Ludivine Grégoire wanted a boutique in the West Village that would offer a French touch. Designers including Vanessa Bruno, Tsumori Chisato, Les Prairies des Paris, Notify, Robert Normand, Guia La Bruna, and K. Jacques make her eponymous boutique — which is small, pale pink, and in the heart of the Village — feel like an elegant Parisian closet, with lots of easy pieces that have a built-in, low maintenance chic. The neighborhood ladies have responded with awe, and the store is garnering regulars like Kirsten Dunst and Keri Russell, as well as well-heeled editors and stylists.
On the Lower East Side, La di Da, owned by Lauren Ventucci, was organized around the idea that New York itself boasts so many amazing artists in the realm of fashion that she wished to create an "incubator" for new talent. Her showcase of New York’s next wave of stars has caught on. She’s stocked up on newcomers such as Lauren Felton, Tom Scott, and Alessi Bennett. There’s Jessica Simpson’s favorite designer, Rachel Roy, along with Candace Ang, and Vena Cava (Maggie Gyllenhaal’s a devotee). Rounding out the class are Nicola Fan, Bonbon Oiseau, Nicole Romano, Sally Tseng, Kristen Lee, Tree Pose, Johanna Ho, and Tiffany Gong, among others. Ventucci’s lair preserves a girly, downtown vibe.
Meanwhile, straddling NoLIta and the East Village, Minji Kim’s boutiques carry her philosophy of merchandising like a stylist. According to Kim, all the pieces in the boutiques — both called Min-k — are exclusive, key pieces that enhance a wardrobe rather than act as filler. Her Korean-American background inspired the stock, which includes hard-to-find Korean designers like Barbie Doll, Soco, Biship, and Zidang in addition to her own line, Min-k. So far, so good: Björk, Daryl Hannah, and Iman are among her clientele, and the East Village rock chicks can be seen stocking up regularly.
- Meghan Cleary
3-4 Min-K in East Village
La di Da