L at First Ave.
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Danish-born designer and F.I.T. alum Louise Paul named her feminine, cleanly cut line of women’s apparel after her grandfather, Elliot Mann, a painter and early mentor. The inspiration carries beyond the clothes into the décor, with framed black-and-white family photographs of Paul and her grandfather covering the wall behind the register. Paul opened the store in 2007, and although her wares are sold widely throughout Asia and western Europe, this is the only freestanding boutique dedicated exclusively to her designs. Her deconstructed men’s button-down shirts, which are cut at the bust and sewn back together to fit a woman’s form, are best sellers. In warmer months, the Deep V tanks, which pair a low neckline with a gauzy, loose-fitting waist, sell quickly. Paul favors soft, touchable fabrics, creating feather-light tanks and tees from modal and delicate pastel dresses from silk. The small assortment of affordable vintage handbags and jewelry near the register caters to the neighborhood’s young, bargain-savvy shoppers, who dress up Paul’s simple, pretty designs with funky accessories.