You'll never guess who owns the new upscale store that's drawing rave reviews from young, urban shoppers.
Adriana Perelson, the 24-year-old manager of City Digz at 16th and Market streets, thinks of her business as an upscale East Village retail store.
"We try to keep it in the realm of current fashion, current trends, recognizable labels," Perelson said.
With MTV playing and the store overlooked by a 10-foot stuffed Kodiak Bear, it's hard to believe City Digz is operated by Father Joe's Villages, the center for San Diego's homeless services. Most of the items are new, however, and were not donated, but they still range from 50 to 75 percent off retail prices.
Check it out: Designer jeans for 10 bucks, purses for as little as $3. How about a pair of shades for a fin? Men's shoes for the hardly intimidating price of $7.50.
Since the store opened two months ago, downtown resident Henry Tobias has become a regular.
"No more than $10 for a shirt -- and I means a nice shirt," Tobias said. "I'm not saying some run-me-down; I'm talking really, really nice."
Sales have been better than expected, and the store bucks the downturn trend. Donations to many thrift stores are down as much as 35 percent, but most of the merchandise at City Digz is new, because Perelson often picks up merchandise for 10 cents on the dollar at bankruptcy liquidation sales.
"We've gotten stuff from Sun Diego, Jedidiah, some local designers that have overstock or samples that they can't sell," Perelson said.
All the proceeds -- as much as eight grand a week -- go to Father Joe's Villages.