This summer, the Abbot Kinney shopping scene is becoming even more boho-chic.
Figue, the New York-based gypset-lifestyle collection founded in 2012 by fashion vet Stephanie von Watzdorf, has opened a pop-up shop on the famed retail stretch in Venice.
The store features the spring/summer collection, including folkloric beaded tuxedo shirts, ikat-print tunic dresses and fringed bags, as well as limited-edition accessories sourced from the designer's travels, such as hand-embroidered kaftans and one-of-a-kind, hand-embellished military jackets.
Von Watzdorf designed the 1,300-square-foot space herself, with Moorish arches, filigree lanterns, a hammock and Berber blankets that make you want to stay a while. It's her third store, following the New York flagship on Elizabeth Street and another summer pop-up in Southampton.
If you don't know her, Von Watzdorf, who was born in France, has a rather interesting bohemian backstory.
Her mother was a Russian ballerina and her grandfather was the choreographer Leonide Massine, whose circle included Diaghilev, Picasso and Braque. Figue is named after the fig trees on Isola dei Galli, the Italian island where Von Watzdorf spent summers with Massine's dancers, soaking up inspiration from their Ballets Russes costumes and more. "It was a complete chaos of creative energy," she said of the swirl, which led to a lifelong obsession with tassels, pompoms and other decorative flourishes.
As an adult, she moved to New York to pursue fashion, and graduated from Parsons School of Design. Over the last two decades, Von Watzdorf has worked for a who's who of famous labels including Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Ann Taylor and Ralph Lauren. Immediately prior to starting Figue, she was the vice president of design at Tory Burch.
"My whole life I've been lucky enough to travel. Now, I'm able to purchase things and share them," she said of Figue, which focuses on limited runs and small, artisanal production in India, Morocco and the U.S., as a counterpoint to the big companies she had been working with for so long.
The collection, which is priced from $195 to $2,000, "lends itself to someone who understands the comfortable bohemian existence," she said. "It has a global feel. At the same time, it can be worn in a city in an urban way."