Our Story

Family Inspired by Fashion

Aversa’s roots began in Joliet, Illinois in the 1970s, when Founder Terry Aversa began selling jewelry and accessories from his then hair salon. It evolved into TJ’s, a casual, fun boutique offering jeans and t-shirts. Eventually, TJ’s grew into what would become Aversa-an upscale boutique offering the world’s elite designer labels.

A family business, Aversa’s foundation comes from a close-knit Italian family. Terry & Sara Aversa, along with their seven children, worked in the family business. Retail was a part of their family culture and upbringing. Aversa’s third store in Oakbrook, Illinois was managed by daughter Nina. The Illinois stores would eventually close after Terry & Sara Aversa retired, but not until Aversa in Milwaukee was born.

In 1982, son David Aversa completed his MBA and wanted to make his way in the world. He joined Klein Brothers, a large national department store; where they groomed him to work in the corporate sector. While there, David hired an intern, Patti, who would later become his wife. However, after a year at Klein’s, David wanted back into the family business–he had a vision to expand Aversa. And after studying the Milwaukee market, he felt the successful formula Aversa enjoyed could be replicated. After reviewing several retail centers with his father, they decided Bayshore would be the perfect location.

With Aversa’s dynamic Italian designer collection, the family visited the fashion mecca, Florence, Italy, for store design inspiration. Not a single detail was overlooked to create an atmosphere of subdued sophistication. The color scheme was specifically designed with natural earth tones and built-in showcases to spotlight European designers.

In 2008, Bayshore underwent a major expansion to become Bayshore Town Center. Aversa continued to grow and evolve as well. Offering even more world-class designer pieces, Aversa’s showroom was remodeled and expanded to offer clients a more opulent shopping experience. The interior was exclusively designed with imported Italian lighting, French limestone, custom-made fixtures and enhancing natural light skylights to showcase collections more effectively. Today, David, along with his brother John, and his wife Patti, run Aversa.

After 30 years and 300 plus combined years in the fashion industry, Aversa is one of Milwaukee’s longest lasting upscale clothiers. Terry’s vision lives on with his children’s impeccable service and handpicked selections that deliver quality to the fashion-conscious women.