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One amazing thing about the current economy is that even though consumer confidence has dropped to record lows, stores just keep on opening. Take Sohung Designs Collective, in the East Village, which opened its doors in late September. Owner Sohung Tong started selling his line of handmade clothing at the Young Designers Market in Nolita and worked his way up to selling it at downtown boutiques. A little economic meltdown isn't going to get in the way of his progress.
The store carries five designers other than Sohung. Each has its own little display area, and while the styles are very different—there's delicate gold jewelry, silk-screened mens' t-shirts, knit scarves, and crocheted necklaces, among other things—they all share an offbeat aesthetic and a general indifference to overtly trendiness. Nothing is unspeakably expensive, either, given that it's mostly hand-made: We're not sure anyone really needs a vest made out of neckties, but we do think $80 is a reasonable price for such a thing. Sohung is located at 312 East 9th Street behind the diner Veselka, meaning that in addition to promoting young designers and keeping the spirit of creativity alive in the East Village, the store also kind of smells like bacon.