Sequined Patriots jerseys and rainbow fringe denim are infiltrating the luxury mall, thanks to our favorite local online retail app gone IRL.
When I met siblings Kenelly Cineus and Keyla Williams and BFF Adriana Pinto at their recently opened Bogosplit outpost in Copley Place, I immediately appreciated their sense of style. Kenelly wore a pair of loose ripped jeans, with the tongues of his boots exposed and a chic scarf draped over a three-quarter length cashmere coat – very IG worthy. I wanted to take a simple picture of the founders in their new storefront for my stories, but before I could get my phone out of my bag, Kenelly said he had an idea for how to set up the photo. I knew right away that he was the visionary of the group. First, however, he needed to get a copy of the newspaper, because it had just been published in them.
The media attention is not surprising, given Bogosplit’s new concept: an online marketplace for indie fashion designers, many of them local, with a physical storefront to match. And not just any storefront – one with serious 21st century upgrades. Keyla walked me through the shopping experience when I visited, showing me a fitting room where you can try on a piece of clothing, scan the QR code on the tag and buy it directly on your phone. If an item doesn’t fit, she explained, you can simply contact the designer through the Bogosplit app and order another size for delivery directly from the supplier.
Access to both the application and the Bogosplit storefront is not only convenient for customers; it’s also invaluable for up-and-coming designers, as running your own boutique or even a pop-up can be a demanding endeavor. You need someone to staff it, and then of course there’s the astronomical cost of rent. These obstacles inspired Keyla, Kenelly and Adrian to start Bogosplit. “Through our marketplace technology, we allow sellers to be part of the storefront … without having to be physically present,” says Keyla.
After the great success of their initial Assembly Row location, which led to a move to a larger, upgraded space in the same complex, the trio decided they wanted to give visibility to designers in the luxury market. Copley Place was an ideal choice to showcase up-and-coming brands such as Wowqing, headed by recent MassArt grad who makes custom handbags and convertible apparel; Greylock, an independent designer of leather handbags based in New England; and Mel the Clothing, a line of bejeweled denim jackets, purses and shirts (including one of my favorite items: the “Bling Rainbow Fringe” denim jacket).
Our time was up just as Kenelly returned with a copy of the newspaper in her hands. He sheepishly informed me that it was not the newspaper in which they were featured. But that won’t stop him from posting the perfect photo—or the perfect showcase for indie designers and artists.
First published in the print edition of the January 2023 issue, with the title “Grab the Bag”.