, “We’ve put a lot of effort into trying to create the same experience for our customers online as they get in store. We are working to roll out new customer service initiatives like “try before you buy” to help with online shopping woes. We’ve hit gross sales of almost 3 million. We are building out new ways for customers to interact with our content online and get customized recommendations for their events.”

As some traditional mall big box shoppers are left to forage on their own, a smaller concept like Abbey Glass steps up. She touted, “I love working with customers at the store. I pop in when the store needs a remerchandising and stay to help customers because I can’t stand to leave. Our salespeople are fantastic! They are all trained by me and work part-time in our design studio, so they know what goes into the clothing. They are great with styling advice and putting together, “a look.”

Glass’s trend predictions: hot pink for summer, moody florals, minty greens, and whites for fall. In addition to clothing, Glass sells jewelry, handbags, and locally made candles.

Recently married, Glass was Bat Mitzvah and confirmed at The Temple. Her hobbies are hiking, filling in for her mom’s pickleball team, cooking and exploring Buford Highway’s culinary gems.

ABBEY GLASS — BUCKHEAD ATLANTA
3006 Bolling Way NE,
Atlanta, GA 30305
(Next to Le Bilboquet & NARS)
Mon – Sat, 10am – 7pm
Sundays, 12pm – 6pm
Phone: 404-464-7854

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