Meet the Boutique: Bibelot & Token

Outfitting your home is just as important as outfitting your person, so we’ve recruited some amazing home goods boutiques to help you do just that. Toronto’s Bibelot & Token is one of them. Run by Bianca Goldman, a hilarious former copywriter who took a career right turn when she became a mother, the online boutique has all the minimalist accessories, apothecary finds and home goods of our dreams. We caught up with her to talk all things decor and find out about a few of her favorite things.

 

Shop Bibelot & Token >

 

TELL US HOW YOUR BOUTIQUE STARTED. I had been secretly creative and trying to find a way to bust out of an office-rut, in my own slow and quiet way, for years. I had been writing copy and sitting behind a computer for the brunt of my adult working life, so after I had my daughter, I wanted to figure out a way to re-jig and revamp my life in a way that would allow me to work, but not be bound by a 9-5. And I wanted to be around for the moppet. I had a good, long think on it, and decided to throw caution to the wind and combine my love of all things design — fashion (I’ve been writing my blog, A Wee Bit Skint, for roughly nine years now), textile, decor, jewelry, etc. — and open up a little online shop.

The Studio Series: Helen Levi

“There’s a real lack of workwear for women,” Helen Levi says, considering her studio uniform. “I think it’s great that Ilana [Kohn] is addressing that space! She’s super supportive of other women designers.” The photographer-turned-potter switched from film to clay in 2014 and after a chance meeting with Steven Alan at a party, found almost instant success with her eponymous line. Helen’s signature pieces include pineapple-topped mugs, paint-splattered pitchers, and dip-dyed jugs, and have been featured in Vogue, Lucky, Nylon and more. Taking inspiration from natural resources and photographer Sylvia Plachy, her approach to design is primarily focused on trusting her gut.

Here, she takes the Lola Utility Coverall for a spin and answers all of our questions.

The Studio Series: Caroline Ventura of BRVTVS and Calliope

“No two days of work are alike for me,” Caroline Ventura says. “I often find myself splitting time between working in the studio or overseeing production in the diamond district to being in Calliope with customers.” The New York-based jewelry designer and co-owner of Meatpacking District design boutique Calliope is a longtime friend of Ilana Kohn and you might recognize the petite bombshell babe from the lookbook photos from past seasons. For BRVTVS, Caroline mixes masculine and feminine inspiration for delicate jewelry handmade in her studio using reclaimed materials whenever possible. Naturally, she turned to Ilana for help in the versatile wardrobe department. “It’s sometimes tough to have so many costume changes throughout the day, so wearing a piece that can transition from being alone working and getting messy to meeting people face to face is a hell of a lot easier. Plus, this type of coverall always looks better once it has a little schmutz on it, so it’s okay if I get a little dirty while working.”

 

The Studio Series: Julianne Ahn of Object & Totem

The return of the jumpsuit might be one of fashion’s biggest comebacks of late, but for anyone getting their hands dirty in a studio, the return of the coverall beats a Studio 54-era onsie any day of the week. “I was bugging Ilana [Kohn] about making one for me last year after I was on a relentless search for one to wear to studio,” recalls Julianne Ahn, the beauty behind the ceramics from Object & Totem. Known for her mixed media necklaces and glazed vessels, the Brooklyn-based ceramic artist is getting her wish granted this week as we launch Ilana Kohn’s exclusive, limited-edition Lola Utility Coverall this Thursday. “Having one designed by a friend is going to be really special so I’m looking forward to the history of what it might look like well worn years from now.”

“Our many maker friends really responded to this particular style, saying it would be the perfect workwear,” Ilana says of her best-selling Lola Coverall. “So this one is made to get mucky, roughed up and lived in!” The Lola Utility Coverall, available Thursday, October 1, features a heavy, work-friendly cotton twill and is made in New York City’s garment district.

This week we’ll be featuring four New York-based makers whose personal and studio style inspired it all. First up, we get to know Julianne.

Meet the Designer: Nikki Chasin

The first time we met Nikki Chasin was at a tradeshow in New York City. Her collection’s bold prints, structured sheen and offbeat textures, stopped us in our tracks and we had to know more. Nikki was born in Miami, graduated from Parsons School of Design in 2012 and, rather than following in her classmate’s footsteps into the studios of already established labels, she forged her own path and started her own. The success of her graduate collection spurred her on to create her own namesake label combining classic sportswear, playful textiles and thoughtful details. Just over a year in and she made it into the Racked Young Guns Class of 2014 — a major coup for rising design stars. The best thing about story is that she also happens to be a pretty rad human.

Shop Nikki Chasin >

Casting Call: Brittany Simpson

When we found out Brittany Simpson had a Friday Night Lights tattoo (her inner arm reads “Texas Forever”) and that she had just as much sarcasm in her as she did knockout beauty, it was clear we had found the model for us. Get to know our Fall editorial bae in the woods.

HOMETOWN? Ladner, BC, Canada.

ASTROLOGICAL SIGN? Taurus.

FUN FACT? I’m an extremely awkward person and make up the weirdest excuses for things. I’ve turned down a date with Leonardo DiCaprio by saying I had to catch an early flight in the morning and have used the excuse “moving to Toronto” to get out of jobs, leases, and relationships. I’ve never been to Toronto.

PERSONAL WARDROBE STAPLES? Acne jeans and converse.

