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Elevated Basics Brand Handvaerk to Open First Physical Store in Southampton

The brand from Esteban Saba and Petra Brichnacova is also hoping to expand into other cities in the future.

Elevated Basics Brand Handvaerk to Open First Physical Store in Southampton

The Handvaerk store also carries grooming products.

There’s no place like home. And for the founders of Handvaerk, that home for the past seven years has been Southampton, N.Y.

So when they were looking for just the right spot to open the first physical store for their men’s and women’s basics brand, they naturally sought a space close to where they lived and ran their business.

And now, just in time for the summer season, Esteban Saba and Petra Brichnacova, the husband-and-wife team behind Handvaerk, have opened a 550-square-foot shop at 30 Main Street in Southampton, next to Sant Ambroeus, a popular gathering spot in the town.

Saba said he and his wife founded the brand a decade ago with a “narrow focus of elevated basics from Peru,” his home country. The brand launched online but has since added a strong wholesale component with retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Mr Porter, Rendezvous and CHCM in the U.S. as well as another 80 doors globally including Beams in Tokyo.

Elevated Basics Brand Handvaerk to Open First Physical Store in Southampton

The store is located at 30 Main Street in Southampton.

Saba said they had been exploring retail expansion for several years, and even had a couple of spaces in their sights, but after the pandemic hit, they put those plans on hold. When the 30 Main Street location became available, they jumped at it.

“We feel it’s the right fit for us,” he said. “This is our first step into a retail experience. We live here and our warehouse is a mile away, so we know the environment.”

The store carries the brand’s assortment of elevated casual pieces for both genders. Brichnacova, who had worked at an antique jewelry store in Southampton, curated the environment and assortment. Much of the collection is seasonless and Saba proudly describes it as “a slow fashion brand.” It also offers a range of books as well as grooming products.

The line offers high-end T-shirts and polos as well as sweats and underwear in quality fabrics. As they describe on their website: “We make the most essential, pared-back pieces for your wardrobe to the highest possible standards, using the world’s finest natural materials.”

Elevated Basics Brand Handvaerk to Open First Physical Store in Southampton

The store has a minimalistic design.

The couple, who also met in Southampton and married 12 years ago, look at the store as a learning experience.

“This is our first stop,” Saba said.

If successful, they hope to add other stores in the area, either further east on Long Island or in New York City. “Because we have casual, elevated basics, there’s also an opportunity to open on the West Coast as well,” Saba said. “I grew up in Orange County, [California], and we have clients in San Francisco, so that’s definitely another potential location. But we’re going to try and digest this one first.”

Also on their wish list is international expansion. “Our first stores will definitely be in the U.S., but after than maybe London,” said Brichnacova, noting that the brand has successfully worked with the U.K.-based Mr Porter for eight years. “We’re also talking to a distributor in Japan to open a flaghip in Kyoto. We could see a handful of stores in Japan, that’s a natural as well.”

Saba said the company would also like to expand into a home collection in the future as it seeks to further extend its reach into a lifestyle brand.