Epitomizing the fearlessness and spirit that defines Allentown, The Allen Street Dress Shop is a legend in the Buffalo retail world. With two locations, one in East Aurora and the second on Allen, owner Danielle “Den” Webb, has been on the forefront of curating this indie culture. In 1982, she opened her very first shop in East Aurora with her husband using their college tuition fund. She laughs saying, she “wasn’t college bound, and that the store was her education.” Born into a very supportive family, Den’s grandmother was in the clothing business, and her father was in sales.
The business started to take off and she found herself moving into the Roycroft Inn. The late preservationist and fashion icon, Kitty Turgeon, owner of the Roycroft at the time, gave her a chance to sell items on the porch of the Roycroft. After opening the first shop on Main Street in East Aurora, she was convinced it was time to open another in Allentown.
One thing that sticks out about The Dress Shop is the incredible clients it caters to. Webb’s talent lies in being able to dress all shapes, sizes and ages. Den truly knows how to dress the female body, it’s a talent, and she does it well. As a buyer, Den tries to focus on “bringing in at least 1/3 domestically made product, and tries to put a focus on natural fibers.” She says, “These days I’m finding some of the polyesters to be fantastic, but I believe in linen like nothing else. I think it’s God’s gift.”
Webb has witnessed Allentown’s many transformations and continues to love every minute of the experience. Allentown was built for retail and is extraordinarily diverse in every way. It’s one of the things she loves most about Allentown, and she’s excited to see what happens with the growth and development. Den is passionate about the Allentown community and preserving it for generations to come.