Walking along Orchard Street, in BelDel (that's "Below Delancy") we had a strange moment where we truly heard Carly Simon's prophetic words around us: I wasn't looking, but somehow you found me ... We had stumbled upon Ale Et Ange, the 3 month old Orchard Street boutique, and -- yes -- we're crazy in love, stumbling, mumbling, Carly Simon quoting love.
Ale Et Ange didn't invest in signage when they opened at 37c Orchard St (basement level). Nope. Rather, they created their own version of a traffic stopping store front with a few cans of paint, adding a couple flowers, their store name, and the necessary warning: Watch Your Head.
The interior is reminiscent of a seaside cabin: Nestled between an antique gas stove, a porcelain bathtub and dark wood bureaus are men's and women's pieces created by the owners themselves bearing their nicknames "Ale Et Ange"- Osore Oyagha (Ale) and Eloise Simonet (Ange). Thankfully, functionality doesn't take a backseat to aesthetics, the stove works and the bathtub is in the process of being installed properly.
Simonet sees this as a definite positive, "If the store doesn't work, guess we can just live here."
The designs are perfect for nearby hotspot Brown Cafe's popular brunch -- sheer printed blouses, high-waist coulottes, and perfectly unisex striped tee's. Vintage bath products are also for sale (located beside the tub -- where else?) and Simonet (the Ange half of the duo) slyly clued us in to the fact that the mouthwash is actually her mother's brand, a fact that would surely make mom proud.
Simonet did not come from a fashion background per se, but has an age old story: She designed clothing for herself which was soon demanded by her peers, hence the birth of the label. The store, like most dreamed-up ideas, has been a long time in the making.
Ale Et Ange is located at 37c Orchard Street- basement between Hester and Canal Streets
(212) 219- 3670