What’s better than minding your own business as you race down the street on your way to dinner and stumbling across a fantastic boutique that’s just a stone’s throw away from where you’re supposed to eat? I’ll tell you what’s better: having 15 minutes to kill before your reservation, which is just enough time to pop in to the boutique and reap the rewards of perusing (come on, who doesn’t love to peruse?).
Cloak & Dagger is located on a quaint, brownstone lined street in Boerum Hill and it’s a small representation of everything that’s right in the world. Pretty, floaty things that are soft to the touch hang on the racks of the narrow artsy shop, while funky accessories (bike helmets, clutches, killer rings and other hardware) whimsically line the shelves and grace the front window. They almost stand at attention, inviting you in to take a look.
They dare you to walk by without doing so.
The product of style-savvy Brookelynn Starnes, Cloak & Dagger was launched in 2006 as a response to Starnes’ frustration with the fashion industry at the time. After working in the industry for several years (with the likes of Zac Posen and Prada) Starnes wanted to take a creative step forward and decided to start her own label. She opened two boutiques – one in the East Village, the other in Brooklyn – to stock her designs.
Along with showcasing the Cloak & Dagger brand, fashion enthusiasts can find reasonablly priced pieces from Karen Walker, Sessun, Illesteva, Opening Ceremony and other labels that make clean and faddish items that will always be in style. On my quick visit in the Boerum Hill boutique I came across several cool pieces – some of them modish, some spring chic and others just crisp and clean – that I was itching to take home. Instead of recklessly spending though (we’re still in a recession, no?) I chose two items that will add some panache to my wardrobe and give it a much needed face-lift from the “I can’t really wear what I want because I don’t want to get harassed or sweat profusely – living in Cairo drives me nuts sometimes” days.
So the next time you’re wandering around New York, perhaps on your way to whatever appointment you may have, think about giving yourself a good 10-15 minutes to spare.
Because I can’t begin to tell you how great it is to be ahead of schedule.
Cloak & Dagger
East Village, Manhattan
441 E. 9th Street
New York, NY
Boerum Hill, Brooklyn
77B Hoyt Street