Sophomore's Next Class

Katharine Zarrella

Chrissie Miller of laid-back basics line Sophomore and Lindsey Thornburg, known for her sumptuous cloaks and bohemian dresses, met four years ago because they were fans of each other's work. "I was always trying to trade my stuff for [one of her pieces]," says Miller with a raspy laugh. So it's fitting that the two designers, now close friends, are opening a boutique for both of their brands on the Lower East Side. "It's our favorite neighborhood," says Miller, a native New Yorker. Both she and the Colorado-bred but New York-based Thornburg live only blocks away from the shop.
 
This Friday, the designers will christen their downtown-chic boutique which, located in at 143 Ludlow Street, is aptly named 143. "This way, people won't forget where it is," jokes the shop's proprietress. But its numerical address wasn't the only reason the designers decided to run with the name. Miller recalls that, when she was a child (before the days of Siri), 143 was pager code for "I love you." "It was kind of hard for us not to call it that because it was so cute and special. And it's both Lindsey's store and a Sophomore store, so we didn't want to give it another identity. We thought this was a neutral name."
 
The traditional LES space (think coveted hardwood floors and exposed white brick) provides patrons with a quaint, homey shopping environment. Advised by friend and interior decorator Rafael de Cardenas, the designers painted the walls a minty green and decorated the store like a "comfortable, cozy living room"—complete with a sectional couch, a ceiling tapestry and artworks by Cass Bird, Richard Kern, Andrew Kuo, and Wes Lang, all of which were plucked from Miller and her boyfriend Leo Fitzpatrick's own collection.
 
In addition to pieces from Lindsey Thornburg and Sophomore, which Miller co-designs with Madeleine von Froomer, 143 will offer a range of carefully-curated products, fashion and otherwise. Fitzpatrick aided in selecting a range of art and rock-'n'-roll books to be sold in the store. Handpicked pieces from native designers, like shoes by Madison Harding and Anna Sheffield jewelry, will also be featured. And, due to the fact that Miller is an admitted "vintage junkie," she's sourced vintage jeans and t-shirts from her favorite LA store, Filthmart, as well as high-end vintage jewelry from House of Lavande. "I wanted to include stuff that was special," says Miller. "The whole store is kind of like a dream wardrobe."

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August 2014

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