A new store has hit the town of Sag Harbor, with its magical old-world aesthetic, and vintage finds. Love Shack Fancy, a women’s wear brand founded by one of my best friends, Rebecca Hessel Cohen, has opened up shop, and everyone has taken notice. She has brought her signature floral, shabby chic style to the beach, and mixed it with an eclectic assortment of accessories, including handmade dolls, beach totes, pillows, throws, and vintage clothing. Rebecca, a former stylist, knows how to put a look together better than anyone I know, and her store is the ultimate proof of that talent. I’ve watched her build this brand from scratch, and seeing her dream come to fruition with the opening of this beautiful shop has made me so proud. If you haven’t already been, it is a must-see while in the Hamptons. Her dresses reflect the laid back, boho vibes of Sag Harbor, so this shack is truly in it’s element.
How many years have you been in business in NYC?
This is our 5 year anniversary of the company . We launched a wholesale business and e-commerce business 5-years ago, but this our first freestanding shop, and we opened this Memorial Day weekend and will be open year-round. Hopefully, it’s the first of several more retail stores to come in the very near future.
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
I designed my bridesmaids dresses because I couldn’t find anything else in the market that felt romantic and effortless and still sexy. I started wearing the dresses to the beach and different parties, and then everyone asked about buying them so I decided to make a few limited edition pieces and sell them at a few trunk shows in the Hamptons. Later that year I began to put the business together, and then after 8-years, decided to leave my job as senior fashion editor at Cosmopolitan, and officially launch my own line. I've always collected vintage clothing with my mother, and I grew up in a house filled to the brim with vintage clothes and furniture, the true essence and soul of LoveShackFancy. After I launched the company it began to evolve from a simple halter dress to a few more essential styles, and then I began incorporating a lot of my vintage inspiration into the collections, filling the void of these timeless and effortless pieces, that I couldn’t seem to find anywhere else except in these delicate vintage pieces that would always tear and never seemed to fit perfectly. We were always dying the dresses, cutting them and creating our own styles, so this all evolved into what is now our womens' and little girls' collections.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
We have a very spirited, romantic and feminine point-of-view. We take inspiration from vintage and interpret it for the modern woman. I think our sensibility is approachable and works for all different ages - our customers range from babies to grandmothers, and we have a lot of mother/daughters who are shopping together. There is a timeless sensibility, a love of heritage and tradition, but in a modern and approachable way. I see the collection in a very lifestyle driven environment – it's about the story, the places, not just about the clothes. Photography is a crucial part to our company as well, as my background comes from the editorial world, which drives the direction of the collection. I see stories and narratives, as opposed to simple pieces of clothing. We just opened our first brick and mortar store which really transports you into the LoveShackFancy world when you see the collection together, alongside the handpicked antiques that we’ve collected to complement our clothing in the space. It's about a lifestyle as opposed to a single garment, so I think people can relate to that. They love the story behind it all. To us, the story is about how you travel, entertain, live, dance, eat, sing – and the clothes you wear along the way.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
I think we have a unique point-of-view and you immediately get it when you walk into our shop. You're surrounded by florals and antiques, there is a feminine and romantic sensibility that just makes you happy. It’s a feel-good type of space and we offer something for everyone. We have many little girls that walk into shop and try on dresses and leave in their new favorite dress, barefoot and twirling. We’ve created a little magical world that is almost like a real life doll house. It’s a girls club that feels inviting and warm. We also have a lifestyle aspect of the space and we sell some of our favorite lines and vintage pieces that we’ve collected and sourced from all over the world. Everything is chosen to complement one another, and the clothes are dreamy and romantic and sexy – something that every woman (and man) wants!
How do you positively impact your clientele?
Hopefully, we make women happy by giving them a beautiful line that makes them feel incredible everyday. We want women and little girls to feel like the best version of themselves. To feel confident and sexy, yet in a subtle way. Many women travel and pack a suitcase of LoveShackFancy – it's meant to be your forever travel wardrobe, the pieces to take with you and hopefully pass down one day to your daughters and granddaughters. We want to create these timeless pieces, that will stay with you forever. And always make you smile and dance.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Seeing how women look and feel in our clothes. There is nothing better than seeing the excitement. I love creating and collaborating with my mom, and with all the talented girls I work with. Every day is a new challenge but it's incredible to see where we’ve come. I love seeing the look in my little girl's eyes as they watch us work and create, and ask questions to understand how it all works. I think its so important for the younger generations to understand a sense of work and commitment, so hopefully they are learning all of this now. My biggest accomplishment and happiest place is now our new Sag Harbor shop - it's truly my happy place, and I can't imagine life without it! I poured my heart and soul into creating this little jewel box of a shop, so now watching all the customers come in everyday and working with them to see what they respond to is incredible.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
We spend a lot of time in Sag Harbor because the shop is there – and we have this secret garden in the back, which is our new favorite spot. Also, we have a dining shed at my mom's house in Bridegehampton which is our secret hide-away. It's truly magic.
How do you benefit mamas?
We create gorgeous clothes for mommies and their daughters – we see a lot of mother/daughter twinning going on recently so we’re expanding on that category. I would say we make a lot of mommies very happy – their little girls love their dresses, and the mommies love theirs. Hopefully, we give the moms a gorgeous little shop to be inspired by and play dress up in!
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
Make clothes you can dance in, breathe in, and eat in.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field.
Isabel Marant, Christiane Celle, Phoebe Philo, Luisa Beccaria, Frida Gianinni.
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
To listen to your gut and keep doing what you’re doing, keep evolving and keep creating.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
Try to wake up an hour before your kids to get in your morning emails before they wake up, and there is a moment of peace and quiet. I'm the queen of multitasking, so I'm just always doing 10 things at a time. When I have no time for anything personal, which is almost always, if I've been at work all day and the girls have been at school all day, and I still have meetings to finish up, I take the meetings at home, get the manicurist to come to me, and give us all the special treatment in the comfort of my living room. The art of multitasking. And it makes us all happy.
Where is the Sag Harbor store located?
The LoveShackFancy Store is now open at 117 Main Street in Sag Harbor, New York.