Hamptons Shop Talk: CONCEPT

by Dena Silver

While the initial draw of the Hamptons might be picturesque beaches and pristine summer homes, the East End has undoubtedly become a go-to shopping destination. With world-class boutiques situated next to Mom-and-Pop retailers, you could easily spend an entire weekend perusing Main Street in East Hampton or Jobs Lane in Southampton and beyond. So, The Daily Summer went to town chatting with the chicest boutique’s gatekeepers, aka the sales girls and boys, to see what’s happening on the shopping front. Can you blame us for snagging a few summer must-haves in the process? Our interest was piqued when we came across CONCEPT, tucked away from Southampton’s main drag at 42A Jobs Lane. Co-founder James Lowther was on hand to walk us through the store and give us the deets…

Where did the idea to open CONCEPT come from?
CONCEPT was conceived on vacation in Bali this past March as I was thinking about cool projects for the summer, because wanted to collaborate with great designers for a Hamptons concept store. I decided to approach some great friends in the interior design world and I also partnered with Jackie Astier, who has a clothing line, as well as some great jewelry designers. We’ve created a special environment; an off duty concept store with unique pieces that can’t be found elsewhere in the Hamptons.

So should this space be considered a home goods store or a clothing boutique?
We’re mainly a home store with some clothing, accessories, and jewelry. There are strong ties to Europe and South East Asia; all my lacquer pieces are handmade in Saigon using traditional techniques.

What kind of labels can be found here?
I have my own company, The Lacquer Company, which I carry here, along with John Derian, Antony Todd, Branca Design, Symbol Tree jewelry by Clarissa Bronfman, Lulu Frost, Creel-Mack, Myanmar Made, Flair Home, and Cochine.

Which categories sell best?
So far we are doing the best with jewelry, but it’s still early in the season and our customers are mostly people that come in off the street to buy little things like jewelry. When the decorators start coming in, I’m sure we will be selling more things for the home.

Who took charge of curating this shop?
I worked with Antony Todd and Jackie Astier to style the store together.

Do you have any pieces in the store in your own abode?
Yeah I do, I have one of those square tables at the entrance, and a bucket.

When the work day is over, where do you find yourself?
I hangout at people’s homes around Southampton! I went to a lovely dinner two nights ago at Sagaponack. I don’t seek out the hot spots.

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