These days it seems pop-up shops are as common a feature in the Hamptons as share houses. Many of these stores last for only a summer, if that, and it is a true sign of success when a pop-up returns to the Hamptons for a sophomore summer. One such store that has proven its staying power is TENET, which is located on Southampton’s Main Street. TENET originally popped up on Aspen’s prestigious Galena Street as a predominately men’s lifestyle store and has now found a permanent home in the Hamptons, featuring a perfect 50/50 ratio of guy to girl items. I was able to sit down with Ryland Hilbert and Jesse Warren, the operational manager and founder, respectively, to get the low down on what makes TENET so special.
[Photo: Ryland Hilbert inside TENET]
Still in it's early years, TENET is already the exclusive Hamptons’ retailer of notable brands such as Isabel Marant, Wren, Rag + Bone, Chris Benz, Save Khaki, Soludos, Kenny, Dannijo, Saltbox and many more.
“TENET has our own private label for men that is made exclusively from Japanese fabrics and is manufactured entirely in New York City,” explains Ryland. Seeing as the TENET team stresses that they “want each piece to be exceptional," all brands carried in this store are New York, California or French based. The shop’s selection of the most unique merchandise out East has even caught the eye of trend-setter blogger The Man Repeller, Leandra Medine, who tweets about shopping there almost weekly. “This store is definitely Man Repeller certified,” confirms Ryland, and adds,
“The pieces are ready to wear clothing that is very New York and on trend. We want our customers to walk out of the store, jump on the Jitney and go out that night, without ever having to change their outfit because of their location.”
TENET is not merely a clothing store, oh no, this one stop shop will outfit you with everything you need to have the best dressed summer of your life. We’re talking about a remarkable selection of shoes from designers such as Loeffer Randall for girls and Oak Street Boot Makers for men. The Dannijo sisters frequently stop in to update the store with their most recent show stopping baubles, and they have even recently started an impressive handbag line. Also available are apothecary products from theall natural brand Malin + Goetz that will keep you feeling fresh and clean after a long day at the beach or a night spent at AXE Lounge.
Available exclusively at the shop are the Apolis + TENET Southampton Market Bag. This bag resembles an unconventional take on the brown paper shopping bag, with leather handles and a burlap-like material.
These bags have already reached covetable status, partially due to the fact that the purchase of each one gives back to the global community. As Ryland describes it, “This bag supports ‘Shop Local, Support Global,’ and all of the proceeds of the bag go back to the women in Bangladesh that make them.”
Furthermore, even though TENET is so clearly "New York City," it still feels like it belongs out East with an aura that fits in with the deeply rooted, historic feel of the Hamptons.
“This location has held onto the history of the original building, with reclaimed wood and original bricks covering the walls. The ceiling is even made of 100-year-old tin.”
"There is definitely a lot of fun to develop one's own brand and to create a growing, entrepreneurial environment. Plus, I get to spend a lot of time during the summers in Southampton."
Their creativity is abundant; from their musical choices (Miike Snow and Ellie Goulding are usually on repeat), to canvas tents as dressing rooms, the TENET team makes sure you every part of you is stimulated -- and in order to help you keep your house looking just as trendy as you do, they have included a little pop-up gallery in the back of the store called NOT A GALLERY. Justin Belmont, the artist of all the pieces found in the gallery, says of his inspiration,
“Each wall represents a different town in the Hamptons. I imagined an iconic house on the most famous street in each town, and created pieces that captured that feeling. One wall is a beach shack on Old Montauk Highway in Montauk. The next wall is an old 1980’s contemporary house on Westhampton Beach’s Dune Road. There is a wall dedicated to the estates located on Lily Pond Lane in East Hampton and the last wall is captures the feeling of the preppy Gin Lane in Southampton.”
Where does team TENET spend their off days out East? Says Jesse,
"I love spending time at the many local beaches in Southampton, especially in the early morning before we open up the shop. Afternoons during the weekends at Shelter Island is always enjoyable and the Monday night drum circle at Sagg Main is another really fun Hamptons experience. I also enjoy visiting the many restaurants from Little Red, which recently opened in Southampton, to Town Line BBQ, a great local BBQ spot closer to East Hampton."
Before I left TENET for lesser grounds, Ryland educated me on the hottest items for this summer,
“Kenny is a great emerging brand. We love their colorful shorts and we have repeatedly sold out of their pocket dresses. The men’s Tenet gauze shirt has also been a best seller this summer. The Wren Open Back Dress has been selling like crazy, as have the entire Save Khaki men’s collection. ”
Seeing as those are the perfect summer essentials, it’s no wonder they’ve been selling out! Ryland also mentioned that TENET will soon be emerging with a new e-commerce site, so keep checking back to their website at www.tenetshop.com for a virtual component that's just as well edited as the store.
Also, check out their awesome video HERE!
[All photos by Sebastian Slayter]