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Fashion retailer Janet Brown dies

OYSTER BAY, N.Y., March 22 (UPI) -- Janet Brown, an in-the-know retailer who brought important designers to her store's wealthy patrons, died in a car accident near her Oyster Bay, N.Y., home.

Brown, 59, the owner of the Janet Brown boutique in Port Washington, N.Y., had a heart attack while driving to her store March 16, The New York Times said.

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Brown's store, with its roughly 1,000 square feet of space, was an unlikely destination for European labels trying to break into the U.S. fashion market. But for designers, having their collections stocked by Brown could be more advantageous than an entire floor at Saks Fifth Avenue, the Times said.

Brown was among the first American retailers to note the potential of European designers such as Miuccia Prada, Jil Sander and Marni, and she introduced them to her clientele before the labels could be found in department stores.

"I buy for 200 very special clients," Brown said in a 1991 Times interview. "I know their sizes, their lifestyles, their figure problems. When something comes in that I think is right for a particular woman, I call her."

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