In 1986 Billie and Jim Steese took a bet on Duck’s fledgling retail scene and opened a women’s fashion boutique on the northern Outer Banks. It was Billie’s mother who suggested the name Lady Victorian because it fits so well with her daughter’s design aesthetic, rich as it is with antiques and vintage goodness.
“I love the energy of the Victorian era,” Billie says, “the flamboyance and warmth and the magical influence it had on fashion.”
While the store interior is designed with all the glamorous detail of its namesake era, the clothing, jewelry, accessories and shoes have always been about cutting-edge and contemporary style. It’s a juxtaposition that works. Thirty-three years after it began, Lady Victorian has grown to 4,000 square feet and become an iconic shopping destination.
Yet to this day there are those shoppers who pass up a visit to Lady Victorian, thinking it won’t appeal to their modern sense of style. But those in the know – an ever-growing coterie of women from all around the country – have learned that there’s much more to Lady Victorian than the name implies. They know that this is a place of wardrobe-expanding contemporary fashion with a focus on texture, prints, trims and creative details that elevate the timeless and bring joy and zest to the art of getting dressed.
1216 Duck Road, Duck