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On Our Radar: NYC’s Newest Boutiques


French Revolution leader Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “Fashion condemns us to many follies; the greatest is to make ourselves its slave.” OK, so he may not have been talking about the sea of name brand shoes, must-have bags on everyone’s shoulder and other trademarks of trendiness, but here’s to hoping the French great was speaking out against style mediocrity.

Cotton Candy contributor Joann Pan gives you the skinny on some of the newest New York City designers that will help your fashion inadequacies forever be a thing of the past.

the twentyten
The designers of New York born-and-bred clothing line the twentyten are modern-day conquistadors in the world of innovative clothing and accessories. The design trio Jeff Dodd, David J. Krause and Nina Zilka were formerly students at the Pratt Institute in New York City when they decided to start working together for school collections, having similar tastes in the avant-garde and hearty work ethics. From the Pratt classrooms, the threesome has taken their craft to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where their present designs are inspired and put together after a few roundtable discussions.

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A look at their previous collections that have included a dangerously demure black skirt edged with nails, cowl pants that create a dream-like trapezoidal silhouette, and lengthy statement skirts made entirely from stacked black yarn, are telltale of an inspirational fall/winter 2011 collection. The collection features pieces inspired by dessert landfills and that garbage that packs them, according to Jeff Dodd. Shades of shade, garbage print, sustainable materials, and plastic toys coalesced together to create one bracelet are outstanding.
The designers, members of the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, continue to create conscious clothing from recycled and sustainable fabrics such as bamboo spandex, cotton blends, soy materials, organic wool and black garbage bags.

Creations by the twentyten have been featured in ELLE, Seventh Man Magazine, WWD and Surface magazine. Fall/winter 2011 and spring/summer 2011 pieces can be purchased on the and in New York boutiques including Convent, Eva NY, Foravi and International Playground.

For the perfect look for Cotton Candy readers, the twentyten recommends the Zbornak T-shirt Dress (yes, named after Dorothy Zbornak from the 80’s sitcom “The Golden Girls”) coupled with the Skinny Black Knee Pants from their F/W 11 collection.

Kajal Ruia
Kajal Ruia is a darling shoe fanatic with a dream to change American shoe culture, starting with New York’s trendy SoHo. As tourists and neighbors of 65 Mercer Street begin to trickle into a new shoe space curated by the Manchester native, visitors can’t help but notice the cozy plush carpets and purposefully shelf-less space. It feels like home with shoes displayed on clean cutlery, vintage cabinets are lined with shoes and plush carpet leads to way upstairs to a plethora of seating—perfect for a shoe fitting. Ruia has been a mainstay on the boutique-lined SoHo street since December 2010. The shop features European lines of shoes locals can only find at this chic and lovely boutique offering a special, personalized visit to customers. Interested parties can request one-on-one appointments, walk-in help and private events at the location.

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Ruia, the owner, is a girly girl that left her finance job in the UK behind for her dream job abroad filling a hole in the shoe niche void of colorful, unique creations by European designers. Ruia says people in New York City love their black and leather when it comes to shoes, so she wants to provide unique shoes made with lots of color and fun materials such as lace and textured suede. Ruia also concentrated on bringing a new shopping experience to those who came into the store—expect drinks, good conversation and help from the friendly sales associates when making an out-of-the-box shoe purchase.

Here, Ruia features brands such as Italian favorite Baldan, London designer line Cleo B, Missoni, Loriblu, Portuguese Luis Onofre, lux line Dora by Mipachi, and by Hong Kong and London designer Lislie Yeung. Shoes in the shop are noticeably high, colorful and very different in shapes and cuts. The products the shop owner brings in don’t really focus on trend. It is much more about the quality, unique factor, materials and shapes. Ruia believes that shoes should be purchased, loved and worn for a long time; it’s more about quality and feel than trendiness. Find the perfect pair here:

Cotton Candy Blogger: Joann Pan

Cotton Candy Magazine®