25 Market Place, Southwold, Suffolk
Who you need to know
Owners Vanessa Collen (top left) and Clare Adkins (bottom left)
Brands include American Vintage, Barbour, By Malene Birger, Emreco, Gibson, Hudson, Hunter Boot, J Brand, James Jeans, John Smedley, Karen Cole, Levi’s, Marilyn Moore, Mulberry, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, Pepe, Ren, Rützou, Ugg Australia
Described by one voter as “a little corner of London on the Suffolk coast”, Collen & Clare is based in a 17th-century building in the heart of the picturesque seaside town of Southwold.
Founded eight years ago by childhood friends Vanessa Collen and Clare Adkins, the store is merchandised like a department store, with sections for menswear, womenswear, footwear, lingerie, accessories and beauty products. A separate kidswear shop trades as The Little Shop on the same street.
Featuring a finely edited selection from more than 100 brands, Collen & Clare prides itself on catering for a wide audience, from locals looking for wellies to fashionistas seeking the latest luxury ‘It’ bag.
The store also sells its eponymous own label of wardrobe staples, such as cashmere wraps, ballet flats and jersey dresses. Collen says: “Bringing a fresh brand mix to this part of the country is important to us and we are constantly hunting out interesting brands that have a good heritage story.”
Its impressive line-up of labels and warm, welcoming atmosphere have won Collen & Clare fans all over the country. One says: “I live in London, so I’m hard to impress and not exactly shop-deprived, yet I’m always surprised by the range of gems the store carries.”