Don Purcell’s new boutique is a gem

The longtime general manager of Jeffrey Atlanta, Don Purcell has forged his own fashion path with his eponymous boutique

Don Purcell's new boutique is a gem
Don Purcell

Photograph by Alex Martinez

For Atlantans looking for Jeffrey 2.0, Don Purcell—who served as the general manager at retail visionary Jeffrey Kalinsky’s Atlanta and New York stores for more than 25 years—wants you to know that his mentor’s ethos is still with him. High-quality service and expertise will be top priorities at his own new boutique in Buckhead Village. “The best thing I learned from my time at Jeffrey is that you must give people an experience,” he says. But make no mistake: He’s adding his own flair.

The store, which offers jewelry, art, and gifts, opened in September. Purcell has brought over several Jeffrey brands such as Eva Fehren and Irene Neuwirth, but he’s also curated his own selection. For instance, Australian jeweler Will Hanigan creates bold items such as rings with a pearl lodged in an open shark “jaw.” Ladies who lunch it’s not.

His Atlanta exclusives include Marie-Hélène de Taillac, a French jeweler known for colorful gemstones, and Melissa Kaye, a designer who blends colored or neon enamel with diamonds for a one-two visual punch. Other pieces of note include Alexandra von Furstenberg lucite backgammon sets and Judith Leiber bags—“the artsy ones,” he says—like a punk rock rubber duck.

Enjoying a place of prominence is pop art by his longtime friend Ashley Longshore, a New Orleans–based, larger-than-life artist. For example, there’s a $2,000 picnic basket emblazoned with “Major poontang.” “I don’t really know if we ever know for sure what our ‘brand identity’ is, but mine is happy, and Ashley’s things make everyone smile,” he says.

Amy Flurry and Nikki Nye of Paper-Cut-Project provided sculptural paper wigs in a full-circle moment. Purcell was one of their first supporters when he installed their work in Jeffrey’s windows.

This storytelling and subversive irreverence toward “proper” fashion are what make a visit to Don Purcell so much fun. “My customer is someone who buys a $20,000 gold chain from Irene Neuwirth and puts it on with her jeans and T-shirt,” he says. “She doesn’t hide it away in a safe for only special occasions.”

Fun with Fashion

Will Hanigan
This Australian jeweler dives for his own pearls. The shark jaw ring comes in a variety of metals and pearl colors. From $4,200.

Ashley Longshore
New Orleans artist Ashley Longshore both celebrates and satirizes pop culture and fashion. She was the official artist in residence for New York Fashion Week in 2019. From $2,800.

Judith Leiber
Novelty, highly collectible handbags are Judith Leiber’s signature products. Her handset crystal clutches range from vintage cameras and junk food to mythical creatures. From $2,400.

This article appears in our January 2022 issue.