What We Neeeed from the Thomas Sires Sample Sale
Yes, you read that right: neeeed.
Whenever we pop into the Thomas Sires store in NYC’s Nolita, we end up gushing over about a million things. Look at this plaid coat! Did you see this little silk top?! I feel like I would wear this skirt ALL. THE. TIME. You know—that sort of behavior. Here are the pieces from the duo’s sample sale that are making us crazy.
Hilliard cream dot contrast collar shirt ($108—originally $270)
“If polka-dots have any potential to look grown-up, this shirt takes them there. The black and white is graphic and easy—as good tucked into a bold skirt as under a jean jacket. Also: This guy’s thin enough to layer without, like, sweating through it on the subway.”
Haight full skirt with leather trim ($150—originally $415)
“Dear god, I’m obsessed with green. I have a green bag…and kind of want a green coat? ANYWAY: This wool number is the kind of thing you can throw on with all black and look like you tried even if you picked up your tights off your bedroom floor. The leather waistband really seals the deal.”
Mohawk shrunken sweater ($102—originally $255)
"This sweater makes me want to throw on some black cropped cigarette pants and penny loafers and maybe pick up smoking (sorry, Mom). But you can see me doing that and seeming really cool, right?"
Anza fairisle sweater skirt ($125—originally $325)
"I’ve always wanted to rock Coogi—I even bought a Coogi sweater dress on eBay last year that has never seen the light of day. I just don’t have the guts, I guess. This skirt feels like the safe (and flattering) way to fulfill that lifelong dream. It’s also absurdly comfortable because, hi, you are wearing a soft sweater tube around your waist."
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The Fabrics that Get Fiona and Allison Going
Uncovering a new—or vintage—material can kick-off the design process.
Though Fiona Thomas and Allison Sires, the two women behind Thomas Sires, continent-hopped and spent hours with decades-old issues of Vogue, they discovered that some of the best source material for their sophisticated, unfussy spring collection was, well, material. “We were going to fabric appointments and finding a French terry or a silk print and saying, ‘I love this. We have to make this work,’” Fiona explains. These are five of the ones they couldn’t possibly leave behind.
Click here to buy the shirt that the twosome made with the amazing striped terrycloth below. Just a heads up: You’re going to want to wear it every day.
Fiona: This is one of our Japanese fabrics.
Allison: I love French terry, much more than brushback, sweatshirt fleece. I like that this one’s not a tight knit—it feels different from what’s out there.
At left / Allison: We did our own prints—we were inspired by Japanese paper.
Fiona: We’re actually doing swimsuits in these fabrics, too.
At center / Allison: This is hand-dyed with this Japanese method called shibori, which is similar to tie-dyeing. It’s kind of our transitional, winter-to-spring print.
At right / Allison: That’s a voile—so it’s a really lightweight cotton that’s slightly sheer. We’re doing a tunic in it, in the yellow and the navy.
Allison: We found this in New Jersey at a deadstock fabric supplier—so it’s vintage. We loved the colors. This blouse design came really easily. The fabric definitely dictated the style.
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Fiona and Allison Bring Japan to NYC
Sometimes it’s tough to decide exactly which novelty tape to import.
Some of the tchotchkes at the duo’s Manhattan shop.
When Fiona Thomas and Allison Sires aren’t creating impeccably cut silk tops and structured jumpers, they’re sourcing the knickknacks that fill out their just-south-of-Houston store. “We’ve only been around for three months, but we already have a lot of Japanese customers who come in and get a total kick out of some of this stuff,” Fiona says. The stock is constantly on rotation, but these four finds are some of their favorites right now—especially as their heads and hearts are with Japan.
Allison: The globe wax balloons are really cute. We had more and different interesting ones before, too.
Fiona: We got them in Japan, but I saw them for the first time in Paris years ago. I walked into a store, and it was the only thing they sold. It was hilarious.
Fiona: I discovered this Yu-Be line in Sun Valley, of all places. The whole premise is that the first woman who climbed Everest in Japan brought this lotion with her. And I think the packaging looks cool.
Allison: These towels are soft cotton on one side and terry on the other. I have a couple at home—they’re super absorbent, but they dry out by the time you use them again. Some thick towels just hold the water.
Fiona: We’ve gotten a little crazy with the patterned tape. But that’s the other thing about Japan—you’ll go into stores like Tokyo Hands and Loft, and they have hundreds. I got a hamburger tape for myself, and I’m totally regretting not buying a ton of it for the store.
Thomas Sires is currently selling this Atsuyo et Akiko tote—all of the proceeds benefit the American Red Cross and other Japan relief organizations.
Come back tomorrow to get your hands on the piece that Fiona and Allison made just for us.
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Fiona and Allison Shop for Inspiration
For this duo, opening their doors required some boutique-fueled globetrotting.
The view from Fiona and Allison’s Tokyo hotel room.
Last December, Fiona Thomas and Allison Sires debuted their clothing line, Thomas Sires, along with a store by the same name on Elizabeth Street in New York’s Nolita. In addition to carrying their own line of polished and ridiculously wearable womenswear, they’ve also rounded up an intriguing amalgamation of jewelry, home goods, toys, and other tchotchkes. To really pin down the sort of boutique they wanted to create, the twosome traveled, coming home with a list of very cool, hard-to-categorize shops they admired. Here, Fiona walks us through their four favorites.
Ooga Booga / Los Angeles, California
“This place has a great, eclectic mix of books, clothing, art, and music—you can tell that the owner is artistic and creative, and the store is an extension of that. They have done some collaborations in the ‘zine world, so we have since seen their booth at the NY Art Book Fair. Plus, the name is just the best.”
(943 N. Broadway #203, 213-617-1105)
Merci / Paris, France
“After all the hype we’d heard, we were still excited and impressed. The owners, who founded Bonpoint, have really impeccable taste, and there’s no way you are walking out of there without buying something. I think you can even purchase their shopping bags.”
(111 boulevard Beaumarchais, 01-42-77-00-33)
Bonton / Paris, France
"We visit this awesome children’s store every time we go to Paris. You can tell the owners have the best time merchandising the store. It’s so sweet and colorful—it’s exactly as we would have wanted our bedrooms to be growing up."
(82 rue de Grenelle, 01-44-39-09-20)
Claska Gallery & Shop “DO” / Tokyo, Japan
“We came across this beautifully curated and understated store in the craziness of Shibuya. It turns out Claska has other shops and some hotels, and the company produces this great book Tokyo by Tokyo, which my mom had actually brought back for me from Japan when she visited.”
(1-3-18 Chuo-cho Meguro-ku, 03-3719-8121)
Come back on Wednesday to score the edition Fiona and Allison created especially for Of a Kind!
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Fiona Thomas (left) and Allison Sires get hung up on the little things. And in trying on their loose-knit spring sweaters and high-waisted army-green shorts—or visiting their architectural-but-warm store in downtown Manhattan—you immediately appreciate the time and energy the duo puts into really nailing it. “I’ve seen so many designers create these amazing pieces where the fit just wasn’t right,” Fiona explains. “We had some items that we sampled so many times to change a button here, a belt loop there.”
In fact, while working together at Loeffler Randall, they bonded over their shared affection for spot-on details. “Allison gave me a birthday present that was really, really beautifully wrapped in this fancy box. There was this funny moment of realizing that only she and I would really appreciate this,” Fiona says. “The box was more expensive than the gift,” Allison adds.