Fashionista returns with plans for new women’s clothing store

On a lazy Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, I was feeling ambitious and decided to start cleaning out my closet. Clothes—dirty and clean—occupy the majority of the space in my home, and now that I’m married, that space is feeling much smaller. A good wardrobe purge was a necessity for my sanity.

As I waded through the piles of old sorority T-shirts, gym clothes that I haven’t worn in months, and an embarrassing number of fuzzy pajama pants, I found an old Lulu’s Fashion Lounge long-sleeve tee, from the days when the successful online retailer had a storefront in downtown Chico. I held it in my hands for a few seconds, wondering whether to toss it in the “keep” or “donate” pile. Though it’s a bit snug and a tad faded, I just couldn’t part with the little piece of Chico history and decided to hang on to it.

Now there’s a new women’s retailer looking to make some history of its own in the same location where Lulu’s once reigned. Aveed Khaki, a partner in Formal Education, a high-end men’s clothing store on Broadway in downtown Chico, is teaming up with another Chico native to open a “sister store” that caters to women.

His business partner, Alicia Lund, a Pleasant Valley High grad, is a former online fashion editor for Elle magazine and current fashion blogger, who recently returned to Northern California from New York. Lund will serve as the buyer for the store, which she said will center on an “elevated chic” style.

The new retail location is adorably named Syllabus to play off Formal Education’s moniker and is set to open later this month in the old Main Street Lulu’s location that Lund remembers well.

“It was my favorite place to shop growing up, so it’s exciting to be back in such a historic building,” she said. “There are lots of good vibes in that space, and we are excited to bring new life back to the place.”

Lund, 29, and Khaki, 30, are also bringing new life to downtown Chico. Khaki, who is the publisher of Upgraded Living magazine and a former Downtown Chico Business Association board member, noted a number of young entrepreneurs opening shop downtown in recent years, including Anika Burke, Dolce Home, Yard Sale and Bootleg, among others.

With fixtures like Upper Crust and Zucchini & Vine anchoring downtown, Khaki said the new wave of young business owners is energizing a retail hub that has faced challenges over the past several years.

“These new businesses have really young and youthful blood behind them,” Khaki said. “I think it is the kind of energy needed to make a positive change.”