Some women will always be style icons. Case in point: Brigitte Bardot, the inspiration behind the shop Bardot, a clothing and accessories boutique for women in Newport Beach.
The French actress, singer and model is owner Dana Harmon's personal style icon. "But I also felt she is a great fit and embodies the style of Orange County and that beachy chic look," Harmon said.
Harmon, who bears a slight resemblance to Bardot, opened the shop a year ago (it just had its one-year anniversary party) after previously working in corporate marketing for Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp.
Once inside, shoppers are greeted by beachy chic decor: serene white walls, exposed ceiling beams, crystal chandeliers, seashells and other earthy, feminine trinkets and, of course, photos of the very stylish Bardot.
At the boutique, women will find lots of easy-to-wear pieces that are a bit glamorous and chic, but also comfortable and fun. Brightly colored blouses and dresses pop out of the racks, as do maxi dresses, skinny jeans, flowy tops, tailored jackets and other classic styles.
"I try to carry lines that you don't find everywhere else," Harmon says about her offerings. "There's so much shopping in Orange County, so it's tough. I try to stay ahead of the curve."
Several lines that she carries have a bit of a cult following among style makers: ALC, Skaist-Taylor (by the women who first started Juicy Couture), Clover Canyons and Merritt Charles jewelry, a line by local Lacey Horning.
There are, of course, some staple lines, such as Gryphon, Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent and even an Australian label, Suboo. Bardot also carries Ceek, a bohemian line of jewelry that two other Orange County women, Carter Ellingson and Esther Kim, launched.
The clothes lend themselves to those "who have sophisticated tastes but want to wear pieces for every day," Harmon says.
A small line of shoes is also sold in the store under brands like Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent and Joie A La Plage. The average price point for fashion offerings is $250 to $300, with several cotton basics in the $100 range and a Skaist-Taylor blazer for $700.
"When my friends come in, a lot of times they'll put out a piece and say, 'This is so you,'" says Harmon, who mixes up her own personal style. "I think I go between really girlie stuff — I love pink and flowy pieces — to then more like menswear, such as inspired denim work shirts and classic colors. That's kind of my personal style. I love a good maxi dress that can take you year-round."
Two items that do well with shoppers: maxi dresses and skinny jeans.
"We have a lot of customers who travel, have homes in the desert or go to Hawaii," she says. "We have a couple of customers who went to St. Barts over the holidays and wanted things that are going to pack well and that will be cute and comfortable for the beach."
The shop has a gained a strong customer base in a short time.
"That's exciting because it helps me, when I go to buy, that I have specific people that I'm looking to buy for, and that's part of what I want to offer customers," Harmon says.
Bardot is at 2043 Westcliff Drive, Suite 103; (949) 515-2710.
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