Angelina Rennell Owner & Buyer for Beklina. Opened March 06. www.beklina.com
-tell us a bit about your shop and your inspiration to open
Our shops sells sustainably styled women's clothing and accessories. Our fashion is modern organic, reflecting Northern California's grace and beauty. We also carry a small collection of children's wear and are opening a Homes section. Our clothing is either organic, alternative, fairly made, or green in some nature.
The inspiration to open was when we first came across the amazing quality of children's organic cotton clothing in Europe. There wasn't really anything out there comparably for women. Then we came across Stewart+Brown and fell in love with their line, and soon others followed. We adore the online environment, so many amazing people across the country and sometimes around the world. It's fast, it's now, and I go to NYC every morning (online) to see what's hot and new. I adore great design & the outdoors so buying green is this wonderful merge connecting the two.
What I love most about sustainable fashion (what we've seen so far) is the quality. I've yet to hear anyone talk about this in regards to the eco-movement in fashion. The fabrics are so soft because they haven't been harshly treated, and thus last & wear so much longer and better. And the dyes are earthy and rich. It's a better product. Very luxurious. And it's healthy for all parties involved. And you feel like at least you're doing some good when shopping :) -Though I image as everyone jumps on board the quality will vary greatly.
Also we hate clutter so we try to keep our shop clean, simple, and not overwhelming with choices and selections. A true boutique at heart.
-what item is currently on your covet list? what could you not resist buying for yourself?
Currently I'm coveting specifically IVAN Helsinki & several eco-couture lines. -Linda Loudermilk, Stella McCartney's eco pieces & in general modern scandinavian designers. The perfect fitting pants of course. And I purchase a few cashmere pieces every Fall & nice shoes (non-eco). The selection of eco-shoes is really limited!
-who is your personal "it" designer right now?
I'm in love with Virginia Johnson's first collection and her prints.
-what is your recommendation for designers who want to be carried in your store?
Be sustainable in some way. Try out some of the eco fabrics. You'll be amazed with the quality and what how it wears. Most importantly is a great fit, wearable, modern, yet classic but with an edge. Emailing a small look book is the best way for us to first see a line. I also think new designers can easily stick their foots in the door with great accessories, simple bags, etc. It's an easy way to test the quality and marketplace.
-what is the biggest trend that is currently affecting your buying decisions?
Style-wise the biggest trend for us right now is great prints. -being able to steer clear of the trendy yet finding the vivid and inspiring pieces. Also loving the mix of feminine and strength.
angelina rennell, owner/buyer Beklina