Closet Chameleon

imagePeek inside my packed New York closet and you’ll discover the true meaning of multiple personality disorder. On the top shelf sits a stack of trendy, off-the-shoulder tops, skinny jeans with studs and reconstructed vintage tees in a kaleidoscope of colors. The double-hanging metal rods directly beneath are reserved for business-y blazers, sequined gipsy skirts, frilly, French-cuffed blouses and fancy, floor-grazing dresses. So when it comes to buying accessories, I need a boutique that carries an equally eclectic selection of accoutrements to suit my many changing moods. Thankfully, I found Clarabella, a cozy store-cum-gallery space that sells a jaw-dropping assortment of handcrafted shoes, bags, belts, jewelry and even art.

Founded by Erin Whelan, a 30-year-old music industry marketing whiz who grew tiresome of the daily corporate grind, Clarabella has become the coveted accessories shrine she had always dreamt of creating. Named in honor of her Great-Grandmother, Clara, a serious shoe maven, Clarabella’s shelves are lined with a cherry-picked selection of edgy, hard-to-find brands including Tashkent by Cheyenne (killer leather kicks), Mariana (budget-conscious Brazilian shoes), Andrea Brueckner (Hamptons-inspired travel totes), Judith Haas (Gaudi-inspired gold-cuffed bracelets) and Crystalyn Kae (glaze-coated vegan handbags). In keeping with her artistic background, Whelan, promotes up-and-coming painters and photographers by displaying their artworks on the walls during ongoing, bi-monthly exhibits. You can also sign-up for on-site jewelry making classes led by Nicole Gagne of Leoworks, one of the dozens of talented designers whose baubles are sold at the space. Also be sure to RSVP for the regular rotation of trunk shows – a fun way to shop ’n schmooze with the designers themselves. And thanks to the boutique’s friendly vibe, inviting jazz tunes and informative descriptions detailing how each design was made, a visit to Clarabella will tempt you to stay the entire day.

Exclusive Fashion Junkie Deal Just for YOU! Clarabella is giving subscribers 20% off any items of your choice from Friday, July 20th through Friday, August 3rd. Present a printout of this email at the cash to redeem your discount. Happy shopping!

  • Clarabella
  • 279 East Houston Street (@ Clinton Street)
  • 212-979-0270
  • Tues-Sat, 12-8pm; Sun, 12-7pm; Closed Mondays
  • $10 (bangle) – $725 (leather traveler bag)
  • full refund within 30 days of purchase with store receipt, excluding shoes
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