Saugerties: women’s fashion capital of Hudson Valley?

Gyongyi Henson of Cherry Blossoms (photo by Will Dendis)

For the woman looking for the perfect outfit for a night out in New York City, or an accessory to make an outfit just a little more special, Saugerties is quickly becoming the place to shop. Saugerties was and still is known as an antique store town. But several have closed recently, and with the new boutiques, the village may be on its way to a new image.

This past weekend two new women’s designer clothing stores opened; Cherry Blossoms at 114 Partition St., and W Couture at 250 Main St., joining longtime designer women’s clothier DIG at 89 Partition Street and Juda Leah Atelier & Boutique at 103 Partition St.

There is also a rumor making the rounds that another shop on Partition Street undergoing renovations will also offer designer clothing for women.


While the two new shops might offer designer clothing, they couldn’t be more different in their approach or in the women that own them.


Cherry Blossoms

This shop, located in the space that previously was Sugartown Vintage Boutique, also a women’s clothing store, reflects owner Gyongyi Henson’s minimalist aesthetic.

Her last name should be familiar. Her husband is John Henson, son of Muppets creator Jim Henson. John, Gyongyi and their two daughters have lived in Saugerties for 14 years.

Gyongyi, who was born in Hungry, spent the last year in Europe, and while the clothing she offers in her shop relies heavily on American designers such as Alexander McQueen, the shop reflects her time abroad with its sense of color and flair.

“I was walking through Barcelona and I went into this shop and I said ‘that’s it,’” I knew that that was the type of shop I wanted to open in Saugerties,” Gyongyi said.

She has worked as a producer, dance choreographer and set designer.

“Until now, I’ve always collaborated with someone. But this is my shop. Now I have something of my own,” she said. Susan Whitaker, her personal assistant for 10 years, will become her partner in the venture in the coming months.

According to Gyongyi, the name she chose for her shop, Cherry Blossoms, means “new beginning” in Japanese, and in Chinese translates to “feminine beauty.”

“I want to dress women in classic lady styles that have a feminine touch,” Gyongyi said of her high-end fashions. “Everything I’ve ever done has had something do with creativity and my shop represents that.”

Gyongyi said that at some point she hopes to design her own clothing. For now, she’s looking for local designers. She hopes they’ll hear about her and stop by. She’ll also carry work by little known designers from far and wide.

“I’m always looking for something new,” Gyongyi explained. “Our goal is for women to come in looking for a quality item. They may be only able to afford that one item, but it will be high quality and something she can build an outfit around.”

She also gave a tip of the hat to Daisy and Van Bolle, the owners of Dig, a fixture on Partition Street for the last 6 years. “They opened the door for the rest of us,” said Gyongyi, who was a patron of Dig before opening her own shop.

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