Ultimo Boutique Owner, Joan Weinstein Dies

November 19, 2009 • Fashion


So sad…Joan Weinstein died at age 74 of heart failure last weekend in Miami. Weinstein was fashion force in Chicago due to her influential boutique Ultimo.

Weinstein and her husband Jerry opened Ultimo on Oak Street in 1969. She quickly became an avid, early supporter of European designers, such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Giorgio Armani.

Weinstein did open other Ultimos around the states in Dallas and San Francisco. She also launched Ultimo Enterprises, which consisted of the three Ultimo boutiques and various Jil Sander, Sonia Rykiel and Giorgio Armani stores and an Ultimo outlet in Central Valley, N.Y.

Though Weinstein retired from the day-to-day operations of Ultimo in 1998, she remained on the board. In 2000, Sara Albrecht bought Ultimo from an investment group that included Weinstein, who went on the serve as a consultant for Ikram's specialty store and spent her later years in Miami.

She was an inspiration and mentor to many, including George Malkemus, president of Manolo Blahnik USA, who described her as "bigger than life, the antithesis of a shrinking violet."

Weinstein was also very close with the first lady's unofficial stylist Ikram Goldman.“She had an eye like no one else in the industry,” said Goldman. She and Weinstein met as she worked as a sales associate at Ultimo in her 20s. Weinstein became more than a mentor to her. She “was like a mother to me,” said Goldman, who also noted the pair spoke on the phone every day.

Weinstein is survived by her brother, Donald Korp. Services are set for December 2 in Chicago.

-Taneisha Jordan
Source, Photo: WWD

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