Hidden between a Quizno’s and the 1010 Pacific Apartments downtown, sits a new independently owned retail therapy gem.

Stepping into boutique Shimmy Bang is like stepping into an trendy glamour den, where Chloe sunglasses line the shelves, and fashion icon black and whites decoupage the walls.

Store Owner Taylor Abbate presents an array of designs mainly from London, New York, Los Angeles and Australia.

A UCSC Alumna, Abbate moved to L.A to boost her fashion chops and returned to Santa Cruz to open a shop of her own this past July.

Abbate includes designer pieces as well as her own personal stash of vintage garb. From derby hats to to neon tanks, Shimmy Bang’s wardrobe harkens images of Clarissa Explains It All at the races, with all of the trendy pieces in between.

Abbate’s inspiration? The casual yet edgy vibe of the current youth culture, or what she refers to as “street-style fashion with a rock ‘n’ roll twist”.

With studded vests that echo 80s punk rock bravado to bejeweled flower hair clips, Shimmy Bang’s eclectic style provides both the sweet and the sassy.

To draw inspiration for her clothes, Abbate looks to UK fashion magazines and various fashion blogs to find out what’s hot in the streets, and not necessarily what’s on the runway.

Shimmy Bang’s prices range from $10 for vintage tees, to $220 for premium denim—an appropriate range for fashionable slugs who want to spoil themselves.

And while Abbate’s dream is to dress UK tv personality Alexa Chung, her dream of owning and managing her own boutique has finally become a reality. Lucky for us, Shimmy Bang isn’t going anywhere, and us shopaholics can continue our guilty-pleasure shopping binges at the fashionably chic boutique.

“I want every item to be special,” Abbate said. “Not just an addition to someone’s wardrobe.”


Photos by Alex Zamora.