Why, hello. We’ve been looking for a cool shirt we can wear with jeans. And did someone say sexy draped back? This “Fierce Gold Eyes” luxury tee, pictured above, is designed by Barbara Dolak, who splits her time between the city and the Hamptons (her mom has a place in Sag Harbor).
Dolak was inspired to create her own collection of luxe tee shirts — see her full line here, including her signature red-lipsticked “Zen Girl” — because she felt designers weren’t paying enough attention to a big audience: The East Coast city girl. “I really think there is a void for this very specific niche,” she says. “A lot of graphic tees are West Coast. It’s a different aesthetic, graphically.”
Gotcha. So, less palm trees, less lettering, less boxiness. None of that West Coast nonsense. Earlier this year, Dolak launched Bombelle, “with feminine-fitting pieces that can be versatile, that you can wear with a pair of heels and be on the go,” she says. Her shirts aren’t cheap — Gold Eyes, for instance, is $135 — but Dolak is after the luxury market (locally, she sells in Obligato East Hampton, Michelle Farmer Collaborate in Bridgehampton and pop-ups at places like the Maidstone Hotel, Orogold Cosmetics and Blow Beauty Bars).
Dolak’s shirts are made in the U.S. with MicroModal — which we didn’t know a heck of a lot about (nothing, in fact) before writing this post. Turn out, it’s an eco-friendly fabric that some people obsess over. “If we could have a love affair with any fiber, it would be MicroModal,” gushes NAU, a Portland, Ore., maker of sustainable apparel. “This super fine and intensely soft fiber has a sensuous drape and silhouette” that complements a women’s body. Sheesh. They had us at super fine.
Before launching Bombelle, Dolak spent many years in the apparel industry — “it’s not the glamorous side of fashion” — doing sales and product development for a domestic sweater manufacturer. “It’s a really difficult industry when you’re a vendor selling to big-box stores and department stores,” she says. While she successfully led a division that posted some $5 million in sales, Dolak became burnt out. Plus, “I wasn’t learning anything new,” she says. And then she had a revelation: “I want to see my customers.” Hence, Bombelle was born.
On her website, Dolak links each of her shirt designs to a quote — and encourages customers to choose a look, based on which edgy thought speaks to them. What’s the quote for Gold Eyes? “Life is short; live for today and don’t look back.” Indeed. And go kick some a** while you’re at it, too.
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