One of my favorite boutiques is Thistle & Clover. Co-founders Camilla Gale and Rand Niederhoffer opened the Brooklyn boutique in March of 2008. Thistle & Clover is dedicated to promoting indie designers such as Dace and Lewis. I love the store's fun and feminine appeal. I knew the owner's were sweet friends who met while at a University in London and that we shared a mutual admiration for Stella McCartney, but I recently got the opportunity to learn a lot more.
1. How did Thistle & Clover begin?
Thistle & Clover was born out of our shared love of unique, wearable contemporary fashion. We first met and became friends while studying at St. Andrews University in Scotland. We began dreaming up Thistle & Clover pretty much as soon as we got back to New York. We opened our doors to the public in March 2008.
2. What kind of clothing do you sell on your website?
Thistle & Clover sells a mix of established labels like Trovata and Geren Ford alongside independent, up and coming fashion designers such as Caitlin Mociun, Dusen Dusen and Alison Lewis.
We look for designers with a unique perspective: Alison Lewis, has a deep love of pretty vintage inspired dresses that she modernizes with exposed backs or graphic floral prints. Another designer we carry with a very clear aesthetic vision is Melissa Coker of Wren. Melissa started her career in fashion editorial, so she draws upon an archive of historical references that she incorporates into each of her collections. This Summer she took inspiration from the French Ye-Ye girls.
3. Where do you find the items that you sell?
All over the place! We’re always on the look out for exciting new labels. Along with New York showrooms, trade shows, and word of mouth, we host a quarterly Open Call for local design talent. The next OC will be Thursday, July 29th. For more information, you can check out the website’s New Talent page at www.thistleclover.com .
4. What inspires the two of you?
So many different factors go into defining our store’s aesthetic: Fashion shows, editorial spreads, blogs, our friends, and, of course, our customers!
Before we do our buying each season, we sit down and ask ourselves which pieces from the fashion shows spoke to us. It ends up being different each season. For Fall 2010, we fell in love with the very chic high-waisted dress silhouette, multi-hued silk tanks for a pop of Autumnal color, and ultra soft cashmere layering pieces.
5. What kind of girl/woman do you cater to?
We’re very lucky that Fort Greene is such a diverse neighborhood—it makes our buy so much more interesting. Pratt is just down the street, so we have many students who shop with us, but we also have many young professionals and new mothers who frequent our store. We’re thrilled that women of all ages can find something to suit their needs at T&C.
6. What do you think the advantage does online shopping have over going into the store?
A major advantage of shopping online is price/size comparison: You can do a lot of research on a garment in very little time. However, in a store—you can try something on, get feedback, learn more about the designer/piece in question. It can be much more interactive and fun.
7. What is you must have item for Fall?
It’s so hard to choose just one! But if we have to pare it down, we’d say one of Demylee’s nautical striped boatneck cashmere sweaters—we always blow out of her stock, no matter what season--, or a pretty printed silk blouse (Eskell has a few amazing ones coming our way).
8. What can we expect from Thistle & Clover next?
We’re constantly trying to push the envelope in terms of providing new, exciting content for our customers. In the Fall we’ll publish our 3rd issue of the Thistle & Clover Diaries, an online editorial lookbook (see the 1st and 2nd at www.thistlecloverdiaires.com ), present a new season of designer trunk shows, expand our offerings on our e-shop, and work on creating new pieces for our T&C private jewelry label. It’s going to be another banner year!