Fabulous Rag: Fun and Festive Fashion

By Marti Gacioch

From sophisticated to casual, the Fabulous Rag has you covered. Featuring a colorful collection of contemporary juniors and women’s clothing, the five-year-old boutique thrives on Garnet Avenue under the ownership of Iris (who uses only her first name). Known to locals as the “store with the stairs,” the boutique is right across from Moondoggies and next door to Yogurtland.

According to Iris, her boutique carries a bit of everything, including accessories, but it is best known for its collection of stylish dresses and occasional wear in small, medium and large sizes. Iris manufactures her apparel in the United States and also has clothing sources within the U.S. and abroad. Boutique prices range from $20 to $150.

Iris grew up in the apparel trade and the textile industry runs in her blood. Her family owned chains of apparel stores abroad, and in her 20s, she conducted fashion shows and learned about fabric and textiles. In her 30s, Iris put business on hold to have children, but in her 40s, she felt inspired to work with women again because she missed the business world and wanted to rejoin the apparel trade.

“It is hard work, but we do very well here and I’ve built a reputation,” Iris said.”There is glamour, and I love to dress women of all sizes — there are all kinds of body types that I like to work with.”

Selecting the colorful fabrics remains Iris’ favorite part of her work. “They’re all of good quality; I know what I’m doing,” she said. “I think that shoppers coming here appreciate the quality, the prints and the colors — we have expanded the store four times in size, and we use realistic-looking mannequins.”

Iris enjoys helping local charities and generously donates prom dresses to disadvantaged girls at three local high schools. In the past six weeks, she’s also done three charity fundraisers for UCSD, and she recently completed one for the Mission Valley YMCA.

Iris operates the boutique with the help of Adriana (Adi) Guss, her casual attire buyer and store manager for four years.

“Come in and see Adi for a free gift,” Iris said.

The Fabulous Rag, 829 Garnet Ave., San Diego. (858) 270-1993.