Visit the website of The Vale Collective, Williamsburg's latest lifestyle store, and you'll be greeted with a looped video of a woman in a sundress running through a field of flowers. That giddy, girly vibe extends to the store-slash-coffee-shop-slash-art-gallery, which owner Stephanie McDermott has stocked with a mix of boutique staples (Mara Hoffman bikinis, Ancient Greek sandals) and pieces from under-the-radar European and Australian labels (Chatelles loafers, plexiglass Yazbukey clutches).
"I wanted to reflect how Williamsburg is changing," McDermott, a former Vogue Italia staffer told us during a visit to The Vale this week. "A lot of small independent businesses are being forced out because these huge shops moved in. There's this high-low divide between stores like Sandro and American Apparel and I wanted to provide a middle ground between the two. We do cater to the young, artistic Williamsburg resident by having sweet, affordable summer tops. But we also have a few things for the newer Williamsburg resident—the girls who live in the high rise buildings and have PR jobs."
While the shop mainly stocks womenswear, dudes haven't been left out. "Given that we're a space where you can come and sit and have a coffee on the terrace, I wanted the men to have something to do while the women shop," McDermott says. Hence the "man corner," which is stocked with T-rex-printed pocket squares, knit skinny ties, and a library of "titillating" books (like Taschen's The Big Butt Book, complete with 3D glasses).
Take a tour of the space—from the café (serving Birch Coffee) to the store to the back garden—in the gallery, above.