Sequined Patriots jerseys and denim-rainbow fringe infiltrate the luxury mall, thanks to our favorite local online-turned-IRL retail app.
When I met siblings Kenelly Cineus and Keyla Williams and BFF Adriano Pinto at their recently opened Bogosplit outpost in Copley Place, I immediately appreciated their sense of style. Kenelly had on slouchy ripped jeans, with the tongues of his boots hanging open and a chic scarf draped over a cashmere three-quarter-length coat—very IG-worthy. I wanted to snap a simple pic of the founders in their new storefront for my stories, but before I could lift my phone from my purse, Kenelly said he had an idea of how to stage the photo. I knew immediately he was the visionary of the group. First, though, he needed to get a copy of the newspaper, because they had just been featured in it.
The media attention isn’t surprising, given Bogosplit’s novel concept: an online marketplace for indie fashion designers, many of them local, with a brick-and-mortar storefront to match. And not just any storefront—one with some serious 21st-century upgrades. Keyla ran through the shopping experience when I visited, showing me the dressing room where you can try on a piece of clothing, scan the QR code on the tag, and purchase it right on your phone. If an item doesn’t fit, she explained, you can easily contact the designer through the Bogosplit app and order a different size to be shipped directly from the vendor.
Having access to both the app and the Bogosplit storefront isn’t just convenient for customers; it’s also priceless for budding designers, because running your own boutique or even pop-up can be a demanding endeavor. You need someone to staff it, and of course there’s the astronomical cost of rent. These roadblocks were what inspired Keyla, Kenelly, and Adriano to launch Bogosplit. “Through our marketplace technology, we allow vendors to be a part of storefronts…without needing to be physically present,” Keyla says.
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 provide visibility to designers in a luxury market. Copley Place was the ideal choice to showcase emerging brands such as Wowqing, helmed by a recent MassArt grad who makes bespoke handbags and convertible clothing; Greylocka one-man New England-based leather-handbag designer; 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, holding up a copy of the newspaper. Sheepishly he informed me it wasn’t the paper they were featured in. But that wasn’t going to stop him from staging the perfect photo—or the perfect storefront for indie designers and artists.
First published in the print edition of the January 2023 issue, with the headline “Grab Bag.”