August V Stockist - Cami

Don’t get me wrong.  I love the beach.  It’s great with all of it’s shiny….wet water… and stuff…..it’s just that rocket dogs, printed tees, and board shorts…….that’s not my bag baby.  There seems to be a definite lack of fashion sense in the beach areas, which is FINE.  I mean, you can’t surf in Viereck, you just can’t.  BUT!  Damn if you can’t look good on the way to the sand people.  NO EXCUSE!  And, that’s where Cami comes to the rescue.  “Bringing Manhattan to Manhattan Beach” is more than just a clever motto.  The clothing store and accessories shop are the essence of clean lines and sophistication.  It has the aura of an expensive, high end SOHO store without the outrageously “why? why does this cost this much” prices.  “I wanted to bring the sophistication of New York to the beach!  Our stores blend city and beach, “explains Cami.  Originally a mechanical engineer, opening a clothing store seems to be an odd choice.  However, Cami’s mother, a highschool sewing teacher, introduced the importance of clothing construction and fit at a very young age.  “She always said having clothes that fit look much more flattering than those that don’t.  I grew up loving clothes.”  It just goes to show you can take the girl out of fashion (and put her in the mechanical engineering program at Carnegie Mellon), but you can’t take the fashion out of the girl.  Peruse the interview!

 

1. How long has the store been open?

We opened the first store almost four years ago and the second store last October.  Both are in Manhattan Beach, CA.  The original store is now shoes and accessories and the other is clothes and accessories.  I am a big accessories person!  I think they add personality to a plain outfit.

2. What is Cami’s aesthetic?

The concept I had when opening the first store was to sell great accessories that would add the “pop” to an outfit.  The clothes we sold were to be the backdrop for these accessories.  We expanded to two stores because of the popularity of our clothes.

I buy for the store things I’d buy for myself! I don’t buy things that I wouldn’t wear. The majority of the designers I carry in the store are designers I have in my own closet. That said, I am also always looking out for new designers. I always want to stay “fresh” and give my customers a reason to shop my boutique rather than a department store. Viereck is a line that is special and it’s not one you’ll see everywhere. I like that.

3. You live in Hawaii at the moment, correct?  Any plans to open a Cami there?

I live in Hawaii right now.  My husband is assigned to a project here.  We hope to move back to California by the end of the year.  There are no plans to open a store in Hawaii, but I would love to open another location in California!

4. What is your favorite Viereck piece?

I love the Hot Sake dress.  We nicknamed it the “money dress” because it looks great on everyone!  You can dress it up or down.  I love its versatility and price point.  I don’t want my customers to buy something that they can only wear once. It’s a compliment to me when I see them wear something over and over again!!

5. What do your customers say about Viereck?

They love the style, fit and the price.  One of my customers/friend wore a Viereck dress to the New York Palace Hotel paired with her Jimmy Choos for drinks…. and then wore the same dress with flip flops to Starbucks in Manhattan Beach.  She’ll also be able to wear the dress with boots in the fall.  The styles are simple, flattering, and fashionable.

I also like the fact that Deborah worked with Gwen Stefani!!  I think we are all a little intrigued by rock stars especially one, like Gwen, that is known for her unique style.

6.What’s the Cami customer like?

I have a really wide range of customers in terms of age because of our product mix.  Our average customer is between is 28-48. The customer who is buying Viereck is a mom who wants to look good, be stylish and be comfortable.  We also have the younger (20 something) customer who is buying Viereck because of it’s easy and flattering styles, and great price point.

7.What advice can you give independent designers as far as marketability/wearability?

Design something that is versatile – something that can be dressed up or dressed down, that can be bought by young and old, and that is special yet not too trendy that it has a ‘limited ‘ life.  I like classic designs with a twist.

8.What trend do you love right now/hate right now?

I like to see people have their own style.  I hate un-originality.  I don’t like Khloe Kardashian’s style (leopard leggings, rompers, high waisted skirts).  However, she rocks it (well , some of it!) with her confidence.  I think Sienna Miller and Gwenyth Paltrow have great style.

9. You were a mechanical engineer before you went into fashion – how did you dress for that kind of job?

Suits!  I love the structure and fit of Theory suits.  I like women in suits in Corporate America. I believe when you look professional, you feel more confident and get respect.   I added jewelry, a scarf, and/or funky socks (with pant suits!) to make it my own.

If you can’t manage to get out of the water whilst you’re down in Manhattan Beach, check out Cami online at www.shopcami.com and be sure to Like their page at www.facebook.com/pages/Cami-Manhattan-Beach

Interview by Simone Gray

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