French Island Style
Shoppers can channel French boho-chic at Calypso St. Barth, which opened in late July on Bethesda Avenue in the former Dunkin’ Donuts space.
Summer gauzes and silk chiffons have given way to cashmere, sequins, leather and suede at this shop that sells clothing, shoes, bags, jewelry and home goods. Featured designers include Antik Batik, Monserat De Lucca, Velvet and David Lerner, as well as the store’s own label.
Clothes are arranged by color—navies, grays, blacks and whites, as well as more vivid hues like aubergines, greens, blues and reds. Look for sequin-studded party tops, beaded shift dresses, paisley palazzos, cashmere sweaters, jeans, metallic slip-on sneakers and fringed suede clutches. The beachy-hippy sensibility goes beyond fashion to pillows, throws and tabletop accessories.
4810 Bethesda Ave., #24, Bethesda, 301-652-1219.
Openings & Closings
Bethesda Vapor Company has opened at 4823 Fairmont Ave. in Bethesda. The outfit sells e-cigarettes and other vaporized nicotine goods as well as T-shirts and other accessories. … At Westfield Montgomery mall, As Seen on TV has opened with a stock of items advertised on television. … Two Bethesda Avenue stores have closed: the Picture Frame Shop and Definitions Boutique…. Also shuttered is Dave & Buster’s at White Flint Mall.
Playing dress-up in her mom’s closet as a child, Naina Singla always loved fashion, but her route to making it a career was circuitous. The Bethesda resident got a B.S. and doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and worked in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries for 12 years before founding her fashion consultancy, STYLE’N. A move from Boston to Bethesda for her husband’s career was the catalyst for the change. “Styling and fashion have always been a passion,” she says, adding that a blog she started in May 2010 to share tips, inspiration and outfit ideas was “the launching pad” for the business.
“My mission is to inspire women to love their style and to empower confidence through style,” says Singla, now a personal stylist for individuals as well as fashion shows and shoots, a blog editor, and a style commentator for FOX5 and ABC7.
Singla helps clients find a style that reflects “their most authentic identity.” She might put together a special-occasion outfit, revamp an entire wardrobe, or help fill in gaps with handbags (her self-professed weakness), jewelry, shoes and other accessories. Her blog, style-n-naina.com, includes fashion and beauty tips, styling advice and finds, and favorite e-shopping sites.
What are some of her favorite local shops? She likes Luna for frocks and sportswear from Milly and Diane Von Furstenberg, South Moon Under for “great trendy pieces at a great price,” and Ginger and Emily Grace (in Potomac) for “unique, fun pieces.”
First Watches, Now Sunglasses
Nathan Resnick, the Bethesda native who successfully used Kickstarter to launch his watch company, Yes Man, in January, is at it again. Resnick went back to Kickstarter this past summer and early fall to raise money for bamboo sunglasses. “The idea for sunglasses has always been in the back of my head,” he says (no pun intended).
In June, Resnick, who is a junior at The University of San Diego, took a trip to China to investigate sunglass manufacturing. Fluent in Chinese—he lived in Beijing with a host family when he was in high school—Resnick visited sunglass suppliers but wasn’t satisfied until he met Zhang Shi Hong, an organic bamboo farmer, three hours from one of China’s main sunglass manufacturing centers, Shenzhen. A partnership was born.
Yes Man Sunnies are made from handpicked and carved bamboo (the arms) and plastic frames. They’re available at Res-nick’s website, www.Beayesman.com, for $50. The glasses, which come in several colors, are polarized and offer 100 percent UV protection. Resnick donates 10 percent of the profits from the sunglasses to Pandas International.
Next up: improving the adjustable leather straps, made without holes, that make Yes Man watches distinctive. The buckle is patent pending. Stay tuned.
Cynthia Hacinli lives in Chevy Chase and has written for GQ, The New York Times and National Geographic Traveler. Send Shop Talk ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.