Modern threads with a mod spirit
Tucked behind the Trader Joes at Union Square is the small boutique shop Apt 141. The colorful prints and cheery store window caught my eye one recent Saturday. I spotted a black top with an Art Nouveau print that I just couldnt pass up. Heres what I found out about the boutique and its label 3Free:
Designer and co-owner Lisa Foti opened Apt 141 13 years ago with her partner Cornelius Byrd. What started out as a vintage clothing boutique evolved into their own original womens clothing line 3Free. We saw a need for more feminine dresses, Foti says. We like to play with shapes, mix colors and textures together. Wrap dresses in bold prints, jersey tops and skirts are their mainstay. Depending on the body type tops can be worn as dresses, skirts as tops and some items are reversible.
We listen to our customers and ask them what they are looking for, she said. They also name each new dress style after women the Ruby dress, or the Emily, for example.
Nothing is mass produced. Its all made here in the U.S., Foti said. We wont be going to China to cut costs. They offer limited numbers of each dress and are always changing up the looks. Foti is also working on an environmentally conscious clothing line. Dubbed the Clover, the clothes will be made from natural fabrics like bamboo.
The 3Free label can be found in boutique shops in Manhattan and the boroughs. Foti hopes to take 3Free nationwide over the next few years. They are in the midst of getting a Web site up and running.
3Free dresses go for $98-138. Tops and skirts typically sell for $68.
Location: 141 E. 13th Street, (off Third Avenue)
Store hours: Mon.-Sat. Moon-8pm, Sun. Noon 7pm
-- Peggy Mihelich