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Grant Blvd Brings Fashion for the Greater Good to University City
Media Relations Contact:
Jennifer Rizzi, Communications Director
Penn Facilities & Real Estate Services
Grant Blvd, a Philadelphia-based Black-owned business centered on sustainability and ethical clothing production, is bringing fashion with a purpose to the Shop Penn Retail District. The clothing store joins the Shop Penn community with the opening of their new location at 140 S. 34th Street, announced Penn’s Division of Facilities & Real Estate Services. Kimberly McGlonn, Ph.D, Founder and CEO of Grant Blvd, plans to expand upon her current success by taking her designs in a new direction, and elevating the shopping experience for consumers with the opening of the new flagship store this spring in University City.
Grant Blvd is the first Black-owned B Corp in the fashion space in North America, and a manufacturing start-up on a mission to construct stylish, sustainably-sourced fashion. In addition to reducing waste before and after production through sustainably focused design, the company works to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of those currently and formerly impacted by the criminal system by partnering with local non-profit and government agencies to create living wage employment opportunities. The new flagship store on 34th Street hopes to continue on this mission in a big way.
After having a popular online following since their founding in 2018, Grant Blvd opened its first storefront in 2020 at 3605 Lancaster Avenue. The new planned 800 sq. ft. 34th Street University City location will expand upon the existing brand by providing price transparency on all of their garments. This allows consumers to gain an understanding of the costs of the materials used and information on where the fabric is made, providing a deeper sense of awareness and product buy-in. The University City store will not only include Grant Blvd staples such as zero waste shirting, but also denim produced in the U.S., and a men and women’s work wear line called the “DayPlay” with pieces that can be transitioned from day into evening wear.
Kimberly is an advocate for justice and environmentalism which informs her approach in the fashion industry. She oversees the creative direction and curation of both Grant Blvd and the newly opened Blk Ivy vintage thrift store dedicated to the fashion of the civil rights era. With the ultimate goal of inspiring others to see the power of fashion as and for, activism, she’s been a recipient of Visa’s “She’s Next in Fashion Award” and honored with the Black Enterprise “Business Disruptor of the Year” award. Her work has been featured locally by Philly fans, but also by Fast Company and Inc Magazine and has been funded by Beyonce’s BeyGood Foundation for Black-owned small businesses.
“I believe that when we demand more, when we think differently about not only what we buy, but who we buy from- we accept an invitation to challenge not only the social issues exacerbated by poverty, but to more meaningfully address the climate catastrophe," says Kimberly McGlonn. "In that way, Grant Blvd is more than just an apparel brand- it’s a response to what this moment requires of all of us. Our garments are an effortless uniform for folks who are proud of their values and who want to use their garments to show their commitments and their style."
“We are thrilled to announce Grant Blvd as the newest tenant in the Shop Penn District. The sustainable clothing retailer’s mission aligns well with the University’s sustainability efforts,” said Ed Datz, Penn’s Executive Director of Real Estate. “This addition also supports Penn’s commitment to fueling the growth of minority and women-owned businesses and entrepreneurial endeavors. The new store will enhance the already bustling retail district and allow for a more diverse shopping experience.”
Grant Blvd is anticipated to open in the coming weeks. Watch for highlights and store updates by following @grantblvd on Instagram, @wearegrantblvd on Twitter, and @GrantBlvdClothing on Facebook and by visiting grantblvd.com.
MSC Retail represented the University of Pennsylvania in the transaction.
About SHOP PENN Retail District
Penn’s retail district offers an inspired, contemporary shopping and dining experience, open to all. Spanning ten city blocks from 30th to 40th Streets and across Spruce, Walnut, and Chestnut Streets, the district features more than 75 curated shopping and dining outlets immersed in the region’s most beautiful and historic university campus. The diverse collection of retail offerings—including national brands and independent shops—provides the highest quality options at every price point for the Penn community, surrounding neighborhoods, and beyond. Visit the SHOP PENN website for a full listing of retailers and follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (@shopsatpenn) for information on openings and offerings.