It's no wonder Orla Kiely put some distance between her first U.S. boutique and Soho's shopping masses. The Irish-born, London-bred designer quietly transformed her hippie-chic handbag line into a lifestyle empire with generation-spanning prints coveted by both girls and grannies and an extensive capsule collection for Target.
Kiely's new Mercer Street shop is a stone's throw from the bustle of lower Broadway but evokes countryside coziness with mahogany floors, eclectic furniture and alcoves plastered with her playful wallpaper.
The neatly arranged frocks are brimming with vintage details like tiny lovebirds and Peter Pan collars on silk shifts ($595), detachable pockets on cashmere sweaterdresses ($360) and fitted bodices sewn into wool peacoats ($695).
Besides being a '60s fashion showroom, the store is a haven of nostalgic gifts: We found this Lattice Flower notebook set ($16) for our English-major niece, a fetching birdcage umbrella ($54) for our Seattle-dwelling cousin and hand towels with Kiely's signature Stem Jacquard print ($20) for our holiday houseguests.
Kiely may be shy, but her style speaks volumes.
Orla Kiely, 5 Mercer St. (between Grand and Canal sts.); 212-755-8340 or www.orlakiely.com