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Designbyflora120409_250There's no "Critical Shopper" column this week in the Thursday Styles, so The Shophound went hunting for one of our other favorite shopping related columns, and found a new installment of New York Magazine's "Ask A Shop Clerk" feature. Now monthly instead of weekly, the column, which should really be called "Ask A Shop Owner" these days, is currently featuring Ms. Flora Shepelskly of Design by Flora (at right). While it sounds like it could be a store for anything, this is actually a wig store, and by that we do not mean some tacky, stack-'em-high-sell-'em-cheap outfit like you might find on 14th Street. No, Ms. Shepelsky appears to be a deluxe, high end perruquière whose wares range from $1,850 to $10,000. She carries 500 wigs in her shop with another 1,200 in her New Jersey showroom and another 1,200 in the basement. With nearly 3,000 wigs to choose from, what's the most popular color? Russet red? Honey blonde? Nope. Mousy brown, Who knew?

New York asked her about changing attitudes toward wig wearing, and she had this observation to share

NYMag: Why is fake hair still taboo?
Flora: Years of bad wigs have given it a bad rap. It’s sad that fake teeth and fake boobs are okay, but if a woman puts on fake hair, she feels ashamed. My mission is to show people that a hairpiece is nothing to be embarrassed about.

Time was when a stylish wig-wearing woman would rather die than admit she had to wear fake hair, but now, in the era of Wendy Williams, Sherri Shepherd and, hell, the enduring RuPaul, we seem to have entered a new age of Wig Pride in which, for some women, the question isn't whether or not your hair is fake, but how good of a fake is it?

There's at least one thing The Shophound and Flora Shepelsky agree on with no reservations. Toupeés are always bad. She will happily outfit a cross-dresser (as she refers to the transgendered, or any other gentlemen who choose to dress like ladies), but has no time for men who want to hide their natural hair loss. "My husband is balding, and I make him shave his head," she says. As she should.

Ask a Shop Clerk: Flora Shepelsky (NYMag)
Design by Flora 243 East 78th Street between Second & Third Avenues, Upper East Side


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