Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Brooklyn-based label William Okpo first made a splash back in 2010, when sister-designers Lizzy and Darlene Okpo began turning out crisp, voluminous womenswear in punchy prints. Soon after its debut, the line was picked up by Opening Ceremony (where Solange Knowles took note), and now fans can finally shop Lizzy and Darlene's full lineup in the sisters' first-ever store.
"We love flowers, we love nature, and we love color," Lizzy told Racked during a recent visit to the Fulton Street space. "I wanted the store to feel like we were in the jungle. Right now we have ten plants, and in order for it to be a jungle we need 200 more, but we're getting there."
The storefront is sandwiched between fellow Seaport District NYC newcomers Whisper Editions and Brother Vellies (a frequent William Okpo collaborator). "Aurora James is like a sister," Lizzy says of Brother Vellies' creator. "In my mind she's the shoe line to William Okpo. Everything she embodies represents us. Being here is like having a sleepover."
Having a physical space allows the Okpos to get to know their customers, who, according to Lizzy, are "effortless." "When she sees something she likes, that's it. There's no, ‘I'm going to wear it with these shoes and Instagram it.'"
Right now the store is stocked with separates from William Okpo's spring 2015 collection, like pleated skirts, structured chambray dresses, and pin-tucked crop tops. "We'll play with color and play with shapes, but we wanted to make it more mature this season," says Lizzy. "There are still quirky elements—you'll see items in the front with big ruffled sleeves—but a daring girl could wear these pieces to the office."