Tiina the store in Amagansett is so cool that you might think you're in one of those pop-ups that arrive in late spring and are empty before the leaves start changing - but you only feel that way until you meet Tiina Laakkonen herself.
Laakkonen has spent her life in fashion, having worked as a teenage model, as a designer in the ateliers of Chanel and Lanvin in Paris in the late 1980s, as a fashion editor at British Vogue in London, and as a freelance stylist in Manhattan. For her, the store is "a form of selfexpression," and she's here to stay.
When Laakkonen and her husband wanted a change of pace and became year-round residents of Amagansett, she decided that the time had come to bring her boutique dream to life. "The only way I would know how to make a store," she said, "is to make it very personal." She mentioned to one of her clients, Tomas Maier (the creative director of Bottega Veneta), that she was planning a retail operation, and he said, "Just call it Tiina."
She began gathering inspirations in a folder on her computer desktop labeled "Tiina the Store." Once she secured her space on Main Street and started to fill shelves, she went back to the folder to assemble a collection full of vintage Finnish goods that Laakkonen remembers from her childhood, as well as contemporary pieces from large brands like Comme des garçons and upcoming designers, many of whom Laakkonen knows personally.
She designed the store - now in its fifth year - from the Finnish flooring to the Finnish wallpaper, to look just like her home.
While the collection is eclectic, the overall color scheme that forms the foundation of the store is more singular. It's somewhere between indigo and navy and it's everywhere you look.
"When I lived in the city," Tiina says, "I used to wear a lot of black. But when I was here, I felt like black was too harsh so my new black is blue."