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Behind The Scenes

Fiona and Allison Bring Japan to NYC

Some of the tchotchkes at the duo’s Manhattan shop. When Fiona Thomas and Allison Sires aren’t creating impeccably cut silk tops and structured jumpers, they’re sourcing the knickknacks that fill out their just-south-of-Houston store. “We’ve only been around for three months, but we already have a lot of Japanese customers who come in and get a total kick out of some of this stuff,” Fiona says. The stock is constantly on rotation, but these four finds are some of their favorites right now—especially as their heads and hearts are with Japan.Allison: The globe wax balloons are really cute. We had more and different interesting ones before, too.Fiona: We got them in Japan, but I saw them for the first time in Paris years ago. I walked into a store, and it was the only thing they sold. It was hilarious.Fiona: I discovered this Yu-Be line in Sun Valley, of all places. The whole premise is that the first woman who climbed Everest in Japan brought this lotion with her. And I think the packaging looks cool.Allison: These towels are soft cotton on one side and terry on the other. I have a couple at home—they’re super absorbent, but they dry out by the time you use them again. Some thick towels just hold the water. Fiona: We’ve gotten a little crazy with the patterned tape. But that’s the other thing about Japan—you’ll go into stores like Tokyo Hands and Loft, and they have hundreds. I got a hamburger tape for myself, and I’m totally regretting not buying a ton of it for the store. Thomas Sires is currently selling this Atsuyo et Akiko tote—all of the proceeds benefit the American Red Cross and other Japan relief organizations. Come back tomorrow to get your hands on the piece that Fiona and Allison made just for us.
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The Fabrics that Get Fiona Thomas and Allison Sires Going

Though Fiona Thomas and Allison Sires, the two women behind Thomas Sires, continent-hopped and spent hours with decades-old issues of Vogue, they discovered that some of the best source material for their sophisticated, unfussy spring collection was, well, material. “We were going to fabric appointments and finding a French terry or a silk print and saying, ‘I love this. We have to make this work,’” Fiona explains. These are five of the ones they couldn’t possibly leave behind. Click here to buy the shirt that the twosome made with the amazing striped terrycloth below. Just a heads up: You’re going to want to wear it every day. Fiona: This is one of our Japanese fabrics.Allison: I love French terry, much more than brushback, sweatshirt fleece. I like that this one’s not a tight knit—it feels different from what’s out there. At left / Allison: We did our own prints—we were inspired by Japanese paper. Fiona: We’re actually doing swimsuits in these fabrics, too.At center / Allison: This is hand-dyed with this Japanese method called shibori, which is similar to tie-dyeing. It’s kind of our transitional, winter-to-spring print.At right / Allison: That’s a voile—so it’s a really lightweight cotton that’s slightly sheer. We’re doing a tunic in it, in the yellow and the navy.Allison: We found this in New Jersey at a deadstock fabric supplier—so it’s vintage. We loved the colors. This blouse design came really easily. The fabric definitely dictated the style.
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Fiona Thomas and Allison Sires Shop for Inspiration

The view from Fiona and Allison’s Tokyo hotel room. Last December, Fiona Thomas and Allison Sires debuted their clothing line, Thomas Sires, along with a store by the same name on Elizabeth Street in New York’s Nolita. In addition to carrying their own line of polished and ridiculously wearable womenswear, they’ve also rounded up an intriguing amalgamation of jewelry, home goods, toys, and other tchotchkes. To really pin down the sort of boutique they wanted to create, the twosome traveled, coming home with a list of very cool, hard-to-categorize shops they admired. Here, Fiona walks us through their four favorites. Ooga Booga / Los Angeles, California“This place has a great, eclectic mix of books, clothing, art, and music—you can tell that the owner is artistic and creative, and the store is an extension of that. They have done some collaborations in the ‘zine world, so we have since seen their booth at the NY Art Book Fair.  Plus, the name is just the best.”(943 N. Broadway #203, 213-617-1105)Merci / Paris, France“After all the hype we’d heard, we were still excited and impressed. The owners, who founded Bonpoint, have really impeccable taste, and there’s no way you are walking out of there without buying something. I think you can even purchase their shopping bags.”(111 boulevard Beaumarchais, 01-42-77-00-33)Bonton / Paris, France“We visit this awesome children’s store every time we go to Paris. You can tell the owners have the best time merchandising the store. It’s so sweet and colorful—it’s exactly as we would have wanted our bedrooms to be growing up.”(82 rue de Grenelle, 01-44-39-09-20)Claska Gallery & Shop “DO” / Tokyo, Japan“We came across this beautifully curated and understated store in the craziness of Shibuya. It turns out Claska has other shops and some hotels, and the company produces this great book Tokyo by Tokyo, which my mom had actually brought back for me from Japan when she visited.”(1-3-18 Chuo-cho Meguro-ku, 03-3719-8121) Come back on Wednesday to score the edition Fiona and Allison created especially for Of a Kind!
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