Ten years after launching her fashion line, YaYa, Yael Aflalo decided she needed a change. So at the end of 2008, she and her partner, Chi Bui, opened a store in Los Angeles called the Reformation. This spring, just six months after the L.A. opening, the pair debuted a second location on the Lower East Side. "The Reformation is a double entendre," Aflalo explains. "It's named for both Martin Luther's Reformation, which was about a simpler approach, and for the idea of reforming clothes, which is what we do with vintage items." The designers find outdated pieces like slips and blazers and revamp them in their backroom sewing shop. The clothes are easy to wear, with surprising elements like front zips on dresses and lots of lace. Aflalo and Bui also design a series of original styles for the store, like loose-fitting pocket tanks, which they make from deadstock fabrics found while thrifting. They scour flea markets and estate sales in search of jewelry, belts, and shoes, which they rework and sell, with most items priced at under $200. All very cute and fun, but we wonder how their very L.A. style will fare in NYC.
The Reformation, 143 Ludlow St., nr. Rivington St.; 646-448-4925.