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The iconic American West gets a punky update from designer Wendy Nichol, who just opened a new shop on Sullivan Street in Soho. Her twists on classic feminine pieces, such as spiked hoops and braided leopard satchels, look very of-the-moment, and her ethos of locally sourced and crafted pieces feels equally now. When we dropped by the small fur covered shop/studio, we were pleasantly surprised to find the designer behind the counter. She patiently answered questions about the line, only pointing out her favorite pieces when pressed, confessing her affinity for vintage Navajo jewelry, and reluctantly posing for a photo.
Large cases in the middle of the store display delicate mix and match earrings ($80 to $125) and the statement making lambskin fur cuff ($155). In addition to the well-priced house line, there is a stunning vintage turquoise necklace for $3000, partially because the designer is having such a hard time parting with it.
Nichol's tough but beautifully crafted jewelry is made at another location on Broadway, but the handbags that originally made her a downtown darling are all made on-site at the new Sullivan space. (You can see reels of leather braids hanging in the back.) Nichol admits that she is very particular about bags, and switches between the Billy Kid tote ($600-$880), hand-dyed with sumac and berries by Red Hook-based Audrey Reynolds, and the $800 hand-braided Canyon backpack (talk about commitment—the designer often ends up braiding the purses on the subway!) All of the handbags and select vintage pieces hang from hooks in the store, giving the sense that you just wandered into Wendy's fabulous home. And since Nichol says she will pretty live in the store from now on, it might really become a walk in closet, which would make us very, very happy.
Head to Refinery29 for more details, or stop by tomorrow night from 6pm to 10pm for drinks, one-of-a-kind Audrey Reynolds pieces, and a t-shirt collab with Brooklyn band Von Haze.—Rachel Traub
· A Stud Master Opens Shop In SoHo [Refinery29]
· Wendy Nichol [Official Site]