A fashion boutique and gourmet market and coffee shop is coming to Bellport Village, just in time for the season.
Manhattan/Brookhaven resident and Belgium native Annelies De Rouck is hoping to open Seilenna on Friday, May 27 — Memorial Day weekend — in the former Variety Mart store that closed about three years ago.
The market side of the space at 138 South Country Road, located in the heart of the village, will feature a coffee bar and espresso machine, pastry case, coolers for drinks.
There will also be packaged goods and hostess gifts.
The fashion boutique side of the shop will feature swimwear from De Rouck’s own Seilenna line, which she launched two years ago to much fanfare in the fashion world.
(Her line is also going to be featured in the print edition of Vogue Magazine that publishes this week.)
But she’ll be selling much more than swimwear in Bellport Village, she stressed.
“I’ll have swimwear, but I also have clothing and shoes and jewelry and all sorts of accessories,” she said. “I knew swimwear wouldn’t be sustainable year-round, so I just called up all my friends who are designers, or work for designers, and asked if they wanted to sell some stuff in my store.”
“Initially i wanted to do just a fashion boutique, but then people were asking if I could do coffee or baked goods, and since this place is large enough I figured to do it,” she added.
There’s also big, grassy backyard that stretches south from the store to the village parking lot.
De Rouck envisions people sipping coffee and nibbling on pastries while sitting on Adirondack chairs in the backyard — with a few afternoons set aside for acoustic events.
“Maybe some outdoor yoga,” she said. “I would like to really make it a hangout for the community, because Bellport is lacking in daytime hangouts.”
Prior to launching her swimwear line, De Rouck had worked on the business and marketing end of the fashion world for more than 10 years, most notably for Karl Lagerfeld, the head designer for Chanel.
What makes her swimwear different than much of the rest, she explained, is that the bathing suits are mix and match.
“So you can buy the bottoms and tops separately,” she said. “Most places sell the same size top and bottom, but it doesn’t necessarily work like that, where someone is the same size top and bottom. So it’s a problem for a lot of women.”
Although she’s enjoyed success selling online, with a lot of positive press, she said running a fashion line that’s going to last in the long-term boils down to offering quality.
“Ultimately, it’s about making products that people love,” she said. “Its great to get your name out there, but if people buy your product and they don’t like them, they’re not going to come back no matter how famous you get.
“So it’s all about making great bathing suites.”
Top: Annelies De Rouck outside her future Seilenna shop on Main Street Monday. (Michael White)