Laura Maged’s WEST Comes East

When new shops open here, they often ask for an “06880” shout-out.

I’m happy to oblige, I say — provided they give me a strong Westport hook. It can’t be just “new store in town,” I tell them. Give me something local to sink my teeth into.

I seldom hear back.

Bags on display at WEST.

Bags on display at WEST.

That’s why I’m glad to talk about WEST. The new fashion/art/jewelry/ accessories place on 117 Post Road East (across from Bank of America) cleverly incorporates a Westport sensibility with influences from the “WEST Coast” (and even further west, Australia).

But it also carries the line of a very local designer — Emerson Kobak — who is still just a Staples High School junior. (One more reason to like WEST: The owners discovered Emerson through this “06880” blog.)

The new store is the brainchild of Westporter Laura Maged. A Long Island native who spent many “magical” years in her 20s and 30s in Southern California, she heard about our town after she and her husband moved to New York.

Laura Maged

Laura Maged

The folks she met here seemed to always do intriguing things. The “rich arts heritage and easy style” attracted her. She loved Compo Beach (and the playground), while downtown reminded her of Brentwood.

Laura thought she could “recreate a little of my special LA life here.” Starting in 2002, she did just that.

Now WEST, she says, will be a place where Westport and the West Coast’s “casual, easy lifestyles” mix. Her vision is for “a cool, easy place to shop.”

Emerson Kobak

Emerson Kobak

But while she’s all about bringing the coast vibe east, she’s also excited to team up with Kobak. The teenager studies every Saturday at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. She spent this summer in Cornell’s fashion design program, and now adds her line — Emerson Isa Designs — to WEST.

It’s always good news when a new mom-and-pop — or, in this case, “mom” shop — comes to town.

It’s even better news when the owner truly gets the local vibe.

And gets what “06880” looks for in a story. After all, this blog’s tagline is “where WESTport meets the world.”

3 responses to “Laura Maged’s WEST Comes East

  1. Thank you Dan for the wonderful post and for capturing so perfectly, the spirit of WEST and the two places I consider home! I’ve long been involved with greater Westport via my work with the Westport Arts Center but now I’m literally part of the town’s fabric!
    After reading about Emerson in 06880 I attended her charity fashion show and saw with my own eyes how very alented she is. Currently we are almost sold out of her first two styles featured at WEST and she has two in production – coming soon!
    Opening WEST in Westport has already proved so rewarding and just yesterday a shopper said “Now WESTPORT doesn’t need to shop in NYC anymore”!
    Off to work!
    (Oh and for you and all the other men in Westport look for WESTMens this Spring!)

  2. Connie Thomas

    I’ve know Laura since she was a ” cool LA chick , and she does “get it”!
    Beautiful ,talented ,smart ,with her feet on the ground and her eye on style , Westport is lucky to have her launching her West to East concept in their town ! Great article about a great woman .

  3. Debra Cosgrave

    Very cool, eclectic mix of Merchandise.
    Great Vibe…and as the sign says, “If Chanel and Hendrix had a Baby😎