DREAM TRAVEL DESTINATION? Norway. My mom’s Norwegian and my boyfriend used to live there.

FAVE SPOT IN VANCOUVER? Six Acres.

LAST NOVEL YOU LOVED? Anything by David Sedaris. I have re-read his books so many times.

FAVORITE FILMS? Titanic and Stepbrothers.

DAILY SOUNDTRACK? My iPod on shuffle, which can be very dangerous. Anything from Garth Brooks to movie soundtracks, so I usually keep it strictly to headphones… but I love Garth Brooks, actually.

DRINK ORDER? Iced americano, beet juice or Negroni.

STANDBY SNACK? Tamari almonds.

HOW DID YOU START MODELING? WERE YOU DISCOVERED? I was 16, sitting in a Starbucks by an agent from NEXT. I was with them for years before switching to NOBASURA a few years ago.

FAVORITE SHOOT TO DATE (ASIDE FROM OURS OF COURSE) AND WHY? Lifetime Collective, shot in Portland. Everyone on that trip was a friend and hilarious, so we had the best time even though I got very very sick due to modeling outside in winter and going to strip clubs at night with early morning call times.

Find Brittany at Nobasura Rad Kids or on Instagram.

Meet the Designer: Kristen Robison of Minoux Jewelry

Developing a signature look should always involve that one piece of jewelry you never take off and goes with everything. Bonus points if it’s also made in a way that doesn’t kill the environment. Enter Minoux Jewelry. Designer Kristen Robison creates simple rings and statement necklaces from her studio in Portland and we’ve fallen hard, for the metal work and for the woman behind it. Extra bonus points for that signature piece when you know the story behind the person who made it. Here, Kristen talks to us about sustainable jewelry making, the beauty of bronze and doing away with the stress of your morning #OOTD.
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN JEWELRY DESIGN? I went to India during an exploratory time in my life. I had just graduated with a degree in political science and an intention to go to law school, but was realizing that law wasn’t what I really wanted to do. In India, I learned how to solder metal using traditional techniques. It was the first time I had ever soldered or made a ring. I was incredibly struck by the skill of the artisans I learned from, and the labour-intensive techniques, which required very few tools. I think that ethos has stayed with me to this day.

Behind the scenes with Wildfang’s Creative Director

It takes a certain amount of badassery to leave a solid 9-to-5 and launch a fashion brand with your friends. It takes even more to launch one with a vision to shake up the status quo. Thankfully there are people in the world like Emma Mcilroy, Julia Parsley and Tara Thuot. They left jobs at Nike to launch Wildfang in 2013 and have since created a massive force of a brand that celebrates all things tomboy. Whether Ruby Rose is your style icon or you just prefer pants over skirts, the Portland-based fashion boutique and brand has something inspiring, and empowering, for every woman. We fell in love with it when we walked through the doors of their Portland store so we had to find out more about what goes on behind the scenes. We caught up with their Creative Director Tara Thuot to talk about building a business, gender politics in fashion, and all of her favorite things.

Shop Wildfang >

HAVE YOU ALWAYS HAD TOMBOY STYLE? I have always loved to mix masculine and feminine. Even when I was 4-years-old, I rocked pants under my dresses. Pretty sure I am still rocking that style today.

WE LOVE THE EMPOWERING ATTITUDE OF YOUR BRAND. TELL US MORE. We believe being a Wildfang and a tomboy is as much about spirit as it is style. By having a two-way conversation with women and featuring real and empowering women in our content, our hope is that we are building a brand that is inclusive and inspiring.

Meet the Boutique: San Francisco’s Conifer

Based on the scenic coast of California, Amy Mautz brings a literal lifetime of retail experience to her boutique Conifer. She grew up at tradeshows and went on to work with New York’s Built by Wendy before opening her own shop back home on the west coast in 2010. Now focusing full time on her online store, it seems Amy has that work-life balance thing down. Add to that her amazing eye for creative designers like Uzi, Ace & Jig and Lauren Manoogian. So of course we had to ask for all her secrets.

Shop Conifer >

YOU’VE ALWAYS BEEN IN RETAIL. TELL US ABOUT THAT. I worked as a disgruntled teen at my mom’s store, The Arrangement, in Portland, OR. She has been in business for 35 years! I grew up going to the gift shows in San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles, so I have known the process of owning a store since I was young. I sewed in high school, went to school for interior design, then went back to pattern-making school in San Francisco, and then went off to New York. In New York, I worked for Built by Wendy in her stores and as her Sales Director. I moved back to San Francisco in 2008 to open her 4th store. After it closed, I freelanced for a bit and then spotted an available space in Mill Valley, CA. I ended up opening Conifer in San Francisco instead and was open for four years. We closed the brick and mortar in 2014 and shifted our focus to our online store. I have always loved design, clothing, vintage, textiles, interior design, and supporting independent emerging designers. I’m drawn to creative people, what they make, and their processes.

 

Meet the Designer: Nina Berenato of Psyche

Compiling adjectives to describe the rad jewelry by Psyche is a lot like brainstorming words to describe the Brooklyn line’s own famous fans. Lena Dunham: iconic, fearless, inspiring, outspoken. FKA Twigs: independent, bold, mesmerizing, alluring. Needless to say, there’s nothing quite like an arm party made by Psyche’s designer Nina Berenato. We had to find out more so we asked and she answered.