Shopping the Night Away

About the author: Originally from New Jersey, Lauren Messner works in brand management at Avon, developing and launching skincare products. She attended Villanova for her undergraduate degree and continued there for her MBA in marketing. Most recently, she’s fundraising for the Avon Breast Cancer foundation and in October she’ll walk 39 miles in two days to raise money for research into new treatments and potential cures for the disease. She lives on Park Place with her husband, Scott, who works in finance.

If fashion—like iPhone 4, jeggings, and Twilight—is best appreciated by the young, then the Tribeca Retail Club’s “Summer Love” event was the place to be last Friday evening. While much of New York obsessed about escaping to the beach (oil-free, for now) or which watering hole to watch the world cup (sorry, U.S.A.), some of us stayed in the neighborhood to check out a selection of up-and-coming local designers.

“We are a underground fashionista destination that showcases young, independent designers,” says Laura Little (pictured at top), who started the Tribeca Retail Club a year ago. The TRC holds events four times a year: “It’s a way to enjoy a girls night out, that brings together fashion and beauty. Besides, there aren’t that many fun things going on in Tribeca.” (Friends, I think she meant for the young-single-and-without-kids, kinda people.) The TRC is also launching an online shopping channel for more access to these rising designers.

Admission is free, or you can pony up $15 for a VIP pass that gets you access to sample sale prices, free booze (necessary), and a goodie bag of a few beauty items and coupons (not so necessary). The party is at Chacala, an event space on the 4th-floor loft space at 394 Broadway, at White.

This season, TRC featured Head Quarterz Salon on Lafayette (where Laura herself uses owner Steve K. for her own hair). I was mesmerized by the stylists busy manipulating women’s hair into braids, curls, and up-dos in a matter of seconds (a perfect opportunity for twentysomethings raring to hit the town after the event)! After earhustling a nearby conversation, where I learned that Head Quarterz’s haircuts start at just $30, I grabbed a business card. Next, I checked out swimwear designer Dani Kates, designer of KanDi Swim, which was featured in an article in June’s Glamour about swimwear that slims. Her two-piece styles had bright yet wearable mix and match styles, with a lovely flattering texture.

Finally, I stopped by Jemima Jackman‘s table. Jemima, who designs colorful 1950’s inspired tunics and headbands made from African wax prints, told me that she came from Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean nation with a diverse culture, and that designing has allowed her to express her passion for the colorful elements of her country.

After sorting through the funky headbands, I tried on a blue tunic with a timeless print, and I fell in love. The bright, bold and totally unique design had me at hello, reminding me of a Tory Burch style with less prep and more tribe. Normally $60 on, it was only $40, and I was sold. The tunic will be perfect for this weekend, when I’m escaping to the beach!


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