University Properties Welcomes Lordz Fashion House to Historic Chapel Street

Enhancing the mix of high-quality boutiques that line Chapel Street, Lordz Fashion House is now open at 1044 Chapel in Sherman’s Alley.

An opening press conference and fashion show took place on April 9 at 1 p.m. in front of the store. A short performance by a modern dance troupe wearing costumes by Lordz was followed by a fashion show featuring Lordz’s own original designs, as well as apparel by fine designers offered by neighboring boutiques Seychelles, Raggs and Maxine. The event show was repeated at 6 p.m. to accommodate evening traffic.

Lordz offers an exclusive line of competitively priced, fashion-forward clothes for men and women, designed by the owners Ayse Ikna and Roderick Williams. In addition to seasonal lines and custom pieces, Lordz offers clothing by international designers.

Fittingly, Williams and Ikna met at Bottega Giuliana, a favorite source of contemporary fashions in New Haven. They soon realized their shared ambition to bring a new fashion line to the city. In the spring of 2003 they opened a fashion design studio in a Ninth Square loft, where they designed and hand-sewed most of their pieces. After the popular success of their 2003 winter line, they decided to open a boutique on Chapel Street. “We design pieces that are interesting, exciting and fun to wear,” Roderick says. “Our specialty is knowing our clients so well, that we design with their personal styles in mind.”

Both owners bring to Lordz many years of experience in the fashion industry. After earning a degree in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Design in Los Angeles, Williams spent many years managing a boutique in L.A., as well as modeling and designing for Ruff Jeans. He has been a manager and buyer for Bottega since 2001. Ikna holds an MBA and has worked on Wall Street, but fashion is her long-standing passion. She was influenced by her mother who is a fashion designer in Istanbul, Turkey, where she grew up. “Opening Lordz is an expression of our love for fashion and our love for New Haven,” she says. “Chapel Street is well-know for merchants who know quality and appreciate good design. We are grateful for long-time New Haven merchants who have cultivated this reputation, which we hope to enhance.”

“Ayse and Roderick bring a creative energy to Chapel Street,” notes David Newton, director of University Properties. “University Properties is happy to be able to showcase this flourishing local talent on Chapel Street.”

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Gila Reinstein:, 203-432-1325