On the Line- Kaight

- your name, name of your store, year opened

Kate McGregor, Kaight, Aug. 18, 2006

-tell us a bit about your shop and what was your inspiration to open

Kaight is an upscale eco and ethical boutique that strives to advance the image of eco fashion. I became interested in "green" clothes about 1 1/2 years ago in an effort to be a more conscious consumer. There was a tremendous amount of "noise" surrounding eco-clothes -- articles, blogs, news reports -- but the clothes themselves were difficult to find.
What was available, was often boring and casual, or shapeless and fashion backward, rather than fashion forward. Therefore, the goal of the store is to create a sleek, sophisticated shopping environment that people interested in green clothes can trust, yet that also appeals to the casual shopper.

-what item is currently on your covet list?

An Ashley Watson recycled leather bag. They should arrive in the store in about one month.

-what item could you not resist buying for yourself?

The Beyond Skin Kimberly boot. It's a 100% non-leather, unstructured ankleboot with a 4" heel. Very hot.

-who is your personal "it" designer right now?

S-A-N-S. They were one of the recipients of this years Ecco Domani award.They're terrific and 100% green.

-what is your recommendation for designers who want to be be carried in your store?

Make sure your clothes are well designed and cutting edge, and don't be afraid to experiment with textiles. Just because something is made with organic cotton doesn't necessarily mean it is appropriate forthe store.

-what is the biggest trend that is currently impacting your buying decisions?

I don't really follow trends when it comes to buying. My clientele tends to be a little older and more sophisticated. They want beautiful clothes that are well made and that make them look fabulous.

kate, owner/buyer of Kaight, 83 orchard street, New York, NY 10000



Sars on Mars

These silhouette necklaces from Sars on Mars are so reminiscent of childhood; images of teddy bears, horses, and hearts are sweet but refined enough to appeal to adults. Designer Sara Wilson plans to expand into rings and more soon, so keep checking back.


April, May

April, May has a very small presence in the U.S. so far but I think it is soon to be a big hit. Former Paul & Joe designer Diane Goldstein Sitbon launched April, May in 2005. The collection, named for the birth months of herself and her husband (who handles production), is comprised of separates that are at once fun, sweet, and contemporary... I've already got my eye on a few pieces! I was able to find this photo on Gen Art, but see the past collections here and contact the French based designer to carry.


Malini Murjani

Known more for her exotic skins and ornate handbags, designer Malini Murjani has included this incredibly sleek clutch in her Spring collection. Made of resin with a leather lining, this ultra modern bag is a fab take on a classic style.

(photo credit: shopbop)


Useless Machines

I met Nina Dinoff at this weeks biz ladies event, but before we exchanged cards I was busy checking out her earrings. Using sterling silver, Nina creates these modern pieces that have a wonderfully textured, organic appeal. I adore the dome ring above and her necklaces that appear to have been borrowed from everyday objects. Check out her etsy store here.


Rowena Sartin

Named for the designers grandmother, Rowena Sartin pays homage to the styles of yesteryear. The collection emphasizes modern, playful silhouettes that are balanced by a neutral color palette. Styles include babydolls, shift dresses with oversized pockets, and short shorts; you can find the above style at Lola y Maria.

(on the line will return next week wednesday)


Out for a few days....

I'm going to be out at the trade shows next week, returning to my regular posting duties on the 20th. I am looking to launch an cool new feature in March that will further enhance what this blog is all about; I want to take the "designers direct to retailers" up another notch. In the meantime email me (clothespinblog@gmail.com) with any thing you want to see more of from this blog.


Rozae Nichols

Artist/designer Rozae Nichols creates the rich textiles found throughout her collection. Under her belt are not one but three collections; a common thread (Nichols serves as creative director) and RN convertible. Each brand has a distinct feel and purpose, but all share easy silhouettes and luxurious colors. Check out all three through the links here or below.


On the Line- Rare Device

-your name, name of store, year opened

Rena Tom, Rare Device, est. Oct 2005

-tell us a bit about your shop and your inspiration to open

The store features a bit of everything - housewares, gifts, clothing, bags, books, jewelry. I like "designed" objects that have some special point of view, or that you can look at and not get tired of in a year. I opened my store because I was working at home every day in isolation and was incredibly lonely :) OK that's only part of it! I had one of those "I can do that" moments when I saw all the great, tiny boutiques in NYC. I also love helping my designer friends get exposure in new markets, and I wanted to show off my California people over here.

-what item is currently on your covet list? what could you not resist buying for yourself?

Oh, I have pretty good restraint, but I can't help but covet the Hudson satchel from Hayden-Harnett, and an Inhabit Structures "shake" pendant made from old watch components and gemstones, encased in a layer of glass. And I own a top from Augustine's first collection - I first met Kelly Lynn Jones (one of the designers) when we were both selling stuff at a tiny craft fair in Oakland, I have a printed T from that fair and now I have something from her fashion line and it's great to see the progression!

-who is your personal "it" designer right now?

That is a tough one. For high design, I love everything Jasper Morrison does. But, I really like anyone doing something evocative or thoughtful, something beyond pretty. For example, I am trying to get these handmade journals from Germany - the designer considers everything, from paper color to texture to weight to pattern to construction. They are just simple exercise books but each is just right as an object. Also there is a couple here in New York working with leather to make amulet necklaces. Generally I am not into something like that but again, the presentation, the thoughtfulness and the workmanship is really impressive, and you can just tell the necklaces are special when you see one in person.

-what is your advice for designers who want to be carried in your store?

Make sure your product would be a good fit. Send a professional email with good clear photos, dimensions, prices and terms. Tell me why your product is special. Alternately - make a website, get some blog press, do fairs or shows, and I will probably find you :)

-what is the biggest trend that is currently impacting your buying decisions?

Cleanly constructed with a special detail or handmade touch. For example, bags are losing the heavy hardware and gaining braided handles, pleats and interesting silhouettes. Also, color. I love my greys but colors are going to be super bright this spring, in fashion and housewares alike.

rena tom, owner/buyer Rare Device


Feral Childe

Inventive design duo Moriah Carlson and Alice Wu are behind fab new line Feral Childe. The story-like collection is a combination of imagination, art, and 'renegade sewing techniques' (spring 2007 is inspired by the Trans-Siberian Express). I like that although the concept is playful, the construction of the garments are detailed enough to be taken seriously.


Turk + Taylor

I ran across a Turk + Taylor tee posted on Modish and the color alone made me want to see more. Hand dyed, fresh, and organic to boot... this young collection began with t-shirts and has branched into a tailored collection for spring 2007. All styles are limited edition, numbered, and come with extra buttons and a package of treviso seeds. To be creative and new in this field can be tough, but T+T has arrived with flying colors.


Abigail Percy

One of my fave designers Abigail Percy just updated her shop with new designs; as usual the pieces are incredible and exceptionally well presented. I couldn't say much more than the photos (you know the thousand word adage) but I'm on a personal mission to make more retailers aware of Abigail's work. Therefore...check it out!!!


Laila Azhar

Laila Azhar launched her first collection in Fall 2005 to cater to a unique market; working women who were fashion forward and professional. As opposed to chasing trends, Laila uses construction, tailoring, and innovative design to create a look that is truly wearable. The clean lines and shapes make this a collection that can be dressed up or down, no matter the profession.

Lindsay Colbus

Jewelry designer Lindsay Corbus creates these oversized, vintage inspired pieces. I love that she incorporated giraffes and elephants into her earring collection, but I'm especially over the moon for the large "tortoise shell" necklace. It also happens to be a very well priced collection...that never hurts.

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