The moniker of Jena Min’s Boerum Hill shop (taken from a Sartre quote on human nature) might seem paradoxical at first. Yet the items on offer are testament to a universal desire for transcendently beautiful accessories and art. After spending nearly two years sourcing exotic skins at Italian factories as a women’s-accessories merchandiser, Min began designing her own line of handbags and jewelry for the high-end market, debuting in spring 2012. But it was her decision to put it on hold and become the e-commerce manager for Me&Ro jewelry that led to the launch of her own site, Condemned to Be Free, in 2010. The success of the online shop proved that the timing was right for Min to create an intimate boutique setting for her collection. Expect to find gorgeous pieces from emerging international designers and artisans, many of whom use eco-friendly resources and methods, like Jenny Torino and Ambika. Min has also invited Maddy Rosenberg from Central Booking gallery (centralbookingnyc.com) to curate the shop’s fine-art collection. In addition to London label Fleet Ilya’s supple leather racerback harness belts ($910) and cuffs ($380), standouts include A-Morir cat's-eye sunglasses ($275), Swash silk-cashmere-chiffon cape scarves ($475) and made-to-order sterling-silver rings with semiprecious gemstones from Brooklyn designer Suzanne Morianz ($300–$575).
Condemned to Be Free
|Venue name:||Condemned to Be Free||Contact:|
72 Nevins St
|Cross street:||between Atlantic Ave and State St|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Sat 11am–7pm, Sun noon–5pm|
|Transport:||Subway: A, C, G to Hoyt–Schermerhorn; 2, 3, 4, 5 to Nevins St|