The area down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass is known for expensive furniture, coffee table books and a few destination eateries, but as the weather warms, DUMBO is revealing a new side of itself: fashion Mecca.
Walking between the art galleries and coffee shops on Front Street, the neighborhood’s main drag, a striking number of stores are selling clothes for the bohemian artist and million-dollar condo-dweller alike. So wear your comfy shoes, grab a coffee from Retreat [147 Front St. at Jay Street] and get ready to shop.
165 Front St. at Jay Street, (718) 407-4197, www.stewar
Since opening in April 2007, this shop — run by brothers Theo and Paul Stewart-Stand — has trafficked in well-designed but affordable accessories for stylish shoppers and their homes. The store’s claims to fame are soft, shiny wallets made from threads of stainless steel. Designed in-house, the wallets ($25 to $115) come in a range of sizes to accommodate items like passports.
If you’re hoping to update your look for spring, the store stocks $225 Malcolm Fontier messenger bags, Acme Made briefcases, jewelry by Brooklyn Heights-based designer Marissa Alperin and, if you can’t quite swing one of his apartments on Prospect Park, watches designed by architect Richard Meier.
The store is open daily, from 11:30 am to 8 pm.
68 Jay St. at Water Street, (917) 779-8420, www.indigo
Smita Paul opened her shop in July 2007 as a place to showcase her hand-woven scarves and dresses, all of which are made from fabric that she designs herself. One of her sparkling scarves is the perfect way to keep warm when a spring evening gets chilly.
With an eye toward eco-conscious fashion — many items are made with vegetarian silk (save the moths!) and vegetable dye, and no electricity is used in creating the clothing — Paul has dressed stars like Catalina Sandino Moreno (“Maria Full of Grace”) out of the boutique, which also houses her design studio. Paul’s intricately designed clothing, which is sophisticated without being stuffy, is popular with brides, and when dresses run from $90 to $250, we can surely see why.
The store is open Tuesday through Saturday, from noon to 7 pm, or by appointment. Closed Mondays.
143 Front St. at Pearl Street, (718) 422-7724.
When Suewayne Brown opened Blueberi in 2006, DUMBO wasn’t quite the shopping destination it is today. It was the art galleries, and the edgy crowd that they were drawing, that inspired her to open the boutique — an offshoot of Brown’s first store, Redberi in Prospect Heights, a longtime favorite of fashion editors.
“The location just seemed perfect,” she said. “I felt like there was a real juxtaposition between fashion and art, and I wanted to be part of that community.”
Stocking everything from up-and-coming designers like Sweet William to established labels like Vivian Westwood, the shop has an avant-garde feel but doesn’t traffic in items that are too risque. And while Brooklyn fashion freaks might already know the shop, these days celebrities like Cameron Diaz and Jessica Biel have been popping in for the locally made jewelry, one-of-a-kind handbags and dresses, which run from $250 to $860.
Our warm weather pick is a pair of the store’s sunglasses ($140-$320); they carry vintage styles and new pairs from Ray-Ban and Marc Jacobs.
The store is open Monday through Friday, from noon to 8 pm, Saturdays, from 11 am to 8 pm, and Sundays, from 11 am to 7 pm.
117 Front St. at Washington Street, (718) 858-5930, www.loopymango.com.
Anna Pulvermakher’s Front Street shop looks like the walk-in closet of a young fashionista’s dreams. The rows of designer dresses include whimsical pieces with high-end labels like Badgley Mischka, Malene Birger, Orla Kiely, LA.M.B., as well as a selection of handbags, hats and accessories and jewelry from Paris-based designer Aris Geldis.
Clinton Hill resident Pulvermakher told GO Brooklyn that she was thrilled to move her shop from Manhattan to DUMBO in 2006 because, “There are a lot of artists and creative people living here, and you just feel very connected to the city.”
You’re sure to fit right in, if you stock up on warm weather wear at Loopy Mango — the racks have recently been filled with flirty dresses and summer sandals.
The store is open Monday through Saturday, from noon to 8 pm, and Sundays, from noon to 7 pm.
70 Washington St. at Front Street, (718) 237-4002, www.shopzo
An offshoot of her store in Princeton, N.J., owner Lisa Brock opened Zoe in November 2006, and has since fallen into favor with well-heeled locals who no longer have to cross the river for a $3,000 handbag. Celebrity clients like Kerri Russell (“Waitress”) and Ana Gasteyer (“Saturday Night Live”) have been known to stop in and browse the racks for pieces from top-name designers like Miu Miu, Chloe, Lanvin and Stella McCartney, but mere mortals with style and money to burn can also find the latest looks here. The store is billing items with frills and safari themes — like Matthew Williamson’s bamboo linen “short dress,” which retails for almost $1,800 — as spring essentials.
Men are in luck as well, the shop stocks clothing from Trovata and John Varvatos, and also carries a large selection of denim.
The store is open Mondays, from 11 am to 7 pm, Tuesday through Friday, from 11 am to 8 pm, Saturdays, from noon to 8 pm, and Sundays, from noon to 6 pm.