by kristian laliberte | October 15, 2012 | People
Caitlin, Lola, and Tamsin Imrie make a splash on the East End with their eclectic styles.
A genetically blessed Scottish family of seven is intent on making Westhampton a designer shopping destination, beginning with the debut of Imrie, the Moniebogue Lane boutique stocked with summertime staples and event-worthy pieces like delicate Chan Luu necklaces and Imrie’s private label organic cotton tees. Bonus: For Hamptonites who prefer to travel even further out East on their weekend getaways, this summer there was a seasonal store in Montauk.
The brainchild of the Imrie women—mom Pippa and her daughters, Tamsin, Caitlin, and Lola—the eponymous retail chainlet is truly a family affair. Each location was designed and built by father Richard, and even the brothers have lent a helping hand with photography and design. It’s a common theme in the Imrie family history as the globetrotters have called everywhere from London to Maui home. (Richard bought a pineapple farm field in Hawaii in 1995 on a whim and moved the whole clan there for two years.)
Even on Long Island, the Imries have been nomads, first settling in Bellport in 1986, before moving to Montauk in 2001, then finally establishing roots in East Quogue. They opened their first store in Westhampton Beach in 2005. “When we lived in Bellport, we would always drive to Westhampton,” remembers Tamsin. “Then, while in East Quogue, it was our ‘local’ town, and everything fell into place quite naturally.”
Their reasoning for setting up the boutique was equally as organic. Pippa, a former British Vogue editor, later became a children’s clothing designer, while Richard had a long career as a fashion photographer. After Lola, now 21, graduated from high school, they were all in a transitional period. When considering launching a clothing store, they thought, Why not? as Tamsin recalls. “After all, it’s in our blood.”
They began selling a mix of vintage and original designs in the 400-square-foot space (now expanded to 800) before evolving into the multibrand showcase the boutique has become today. The sisters do all the buying. “We shop for the store like we’re shopping for ourselves. It’s our ideal closet,” says Lola. As such, they’ve stocked their shelves with collections designed by friends, including Amagansett-based jeweler James Colarusso and Acacia Swimwear, which is designed by their childhood friend from Maui.
The Maui connection was, in fact, the impetus for this summer’s Montauk pop-up at Solé East, which reflects their love of surfing. “We adapted our approach to suit the End, says Tamsin. “It’s a relaxed vibe—girls come shopping in their bikinis, and for us it feels like a mini vacation.” 11 Moniebogue Lane, Westhampton Beach, 288-1166; Solé East, 90 Second House Road, Montauk, 668-2105
photography by julian imrie