Even though there’s still an icicle firmly lodged somewhere above my sacroiliac, the second coldest winter in recorded history seems to be showing signs of coming to an end ….enough to warrant more observant strolls up and down Warren Street and environs.
A number of such ambles this relatively balmy week revealed at least one springlike bud worth noting. Two accomplished fashionistas from New York City, Valerie Wray (pictured above) and Shawna McBean, have just opened a new boutique, Collective 23, in the spot that the cafe Swallow (now the minimalist industrial chic MotoCoffee/Machine at 357 Warren) once occupied at 433 Warren. Wray is a founding partner of LimeLightTattoos and is the human resources director at a major music label; McBean is a former model turned fashion designer, the original founder of the clothing company SistahsofHarlem NY, and is currently the owner of Vibe Jewels. They have described their new brick and mortar enterprise in Hudson as a “combination of Henri Bendel and Etsy,” offering a mix of accessories, jewelry, and clothing from local designers to McBean’s and Wray’s personally designed accessories, tulle skirts, and luxury metallic tattoos. There are also racks of resale Escada, Christian Dior, and Dolce & Gabbana.
Although the shop isn’t completely finished and the lighting is currently rather dim (they hope to have everything done in mid-April), its appearance continues the stretch of stylish clothing and accessories shops now marching down the upper half of the south side of the 400 block, turning it, as I mentioned ages ago (about a month) into Hudson’s version of Saville Road. — Scott Baldinger