As difficult as it is for independent brands to become part of NYC's fashion canon, there are always a few upstart exceptions. And lately, we've noticed a trend of smaller, start-up labels occupying the have-to-have racks inside the Big Apple's coolest retailers. The poster child for this discover-covet-buy routine? Sea, the wearable brainchild of design duo Sean Monahan and Monica Paolini. Though Sea is not a misnomer (we can easily picture the girlish frocks and brightly striped pants peddling a wicker-basket bike by the boardwalk), its breezy wares are also sophisticated enough to become the new uniform of the downtown Manhattanite whose style game mixes comfort and quirk.
Since that's you, we crashed the studio of the BFF design team to find out how they make it work after a lifetime of friendship and six years in the biz. Naturally, we discovered a sophisticated workspace chock-full of the tailored separates Barneys, Shopbop, and Steven Alan can't seem to keep in stock. Also included? Advice from Monahan and Paolini on how to make it in this city (by the Sea).