City Pulse

By Samantha Smikle

To own a boutique and have an eponymous clothing line sold at that boutique is the dream of many a fashion-obsessed. Anya Ponorovskaya has made it her reality (all while being a single mom). With two GirlCat Boutiques up, running and successful in NoLita, Anya moved on to conquer new territory late last year – this time in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill.

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Owner Anya Ponorovskaya

Atlantic Avenue lay still and devoid of sufficient lighting on the crisp Thursday night. Wondering where all the street lamps had gone, I scampered along, eager to find myself among other clothes feigns thirsty for, not only the always anticipated free wine, but the chance to snag an Anya original with the promotional 15 percent deduction in celebration of the opening of GirlCat Brooklyn (380 Atlantic Avenue, 718.643.3863) and the release of her line.

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With imperfect wood floors and couches that look second hand polished, the space is charming and inviting. Fur clutches, leather belts and jewelry are showcased on shelves like trophies. Heels, booties and bags are strewn across a wooden table that resembles an old bureau. And silk dresses and corset waist wool coats all hang on mannequin forms and collapsible racks.

I feel like a guest in Anya’s home rather than her store, so I pick up the shrimp tail that accidentally falls out of my napkin. I would have probably just let it go in Urban.

Although I leave with nothing but a stomach full of shrimp, my friend Lauren has much more to show for the night – a skinny brown leather belt made from the skin of a Honduran calf that she says she will wear forever. It may sound like an overstatement, but that can also be said of most of Anya’s tailored looks. In addition to her own line, the boutique carries other emerging and established labels. Go see for yourself.

Originally published February 2008
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