In a perfect world, we’d all have aunts like Roberta Freymann: glamorous redheads who speak five languages, have wonderful taste, and spend a good portion of every year stocking up on bright cotton tunics and roomy straw totes at marketplaces in Bangkok, Saigon, and Bombay.
While the world may not be perfect, it’s really not so bad, because Roberta Freymann has a store where she sells the discoveries—silk caftans, chandelier earrings, beaded leather slippers—she picks up on her travels. Even better, she keeps the prices low (sandals, $40–$85; tunics, $48–$100; crinkle shirts, $55; earrings, $35); like many of us, she can’t figure out why anyone would pay $120 for a simple voile tunic.
Partly because of its out-of-the-way location—on the fifth floor of an East Side townhouse—Freymann’s boutique has been a well-kept secret since it opened four years ago; it didn’t even have a sign. This spring, though, she moved to a new, second-floor location (49 East 78th Street, No. 2A; 212-585-3767), and hung a shingle out front for the first time. Now the Upper East Siders who never venture to St. Barts or Southampton without a stop at Freymann’s first will be dismayed that the rest of us are onto their source for flat leather sandals and candy-colored cover-ups.